(DETROIT, Mich.) June 18, 2000 -The last two rounds of the Barber Dodge Pro Series have provided 80 minutes of racing and Jon Fogarty of Portola Valley, Ca. has led every single lap run. Fogarty, driving the Thomas Fogarty Winery Barber Dodge...
(DETROIT, Mich.) June 18, 2000 -The last two rounds of the Barber Dodge Pro Series have provided 80 minutes of racing and Jon Fogarty of Portola Valley, Ca. has led every single lap run. Fogarty, driving the Thomas Fogarty Winery Barber Dodge Reynard, won round five of the Barber Dodge Pro Series on Detroit's Raceway on Belle Isle at the CART FedEx Tenneco Grand Prix of Detroit. He did so from pole as he did the previous round at Lime Rock Park, and did so withstanding pressure for much of the race from Jamie Menninga. Fogarty ultimately crossed the finish line ahead of Matt Plumb, who squeezed past Menninga late in the race, by 3.878 seconds.
Fogarty made the win look easy, yet he felt it was anything but.
"It looked easy, but it really wasn't. There's huge differences in the between the grip level on the concrete and the asphalt, and those concrete patches are usually somewhere after the turn in point. So as you turn every thing feels cool, then you hit those patches and all hell breaks loose," Fogarty, 25, said. "I always had the threat of Jamie right behind me and Matt was there too, but I just kept my head down."
Fogarty withstood fairly constant pressure from Menninga who midway through the race was right on Fogarty's tail. Traffic eventually became a factor, and he was able to draw away.
Meanwhile, Plumb, in the No. 17 CAM 2 Dodge Reynard set about turning some extremely fast laps. Once Plumb was able to get passed Alexandre Sperafico in the early going, he set about reeling in Menninga. At quarter distance he was five seconds adrift. At three-quarter distance, Plumb used traffic to his advantage to sneak passed Menninga into second place. Traffic was almost again Plumb's ally as he was able to make a stab at Fogarty, yet the leader kept out of trouble and stayed the course.
"I'm going to walk way with a smile, but I'm not completely satisfied. I had my heart set on a first place. Coming off my crash at Lime Rock, this is a better turn of luck, but first place was what I was I was looking for," said Plumb who records his career best finish.
Menninga for his part had the potential for the best finish of his two-year Barber Dodge career. Afterwards he was disappointed at surrendering that honor to Plumb, also in his second Barber Dodge year. His Detroit result equals his best Pro Series finish, which came also at Detroit last year. This finish he hopes will provide a kick-start to his year.
"Overall I'm happy with third," Menninga said who drives the Event Marketing Enterprises, Inc. sponsored car. "It's good to be back up on the podium. Jon was better on cold tires at the beginning of the race, but once I got comfortable with the conditions I tried to give him a run. When Matt was catching me I tried to look forward, but we caught some lap traffic and I had to ease up on the throttle. That left a gap, and he got me."
The early going of the race provided many exciting moments. The confines of the barrier lined temporary circuit provided little margin for error that caught out a few of the drivers. Once the race settled into its rhythm, the fourth through seventh place train of Andre Nicastro, Roger Yasukawa, Nilton Rossoni and Sepp Koster pressed ahead in metronomic fashion. Just behind that group was Brent Sherman followed by Peter Boss, the race's Most Progressive Driver, who vaulted from a 17th starting position to finish ninth. Rounding out the top-10 was Sweden's Thed Bjork. He drove the entire race with his left front wing askew, the result of a miscue with another driver on the pace lap. In spite of the errant wing, he went on to a solid Top-10 run.
Round six of the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series will take place at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio in support of the CART FedEx Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on July 2. This round of the Barber Dodge Pro Series will be televised on ESPN2 on July 6 at 6:00 p.m. EDT.
Top 15 Point Standings after 4 rounds:
Fogarty, 82; Koster, 57; Rossoni, 53; Andy Lally, 49; Plumb, 46; Ryan Hunter-Reay, 44; Yasukawa 39; Boss, 37; Alexandre Sperafico, 36; Michael Valiante, 34; Menninga 34; Nicastro, 27; Bjork, 27; Sherman, 25; Jonathan Macri, 16