NA-F2000: Andy Lally Charlotte Saturday Race Report

Lally Leads Saturday's F2000 Race Before Trouble Strikes CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 1 - Things got off to a great start for Highcroft Racing's Andy Lally in Saturday's U.S. Formula 2000 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, as he put his Bowman into...

Lally Leads Saturday's F2000 Race Before Trouble Strikes

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 1 - Things got off to a great start for Highcroft Racing's Andy Lally in Saturday's U.S. Formula 2000 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, as he put his Bowman into the lead on lap five of the 30-lap contest that preceded the Visionaire 500K Pep Boys Indy Racing League event. He had charged by Jonathan Bottoms in turn four and was being pressured by both Bottoms and the winner of Friday's race, Dan Wheldon, when his Bowman just brushed against a stack of tires edging part of the course. The impact tore the screws out of the car's upright, and the Northport, N.Y.-based driver had to retire. He ended up 27th in the final rundown. "When I took the lead I thought, 'Yes! This is going to be it! It'll just stay here now," Lally said. "I just nicked the corner curb of tires in the middle of the chicane. I think the upright was stressed from yesterday's qualifying accident though, because it pulled the threads holding up the upright, and I didn't hit the tires that hard. I just nicked it. "I guess it wasn't meant to be," he added philosophically. Aaron Justus posted his first career F2000 victory a little later in a race that was much better than the series' appearance here Friday night on the 1.6-mile modified oval. Friday's winner, Dan Wheldon, was second and T.J. Bell finished third. Polesitter Bobby Oergel was fourth and Jonathan Bottoms rounded out the top five. Lally's start was nothing less than spectacular. He qualified sixth but he immediately moved up to third and by the end of lap one he was second only to Wheldon. Bottoms, who started fourth, took the lead on lap two and built up a sizable advantage. Lally slipped to third on lap two, but by lap three he was in second again and drawing a bead on Bottoms. He took the lead by charging underneath Bottoms in turn four on lap five. Wheldon slipped under Lally on lap six to push him back to second, and then the trouble occurred. The Charlotte doubleheader is scheduled to be shown on SpeedVision at 9 p.m. Eastern on Monday, May 24. The next U.S. F2000 race is another doubleheader. This one is slated for the 2.459-mile road course at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on May 21-23.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers T.J. Bell , Dan Wheldon , Andy Lally , Aaron Justus