SBRS: Rookie Scott Poirier moves to the front

Rookie Scott Poirier wrapped up his Formula Dodge Southern Series Championship season on a good note, in high style and dramatic fashion. The young Floridian clinched second place overall in the series by besting champion Craig Duerson in two race...

Rookie Scott Poirier wrapped up his Formula Dodge Southern Series Championship season on a good note, in high style and dramatic fashion. The young Floridian clinched second place overall in the series by besting champion Craig Duerson in two race match-ups at Sebring International Raceway.

The field of 47 was running on the 3.61-mile "12 hours of Sebring" circuit. In race 1 group 1 action, Javier Gonzalez won over polesitter Revere Greist and his father John Greist. J. Greist's podium finish is remarkable for his having started at the back of the pack. Quentin Wahl ran an uncharacteristically poor race but would come back later in the weekend with strong results.

Matt Franc took the win in group 2 race 1 over Scott Poirier and Skip Barber Instructor Gerardo Bonilla. Robert Pellosie ran a spirited race to finish in sixth, despite starting in the fourteenth position.

Ray Scott, who has been idle in racing for a few months, tripped the fastest time of the group en route to his win in group 3 race 1 action. Revere Greist, on the pole for his second consecutive race, finished in second just ahead of Charlie Plumb in third.

The day's racing ended with the Ed Roth Memorial, which saw the team of Bonilla/Argetsinger take the victory over team Franc/Bryant and Duerson/Waddell. This race was won in the pits as team Bonilla/Argetsinger was able to execute a perfect driver changeover in pit lane. All teams featuring instructors started from the rear of the grid.

Day two of racing was held under threatening skies and light rain. The regional cars were converted over to treads, which portended slower than usual lap times. Javier Gonzalez started the day as he did a day earlier, with a win. Gonzalez, who led five of the eight lap race also tripped a fastest lap time of 2:59.445 sec, well shy of the track record of 2:24.126 sec due to the rain. Quentin Wahl drove a dynamic race to chase down the second place result. Wahl, who had started from 11th, uprooted Revere Greist midway through the race. Greist would follow in third. David Harri solidified his weekend with a sixth place result, which earned him Most Improved Driver for 2001.

In group 2 race 2, Scott Poirier secured his first win of the weekend over Craig Duerson and Matt Franc. First year racer Laura Rowe, who shared a battle with Jay Fuchs and Don Deese, continues to improve her times and posture around the track. Whitney Bellows showed some of his previous form by finishing seventh from 15th at the start.

Quentin Wahl picked up the win in group 3 race 2 and set a fast lap time of 2:28.135 sec. in the process. Wahl advanced from fourth, bounding Ray Scott, Revere Greist and Charlie Plumb along the way. Plumb and Scott came home in second and third place. From 15th, newcomer Desi Sartelli ran a brilliant race, passing several to move up and finish in eighth.

Quentin Wahl won a second consecutive race when he narrowly beat Masters Champion Bud Risser to the checkered flag in the Masters race. The margin of victory was a thin half-second. Risser set the fastest lap of the group with a time of 2:30.211 sec. Peter Stolper, who had led the majority of the race, followed in third place.

In the Sebring Finale Memorial, Scott Poirier won over Craig Duerson and Scott Presti. Duerson and Presti were seeing double duty as they were running in the Formula Dodge National Championship races.

Congratulations to Southern Series Champion Craig Duerson, Masters Champion Bud Risser and all racers, family and friends!

- Andrew Torres

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Scott Ray , Javier Gonzalez , Scott Poirier , Skip Barber , Craig Duerson , Quentin Wahl , Revere Greist , Robert Pellosie , Gerardo Bonilla