USSS: Pikes Peak preview

USSS Indy Cars Rev Up For "Spirit of America" Indy Car Grand Prix - October 14 at Pikes Peak International Raceway (October 8, 2001 -- Fountain, Colorado) -- The Indy car and Champ car drivers of the United States Speedway Series return to ...

USSS Indy Cars Rev Up For "Spirit of America" Indy Car Grand Prix - October 14 at Pikes Peak International Raceway

(October 8, 2001 -- Fountain, Colorado) -- The Indy car and Champ car drivers of the United States Speedway Series return to Colorado, October 14 for the "Spirit of America Indy Car Grand Prix, the second race of the USSS 2001 season at Pikes Peak International Raceway. 

Ken Petrie (Parker, Colorado) has dominated the inaugural USSS Indy Car championship, with a near-perfect year in his fleet of Precision Industries March-Chevrolets (#2, #77, & #95.) He has earned 137 of 138 available points, after taking six consecutive poles, leading the most laps in every race, and winning five races to date, including the first Pikes Peak Grand Prix in May.   

"I really have to credit my crew chief, Arlon Koops. I know the car is going to be great right out of the trailer, but I'm looking forward to an exciting challenge this weekend from both Greg Gorden and Phil Erickson," said Petrie, "Both would have been pushing me all the way at Phoenix, if Greg hadn't had gearbox troubles and Phil wasn't nursing some fuel system problems. I'm sure both will be back in top form and ready to give me a run for the Spirit of America trophy."

Erickson (Phoenix, Arizona) has been the only one to break Petrie's stranglehold, in his #7 Erickson Companies Lola-Buick. He won his first Indy car race in July at the Dodge City Indy Car Showdown and has a lock on second spot in the standings, 29 points back of Petrie.

Gorden (Colorado Springs, Colorado) has been an arch-rival of Petrie for many years, but mechanical gremlins have prevented him from pressuring Ken at many USSS events this season. He did finish second in May at PPIR and his chief mechanic, Joe Wanninger, is sure to have the #37 Pikes Peak International Raceway-sponsored G-Force-Aurora Indy car back at full speed this weekend.  

His teammate, Mike Lee, (Florissant, Colorado) has also had more than his share of engine difficulties this season, but his #40 Hilton Valdoro Resort / Formby Ford Autoplaza Lola-Buick is ready to carry Lee to the checkered flag. The third member of Gorden Motorsports, Russell Reeves (Suwanee, Georgia), put his extensive SCCA road racing experience to good use at the recent Firebird Indy Car Grand Prix, bringing #19 Precision Shooting Equipment Lola-Buick home in third.

Holding onto third in the USSS standings, Eric Koselke (Indianapolis, Indiana) is still looking to make his first trip to the USSS podium, after finishing fourth numerous times in his #17 Lennon & Associates Lola-Chevrolet. His teammate, John McDonald is currently tied with Gorden for fourth spot, after a season-best sixth-place finish at Firebird in his #15 Slover's Porting Services March-Chevrolet. 

Other Colorado drivers to watch include Dale Buckley (Commerce City) in the #48 Buckley & Company Lola-Chevrolet, who finished fifth in the first Pikes Peak Grand Prix and third at the first Sandia Indy Car Shootout; Ted Hummell (Castle Rock) in the #87 Jaguar Denver March-Chevrolet; Rob Van Westenberg (Morrison) in the #77 Humbug Racing March-Chevrolet; and Harold Erickson (Evergreen) in the #21 ADI March-Buick.

Gates open for the USSS "Spirit of America Indy Car Grand Prix" at 7:00 am daily, with practice and qualifying scheduled for Saturday, October 13 and the 25-lap race at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 14. It is Round 7 of the 8-race USSS 2001 championship and is being held in conjunction with the National Auto Sport Association High Performance Driving Event and special guests, Pro Formance Racing from B.C., Canada.

Admission is free to the public and donations will be collected by USSS drivers for the United Way September 11th Relief Fund.

Held under auspices of NATIONAL AUTO SPORT ASSOCIATION www.nasacolorado.com

- www.usssracing.com

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Eric Koselke