WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., MAY 20, 2001: Driver Paul Dana of Indianapolis scored his first ever pro podium this weekend at the Sports Car Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Dana qualified his ...
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., MAY 20, 2001: Driver Paul Dana of Indianapolis scored his first ever pro podium this weekend at the Sports Car Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Dana qualified his #44 Forsythe Racing/CAPCO Abrasives/Klein Tools/Mate Precision Tooling machine sixth on both grids for the double header event and brought it home third in Saturday's race.
"I love this track and I felt I could be competitive coming in to the weekend," Dana said. "We've had almost no testing so to finish third this early in the season is amazing. I've really got to give credit to the guys at AIM Autosport. We were struggling during the first two weekends down at Homestead but we're starting to get a handle on the car at it paid off today."
"At the start I just wanted to hang in with the lead pack and establish a gap to the rest of the field, and I was able to do that. Then I just let the race come to me and a few guys started making mistakes, and I was able to move up."
Dana sixth-place qualifying efforts - one in a dry session and the other in difficult wet-but-drying conditions - were his best grid positions since coming in to the U.S F2000 National Championship at the start of the 2001 season, and the podium is his best result. The 22 points he earned moved him into the top 10 in overall standings and fifth in the Rookie of the Year battle.
Sunday's race proved more difficult, as Dana struggled with his handling and lost several positions. He ended up ninth.
Dana and the AIM Autosport crew now head to Pittsburgh for a mid-week oval test (their first of the year) before heading to Indianapolis next weekend for the Indianapolis Raceway Park "Night Before the 500" race.
"I'm psyched to get the chance to race on an oval for the first time, and it will be cool to be a part of such a big weekend. The Glen race kicked off a busy stretch in our schedule, so hopefully we can keep the momentum from this weekend and continue scoring good points."