Barber Dodge Pro Series: Simmons Sizzles at Phoenix International Raceway Phoenix, AZ (April 15, 1999) -- Defending Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Jeff Simmons of East Granby, CT proved himself versatile by topping the time sheets at the ...
Barber Dodge Pro Series: Simmons Sizzles at Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix, AZ (April 15, 1999) -- Defending Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Jeff Simmons of East Granby, CT proved himself versatile by topping the time sheets at the conclusion of a three-day test at Phoenix International Raceway April 13-15. Simmons set the fastest time of the 29 drivers with a best lap of 27.89 seconds, averaging 129.04 mph, on the final day of the test. Second fastest was Townsend Bell at 27.98, followed by Eric Tresslar, John McCaig, and Memo Rojas.
The 22-year old Simmons expressed excitement about the opportunity to drive on an oval again since outgrowing quarter-midgets nearly 10 years ago: "I was anxious to see how comfortable I would be on the oval. The only ones I had ever driven on before were those in quarter-midgets and I didn't know how much they would relate. They're so small that you're basically turning the whole time and a lap often takes less than six seconds."
It became quickly apparent that Simmons was quite comfortable on the one-mile banked oval at Phoenix. Third quickest after the first day behind Townsend Bell and Juan Font, and second after day two behind Memo Rojas, Simmons dominated the final day of testing earning the top honors in every session and the best time of the test.
The Phoenix test was in preparation for Round 2 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series on the oval in Nazareth, PA on May 22nd. The series will share the weekend with the NASCAR Busch Grand National and Featherlite Modified Series.
Simmons is confident of his chances for a strong finish at Nazareth: "We went through a number of chassis changes just to get a feel for them and then on the final day when we fine-tuned the car we were consistently quickest. We actually did about ten laps that were faster than anyone else did during the test because of how consistent we were able to be so I am optimistic for Nazareth. I think qualifying is going to be extremely important there because it seems like it will be difficult to pass on such short straightaways."
The Nazareth round of the 12-race Barber Dodge Pro Series is set to be aired on ESPN2 at 10:30am on Sunday, June 6th. For more information on the test at Phoenix International Raceway and the Barber Dodge Pro Series visit www.skipbarber.com