F2000 HITS SEASON MID-POINT WITH TWO-WEEK ATLANTA STRETCH FAIRFIELD, N.J. (July 14, 1999) -- The U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision reaches the season midpoint at the Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Nortel ...
F2000 HITS SEASON MID-POINT WITH TWO-WEEK ATLANTA STRETCH
FAIRFIELD, N.J. (July 14, 1999) -- The U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision reaches the season midpoint at the Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Nortel Networks Dash -- the featured support race for the Kobalt Tools 500 Indy Racing League Weekend July 16-17 -- the series' first time on an unmodified oval over one mile. The Nortel Networks Dash is Round Seven of the 14-Race U.S. F2000 season and the fourth of five Road to Indy Oval Crown events. The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the Speedvision Network Friday, August 6 at 10:00 p.m. This will be the first of three-straight races in the Atlanta area, with the series traveling to Road Atlanta July 23-25 for a road course doubleheader. Jointly sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and the United States Auto Club, U.S. F2000 National Championship boasts the best up-and-coming talent in open-wheel racing today, and it's cut-throat competition has put it at the top of motor racing entertainment for North American race fans. A new association with the Speedvision Network also brings exciting, prime-time television broadcasts into 22 million homes across North America. After three-straight races on road courses, the series returns to the high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., but will forego using the chicane as in 1998 in favor of a new drag-inducing spec rear wing devised to limit top speeds on the 150 mph spaceframe machines. English rookie sensation Dan Wheldon (No. 5 Primus Racing Van Diemen Ford) looks for his third-straight win of the season at Atlanta in hopes to extend his 10-point advantage (145-135) over reigning Rookie of the Year Marc-Antoine Camirand (No. 96 Key Motorsport Van Diemen Ford). In addition to a win on the high-banks of Lowe's Motor Speedway May 30, Wheldon, 21, has taken the two most recent rounds, at Mosport International Raceway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Camirand has two wins on the season (Phoenix International Raceway, Mosport Race One), but did not fare well at the similar LMS doubleheader, finishing eighth and sixth. Camirand looks to build momentum in the three races in Atlanta in preparation of his hometown race at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada August 1. Wheldon and Camirand also sit one-two in the Road to Indy Oval Crown, with 83 and 60 points respectively. Hungry for their first wins are Bobby Oergel (No. 19 DSTP Motorsports/Quicksilver Mygale Ford) and Steve Rikert (No. 4 Richard Morgan Racing Van Diemen Ford) -- who both finished on the podium at Mid-Ohio and sit third and fourth in points, with 115 and 106 points respectively. Oergel took his first career pole at the most recent oval race at LMS. Poised to use the busy mid-season stretch to make up for an early season ridden with misfortune, including a penalty which cost a win at Mosport, is Aaron Justus (No. 24 Cape/Torco Racing Lubricants/MiR Van Diemen Ford). Justus won at LMS and has shown speed all year long, but sits fifth in points, with 81. Other drivers in the top-10 waiting for their opportunity to climb to the top of the podium include T.J. Bell (No. 23 El Dorado/MiR/Feature Graphics Van Diemen Ford), Jonathan Bottoms (No. 3 Roppe/Team Great Northern Van Diemen Ford), Mark E. Dismore (No. 13 Monster.com Van Diemen Ford) and Daniel Muniz (No. 7 Texaco/Havoline/Visa Aval Van Diemen Ford). Returning to the series for the first time since LMS is the Tatuus Ford of Larry Foyt (No. 14 Terre Haute First National Bank/Z Water Works). Last year, the Tatuus chassis proved to be a force on high-speed circuits, and won at AMS in the hands of 1999 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Robby McGehee. Other drivers looking to break out at the Nortel Networks Dash include Marietta, Ga. resident Alejandro Garcia (No. 8 Indigo Racing/Dixie Numerics Van Diemen Ford), Tommy Constantine (No. 16 Mexmil Van Diemen Ford), Rolando Quintanilla (No. 40 Tecate/Quaker State/Roquin Van Diemen Ford), the Atlanta based Archangel Motorsports team of Larry Oberto (No. 66 Oberto Beef Jerky/Lowrey's Big Beef Van Diemen Ford) and Tom Wood (No. 99 Plains Energy/Round-Up Resource Service Tatuus Ford).
Source: SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing/USRRC