FAIRFIELD, N.J. (April 9, 2001) -- This past weekend the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision once again showed why it is considered North America's premier open-wheel training series. Over 15 alumni took part in seven races,...
FAIRFIELD, N.J. (April 9, 2001) -- This past weekend the U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision once again showed why it is considered North America's premier open-wheel training series. Over 15 alumni took part in seven races, capturing three wins.
At Homestead, Fla., six U.S. F2000 alumni took the green flag in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series race. For the second consecutive race, Sam Hornish Jr., who had five top-five finishes in U.S. F2000, captured the win and extended his championship points lead. Robby McGehee, who was recently inducted into the U.S. F2000 Hall of Fame, and Jeret Schroeder both battled traffic to capture top-15 finishes. Greg Ray, Jon Herb and John Hollansworth Jr. struggled with various difficulties to finish 21st, 25th and 18th respectively.
At the Long Beach Grand Prix, alumni competed in all three open-wheel races. The feature race on Saturday, the CART Toyota Atlantic race, had four ex-U.S. F2000 drivers taking part. Starting from pole, David Rutledge captured the season-opener for his second career victory in the series. Making their series debut, both Guy Cosmo and Anthony Simone showed they belonged, posting ninth and 15th place finishes respectively. T.J. Bell, contesting his second season of Toyota Atlantic, was involved in an incident on lap one, finishing 21st.
On Sunday morning the Dayton Indy Lights Series raced, with three alumni taking the green. The 1999 U.S. F2000 National Champion, Dan Wheldon quickly asserted himself, taking the early lead, however at the checkered flag, he had fallen back to second. The finish puts the young Englishman third in the championship standings. Fellow U.S.F2000 alumni Cory Witherill and Rolando Quintanilla drove strong races to finish seventh and 11th respectively. In the feature CART FedEx Championship race, Alexander Tagliani overcame various incidents to finish 18th.
In addition to the open-wheel racing, four former U.S. F2000 drivers competed in closed-wheel races over the weekend.
In Australia Jason Bright and the 1998 U.S. F2000 National Champion, David Besnard contested Round two of the V8 Supercar Australian Shell Championship. In race one Bright finished seventh, while Besnard had problems and finished 31st. In race two, Bright captured the win and took the lead in the overall championship, while Besnard once again struggled, finishing 35th.
In support of the NASCAR Winston Cup cars at Martinsville, Lance Norick raced in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Norick, who captured one career U.S. F2000 win, finished 27th.
Contesting his first season of ASA Racing, Matt Sielsky traveled to South Boston over the weekend. The runner-up in the 1997 U.S. F2000 National Championship, Sielsky finished a hard fought 18th place.
The U.S. F2000 National Championship resumes its training of the world's best young drivers, May 19, 2001, at Watkins Glen International, with Rounds Four and Five of the 2001 schedule.