SBRS: Trammell Detroit race report

Round five of the CART/Barber Dodge Pro Series is now in the record books. June 15-17, 2001 found the Trammell Racing team at the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle, a 2.346 mile temporary street circuit. This was a busy ...

Round five of the CART/Barber Dodge Pro Series is now in the record books. June 15-17, 2001 found the Trammell Racing team at the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at Belle Isle, a 2.346 mile temporary street circuit.

This was a busy weekend for me. On the Tuesday before I was to depart for Detroit, I got a call from the Celebrity Team Challenge people, asking if I could fill in for someone who was not able to participate in the Dodge Neon race. I was excited about being able to race in two totally different types of race cars. I qualified 5th and ended up finishing 6th. At the start of the race, I got jumped a little, but I didn’t worry too much. I fell behind a little and could never really get caught up. I had a good time and wanted to make sure that I crossed the finish line. The Neons are a blast to drive, but all good things must end and then lead to something even better, which leads directly to my Barber Dodge race.

Immediately after the Celebrity Team Challenge race was over I got out of the car and was golf carted to the pit straight, where I would meet up with my number 26. I was belted in, hooked up and ready to start. A few minutes later the pace car was rolling and we were ready to begin our race. I started 15th, which I feel could have been much better, but our second qualifying was cut very short and up to that point, I was not able to better the previous qualifying time which had placed me tenth. I need to work on that. So I started 15th and was running 11th when a full course yellow had come out. The field bunched and then the green waved again. I was working to set up the person in front of me and made a small boo boo going into turn 8. I went in just a little too deep and went off line which allowed the car behind me to get by. That was a bummer. The racing continued with the competition heating up. I was in a group of three going down into turn 3 when the car on the inside was working to make a pass. I had to let him have it, but I didn’t want to back out of the throttle too much. I was going to wait until the last minute and then tuck in behind him, but I was forced out a little wide at the turn in and had to use the rumble strips on the outside of turn three, but towards the end of the rumble strips, the tire barriers were out a little at the end which caught my left front wing hard and almost flipped the car over. I guess it looked more dramatic than it felt. I managed to keep the engine running and when it landed I immediately pulled it off line and out of the way. I realized that the front suspension seemed to still be in tact, so I drove the car to the next corner station and yelled at them to pull the left front wing off the car- they did and I put my foot in it and kept going. Once I got going, I radioed to Terry that I had just “bumped” the tires and that I was okay. He laughed at me, because he had seen the footage and it looked pretty spectacular, oh well, I wanted to finish the race and I hate to give up. The track went full course yellow which allowed me to catch back up with the field so I wouldn’t lose a lap. We get the green flag again and we are off. I attempted to get by a couple of cars in the last couple of laps, but was unsuccessful. I finished 13th, which is the best finish so far this year, but not as good as it’s going to get.

Our next stop on the schedule is Cleveland Burke-Lakefront Airport, June 29-July 1, 2001 with the CART/FedEx Championship Series.

Thank you to my sponsors for making this possible, Forsythe Racing, Inc., ReO SpineLine, Klein Tools, Freelance Lettering, and of course MotorsportsMD.com (My Husband, Terry).

-Rhonda Trammell

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Rhonda Trammell