NA-F2000: Record Time for Phoenix Pole

PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 18, 2000)-- Aaron Justus, of Crestline, Calif., took his fifth-career U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision pole position in record fashion, and will start first for Sunday's 50.0-mile race at Phoenix ...

PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 18, 2000)-- Aaron Justus, of Crestline, Calif., took his fifth-career U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision pole position in record fashion, and will start first for Sunday's 50.0-mile race at Phoenix International Raceway, part of the MCI WorldCom 200. Tony Buffomante, of Streamwood, Ill., and Ian Lacy, of North Las Vegas, Nev., completed the top three.

Driving the No. 32 Forsythe Indeck Racing/Torco Van Diemen Ford, Justus turned a fastest speed of 130.119 (27.667 seconds) around the 1.0-mile oval to beak Marc-Antoine Camirand's 1999 mark of 130.006. The pole was Justus' fifth, and he earned the first bonus point of the 13-race 2000 season.

"This is fantastic. No matter where we qualified, it's better than last year when we balled-up two cars before qualifying," said Justus, who started last and finished seventh in the 1999 event. "I went out and just put my foot in it because if you lift you're last and if you crash you're last.

"This is really my first full season of racing, where I can concentrate on racing and not spending money. Last year, Forsythe Racing helped out with a partial season, but they've come forward with a full-season budget this year, which really helps a lot."

Buffomante, driving the No. 23 CTI Communications/MXK.com Van Diemen Ford, turned a fastest lap of 129.823 mph (27.730 seconds) in his first series start since running a limited schedule in 1994.

"We're surprised to be where we are," said Buffomante. "We knew the car could run 27.7, but not on the second lap out. The Archangel team has worked really hard to make those little adjustments to make the car fast."

Lacy, driving the No. 6 Richard Morgan Racing Van Diemen Ford, turned a lap of 129.571 (27.784 seconds) to start third--topping his previous career-best of sixth. Lacy hopes the effort will assist his search for funding to complete the season.

"We're on a limited budget, and this is kind of a one-off for us," said Lacy, who ran a partial season in 1999, with a best finish of second. "Richard Morgan Racing set up a great car and I'm really comfortable."

Returning Championship Runner-Up Camirand, of St. Leonard D'Aston, Quebec, Canada, and rookie James Hanson, of Leeds, England, completed the top-five.

Second-generation driver Arie Juyendyk Jr., of Scottsdale, Ariz., son of two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, will line up ninth for his first-career professional start.

PHOENIX, Ariz.-- Practice times for Sunday's 50-lap, 50-mile U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision Round One Race, part of the MCI WorldCom 200 weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, with practice position, car number in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, time and speed in miles-per-hour.

<pre> 1. (32), Aaron Justus, Crestline, Calif., Van Diemen Ford, 0:27.667, 130.118. 2. (23), Tony Buffomante, Streamwood, Ill., Van Diemen Ford, 0:27.730, 129.823. 3. (6), Ian Lacy, N. Las Vegas, Nev., Van Diemen Ford, 0:27.784, 129.571. 4. (96), Marc-Antoine Camirand, St. Leonard, Que., Van Diemen Ford, 0:27.789, 129.547. 5. (21), James Hanson(R), Leeds, England, Van Diemen Ford, 0:27.956, 128.773. 6. (3), Andy Lally, Northport, N.Y., Carbir Ford, 0:27.989, 128.622. 7. (8), Tom Wood, Calgary, Alb., Tatuus Ford, 0:28.064, 128.278. 8. (82), Jeff Harrison(R), Grapevine, Texas, Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.081, 128.200. 9. (4), Arie Luyendyk Jr.(R), Scottsdale, Ariz., Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.154, 127.868. 10. (44), Peter Walsh(R), Cork, Ireland, Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.183, 127.736. 11. (13), James Eaton(R), Toronto/Ont., Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.193, 127.691. 12. (36), Bryce Miller, Bernardsville, N.J., Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.216, 127.587. 13. (5), Tommy Constantine, Scottsdale, Ariz., Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.297, 127.222. 14. (7), Daniel Muniz, San Jose, Calif., Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.304, 127.190. 15. (15), Memo Rojas Jr.(R), Mexico City, Mexico, Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.317, 127.132. 16. (19), J.W. Urlin(R), London/Ontario, Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.346, 127.002. 17. (18), Tyler McQuarrie(R), Walnut Creek, Calif., Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.375, 126.872. 18. (77), Harold Primat, France, Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.634, 125.724. 19. (55), Piero Rodarte(R), Mexico City, Mexico, Van Diemen Ford, 0:28.770, 125.130. 20. (22), Doug DaCosta(R), Scottsdale, Ariz., Van Diemen Ford, 0:29.130, 123.583. 21. (59), Michael Simpson, Apple Valley, Calif., Van Diemen Ford, 0:29.199, 123.291. 22. (11), Stephanos Collias(R), Phoenix, Ariz., Van Diemen Ford, 0:29.455, 122.220. 23. (29), Kyle Burts, Tomball, Texas, Van Diemen Ford, 0:29.929, 120.284. 24. (98), Paul Marciano Jr.(R), Glendale, Ariz., Vector Ford, 0:30.300, 118.811. 25. (2), Michael Curtis, Alexandria, Va., Carbir Ford, 0:30.610, 117.608. 26. (69), Paul Lasko(R), Roseville, Mich., Van Diemen Ford, 0:31.553, 114.093. 27. (9), Jerry Brogdon(R), Colleyville, Texas, Van Diemen Ford, no time. 28. (33), Billy Asaro(R), Unionville, Ont., Van Diemen Ford, no time.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Arie Luyendyk , Marc-Antoine Camirand , Andy Lally , Harold Primat , Memo Rojas , Piero Rodarte , Aaron Justus , Tom Wood , Tyler McQuarrie , Tommy Constantine , Ian Lacy , Bryce Miller , Billy Asaro , Tony Buffomante , Mike Simpson , Arie Luyendyk Jr. , Michael Curtis