(HOMESTEAD, Fla.) Oct. 7, 2000 -In his quest to become the 14th driver to clinch a Barber Dodge Pro Series Championship, Nilton Rossoni of Brazil has done himself a favor. Provisionally he sits at the front of the grid for Sunday's Racing For...
(HOMESTEAD, Fla.) Oct. 7, 2000 -In his quest to become the 14th driver to clinch a Barber Dodge Pro Series Championship, Nilton Rossoni of Brazil has done himself a favor. Provisionally he sits at the front of the grid for Sunday's Racing For Kids Grand Prix featuring the Barber Dodge Pro Series at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 12th and final round field is as usual very tight with the first 12 racecars covered by one second. Perhaps too close for comfort for Rossoni is the fact that his lap at 1:20.342 sec is only fractions faster than that of Dutchman Sepp Koster. Koster, who had been on the provisional pole at several points throughout the 30-minute session finished a mere 0.049 sec adrift of Rossoni. American Jamie Menninga, also a provisional polesitter during the first qualifying session, ended third on the grid a further three-tenths behind the front row pair.
"It definitely couldn't be better. We can't really relax, but this is definitely a confidence builder," said Rossoni, driver of the No. 36 Oil Extreme Dodge Reynard. "I always thought the first qualifying would be better as it's my opinion that the track is going to get slower in the afternoon."
Rossoni's only adversary for the crown, Californian Jon Fogarty currently resides eighth on the grid and needs to find nearly seven-tenths of a second to bolster his title hopes. However, as the temperatures continue to rise into the 140-degree range on the racetrack and the threat of heavy rain continues to persist, fortune seems not to be on Fogarty's side. Having said that, the one time point leader has been known to light the fire when it counts and should wage an all out attack on the front row.
"The car has the potential to go faster and so do I," claimed Koster who had to take evasive action at 140 mph to avoid a car exiting the pits. The mud splashed Blue Bay Curacao Golf Resorts driver reemerged on the track to set his fastest lap on the 18th of 18 run.
Final Qualifying will take place in just a few hours in order to set the final grid of the year 2000.
<pre> The Provisional Qualifying Times are as follows:
1. Nilton Rossoni; 1:20.342 sec 2. Sepp Koster; 1:20.391 3. Jamie Menninga; 1:20.628 4. Michael Valainte; 1:20.650 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay; 1:20.706 6. Alexandre Sperafico; 1:20.760 7. Rafael Sperafico; 1:21.008 8. Jon Fogarty; 1:21.094 9. Marc Breuers; 1:21.105 10. Sara Senske; 1:21.146 11. Matt Plumb; 1:21.247 12. Thed Bjork; 1:21.400 13. Davy Cook; 1:21.456 14. Tom Fogarty; 1:21.467 15. Roger Yasukawa; 1:21.472 16. Jon Vannini; 1:21.562 17. Brent Sherman; 1:21.690 18. Kip Gulseth; 1:21.825 19. Shareef Malnik; 1:22.926