INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG. 14, 2001: Rookie Paul Dana of Indianapolis fell out of contention in the opening laps of Round 11 of the U.S. F2000 National Championship this past weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dana...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, AUG. 14, 2001: Rookie Paul Dana of Indianapolis fell out of contention in the opening laps of Round 11 of the U.S. F2000 National Championship this past weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Dana qualified his #44 Forsythe Racing/CAPCO Abrasives/Klein Tools/Mate Precision Tooling car 11th for the high-profile event that was run in support of the CART FedEx Championship Series Miller Lite 200. However, he spun off track on the second lap and made contact with the outside retaining wall.
"I got a clean start, but on the second lap I just made a tiny mistake in Turn 13, and it put me off line," Dana said. "Two other guys went off in front of me on the same lap, and that should have been a warning. With our race run just after the CART qualifying, the track was really dirty outside the groove and I just slid wide and clouted the exit curb pretty hard, which threw me back across the track and into the wall.
"At the June race here we were pretty much out to lunch, but this time around we were much stronger, so I was feeling confident for the race. Even though I qualified 11th we were only .75 seconds off pole, and that time was set with some brake problems that we didn't discover until after the session. I think we would have had a strong car for the race. I feel bad to have wasted the opportunity."
"It was really great walking back to the pits and listening to the loud PA guy announce to everyone I know in CART that I had stuffed it on the second lap. Definitely a high point in my career!"
Dana is currently 12th in points in the intensely competitive series. The season concludes with a double-header event in one month at Daytona International Speedway.