SBRS: Campos sweeps in Michigan

Julio Campos jumpstarted his Formula Dodge National Championship chances by winning twice from pole this weekend at Grattan Raceway. On Sunday, the Brazilian motored to his second checkered flag of the weekend, this one 0.636 sec. ahead of second...

Julio Campos jumpstarted his Formula Dodge National Championship chances by winning twice from pole this weekend at Grattan Raceway. On Sunday, the Brazilian motored to his second checkered flag of the weekend, this one 0.636 sec. ahead of second place finisher A.J. Allmendinger. Levi Simoes followed seconds later in third. Campos never put a wheel wrong over three days of qualifying and racing and leaves Michigan having collected 42 of a possible 42 points.

In Round 6, Campos and A.J. Allmendinger, the current points leader, pulled away from the field early after turn-1 and buzzed their way through the twisty and technically complex 1.9 mile circuit. Allmendinger dogged Campos for most of the contest, at times drawing as close as a car length in the hairpin, occasionally popping out on the straight to suggest a pass. Both were greyhound quick and simultaneously established a new track record of 1:24.181 on lap 16, followed by an even better cycle of 1:23.954 sec. by Campos two laps later.

While the leaders dueled, a number of races within the race were evident, most notably the train of Dan Di Leo, Levi Simoes and Scott Poirier in a battle for the final podium spot. Di Leo had the point in this contest and was reluctant to give it up, muscling off Simoes several times. Finally, the Brazilian used his knowledge of the circuit to identify an ideal passing opportunity.

"I was running fourth and got behind Dan," said Simoes. "It was really hard to pass him on the straight. I had to find another way. So I set him up and passed him in the jump and was able to put some distance between him in the twists so he couldn't draft me."

Canada's Di Leo would finish fourth in front of Peru's Juan Manuel Polar. Polar rebounded from a sub-par qualifying session, picking up four positions over the 21 lap race to finish in the top-five. Tophie Stewart, who started 15th, advanced the most positions of any driver, not an easy feat considering the depth of talent and limited passing spots at Grattan.

But at the end of the day, it was all about Campos, for whom the eight hour flight to Brazil was sure to be sweet.

"It was a great weekend. The second win was definitely harder because I couldn't break the draft on A.J. He hounded me all race. But I'm really pleased with the points and I can carry a lot more confidence into Putnam Park [Round 7/8]." <pre> Final Results Formula Dodge National Championship Round 6 Grattan Raceway July 1, 2001 All Drivers In Formula Dodge R/T 2000 On Michelin Tires

FINISH/CAR#/DRIVER/RESIDES/LAPS/POINTS

1/16/Julio Campos/Santa Felicidade, Parana, Brazil/21/21 2/46/A.J. Allmendinger/Hollister, California/21/16 3/5/Levi Simoes/Itatiba, Brazil/21/14 4/57/Dan Di Leo/Markham, Ontario, Canada/21/12 5/85/Juan Manuel Polar/Sannisidro, Lima, Peru/21/11 6/56/ Scott Presti/Naples, Florida/21/10 7/83/Scott Poirier/Deerfield Beach, Florida/21/9 8/7/Leonardo Maia/Oakland, California/21/8 9/81/Tophie Stewart/Carmichael, California/21/7 10/50/Damian Della-Santina/Los Angeles, California/21/6 11/32/Landon Yee/San Rafael, California/21/5 12/77/ Ward Imrie/Winnipeg, Canada/21/4 13/38/Ben Moore III/Naples, Florida/21/3 14/26/Grant Maiman/New London, Wisconsin/21/2 15/20/Dan Kraus/Warwick, New York/21/1 16/35 /Gerardo Bonilla/Orlando, Florida/21/0 17/97/Curt Andrews/Plymouth, Wisconsin/21/0 18/14/Jason Klein/ / 21/0 19/89/Burt Frisselle/Kihei, Hawaii/21/0 20/72/Robbie Montinola/Laguna Beach, California/21/0 21/41/Justin Blower/San Clemente, California/21/0 22/53/ James Gue/Roswell, Georgia/21/0 23/23/Tommy Contino/Hesperia, California/17/0

- Andrew Torres

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Ward Imrie , James Gue , Julio Campos , Leonardo Maia , A.J. Allmendinger , Burt Frisselle , Scott Poirier , Grant Maiman , Gerardo Bonilla , Juan Manuel Polar , Robbie Montinola