BILLY GOSHEN CHARGES BACK FROM SECOND LAP CRASH AT IOWA SPEEDWAY Placentia, CA - The first annual Pizza Ranch 100 was Round 7 of the 2009 Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear. The event was held on Friday, July 10 at the Rusty...
BILLY GOSHEN CHARGES BACK FROM SECOND LAP CRASH AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
Placentia, CA - The first annual Pizza Ranch 100 was Round 7 of the 2009 Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear. The event was held on Friday, July 10 at the Rusty Wallace owned Iowa Speedway located in Newton, Iowa. The schedule was for a one day event scheduled around NASCAR's ARCA Series with two practices, qualifying and the race.
The first practice went off on schedule at 9:30 A.M. under threatening skies. The session was cut short by the officials and the recommendation was given to the teams to head for cover as quick as possible as a wall of water was descending on the track. Fortunately, the storm was short lived and the Speedway crew was able to dry the track in time for the second session at 12:30 P.M. The times were extremely close with Billy Goshen recording the 13th fastest lap at 22.634 seconds just .3 seconds off the fastest time in the session.
Qualifying started at 3:00 P.M. with the procedure to be only one car on the track at a time. Each driver would get one lap out then the green, white and the checkered, another first in the 2009 season. Based on the preceding qualifying times, Billy's first lap out was very fast and the Goshen Motorsports Team anticipated a very good second lap. Unfortunately, a problem that occurred earlier in the season struck again. Between Turn 1 & 2 there was a fuel pickup problem causing the engine to sputter eliminating any chance of a fast lap. Goshen's Lap 1 time of 22.765 seconds would put him 13th for the start of the race.
The Star Mazda race would be the main event of the day starting 8:30 P.M. under the lights, also a first for the season. With Iowa Speedway being a high banked oval, the cars would be at full speed around the entire 7/8ths of a mile. This had everyone on the team holding their breath as the 22 cars, lined up side by side, came out of Turn 4 to take the green. It was a clean first lap, but on Lap 2 a couple of cars got together bringing out a caution. With Billy slowing behind the cars in front of him, one of the cars in the back apparently did not see the caution and came barreling through the pack, smashing the front wing on the #82 car. Goshen was able to get into the pit on Lap 3 allowing the crew to put on a new nose and wing. As the pace car was heading into Turn 1, Billy was able to get out just in front of it to keep from going down 4 laps.
Due to accidents not of his making, Billy Goshen, for the second time this year, was looking at the entire field in front of him in the early stage of a race. There were several more serious crashes throughout the 100 laps. Goshen was able to use the restarts to his advantage and by Lap 80 of the race had moved through the field into 12th place. With less than twenty laps to go, Billy was closing in on the 11th place car, but slowing lap times gave the team a strong indication that the engine was failing. Goshen was able to nurse the car to the checkered, holding onto a 12th place finish.
As he climbed out of the car, Billy Goshen said "I can't believe all the obstacles I have had to overcome this year. With the engine giving out, I guess I was lucky to even finish the race. This will be the fourth new engine this season along with a new gearbox after Sebring. What more can happen?"