Lally Goes from Sixth to Fifth on Last Lap; Dayton 14th Sunday HOMESTEAD, Fla., May 17 - The right side of the front wings on both Highcroft Racing Bowman BC5s were crumpled but the drivers of both cars brought them home in one...
Lally Goes from Sixth to Fifth on Last Lap; Dayton 14th Sunday
HOMESTEAD, Fla., May 17 - The right side of the front wings on both Highcroft Racing Bowman BC5s were crumpled but the drivers of both cars brought them home in one piece Sunday at Homestead Motorsports Park, as Andy Lally finished fifth and Duncan Dayton finished 14th in the second half of a U.S. Formula 2000 doubleheader.
Lally, of Northport, N.Y., started sixth but he'd dropped to seventh at one point in the 22-lap race. He persevered, however, and he was sixth again on the next-to-last lap.
The second-place car driven by Ryan Hampton hit the wall and started to falter, and Marc Antoine Camirand and Hampton banged into each other, right in front of Steve Rikert and Lally. That was all the opening Lally needed, and he out-dragged Rikert at the start/finish line at the checkered to turn his sixth-place spot into fifth.
"That last lap was unreal!" Lally said after the race. "No. 96 [Camirand] and No. 88 [Hampton] hit each other at least four times. I got fifth in a drag race at the start/finish line.
"I ran my fastest laps at the end there," he added. "I had a bad push right from the start, but as the track got greasy that helped me.
"I'm not sure how my front wing got bent; that must have happened on the last lap," he added.
Dayton had similar stories to relate of his trip from 22nd at the start to 14th at the finish.
As the field came down for the green flag one car ran up over the back of the car in front of it and launched into the air. About eight other drivers had to take evasive action not to become involved, and Dayton was one of them. After all the problems the team has had here at Homestead this weekend, his engineer, Craig Perkins, was already putting his clipboard away, sure that his driver was involved since he was running right with those that were, but somehow Dayton emerged unscathed out of the dust that was kicked up.
"The start was wild," Dayton said. "I think I went from 21st to 27th in the first turn just trying to keep out of that accident.
"My car was understeering tremendously," he added. "Four or five laps into it my front wing got damaged. I went to full still on the bar then, and that helped some. I also had a cracked header, so we were down a little on power.
"It was a case of just trying to hang on and defend your position. Whoever hit my right rear went sailing off like a torpedo; I don't know who that was."
The race was won by Robby McGehee. David Besnard, who won Saturday's race, was second on Sunday. Hampton finished third. Camirand was fourth, just ahead of Lally. Rikert, Jon Herb, Rolando Quintanilla, Mike Johnson and Christian Coggins rounded out the top 10.
For the record, Lally ran sixth for the first three laps and then passed Hampton for fifth, which he held from laps four through six. Hampton got around him again on lap seven, but Camirand dropped back on the next lap and Lally was once again fifth on lap eight. Camirand moved around him the next lap to push him back to sixth, and he was seventh from laps 11 through 14. He got back into sixth on lap 15, and ended up fifth at the wire.
Although the action at the start was so wild that Dayton thought he dropped back initially, he actually improved his starting spot three positions thanks to his heads-up avoidance of the opening wreck. He dropped one spot on lap five, but by lap eight he was once again making progress. He was 18th from laps nine through 11, and on lap 12 he moved into 16th. Several cars went off in a sand pit and he passed a couple more on lap 16 to move into 12th, but Larry Foyt got around him on lap 18 and fellow Bowman driver Anthony Simone passed him on lap 20 to push him to 14th at the checkered. Dayton had finished right ahead of Simone in Saturday's race, but on Sunday Simone was just in front of Dayton at the line.
Lally is fourth in points following Sunday's race, while Dayton is 16th.
This weekend's events will be broadcast on Speedvision on Sunday, June 7 at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The series' next event is another doubleheader at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. on May 29-30. The 20-lap races on the 2.45-mile road course share the billing with a NASCAR Craftsman truck race.