Moses Smith finishes 5th at Portland International Raceway. Portland International Raceway would be the home for round five of the Star Mazda North American Championship. This weekend would be the second half of a "back to back week of...
Moses Smith finishes 5th at Portland International Raceway.
Portland International Raceway would be the home for round five of the Star Mazda North American Championship. This weekend would be the second half of a "back to back week of racing." With motor problems plaguing Moses at Infineon Raceway one week prior to this event, he was in hopes of a better finish.
As the weekend started off it seemed as though all the motor problems had been solved finding Moses towards the top of the time charts. Unfortunately, as the second day of testing rolled around, a new problem in the electrical department seemed to find itself upon the 3 Dimensional Services / HASA Pool Products, Star Mazda.
Qualifying and the race were scheduled for Saturday. Fortunately, all the problems were solved before the qualifying session. This would be a big relief for Moses and the American Speed Factory Team who had worked so hard to resolve all the drive train issues in time to qualify. "I am very confident that we have solved all the engine problems that we have been experiencing; now I just have to qualify well." Moses expressed before heading into the early morning qualifying session.
Qualifying results were very tight placing the top sixteen cars within eight one-hundredths of each other. Moses would find himself eleventh on the grid. "We were a little off on the setup for qualifying, but I am glad that I am starting on the inside row. I think this race is going to be a race of survival both for the car, and for the driver enduring this 102 degree weather." Moses explained of his race strategy.
This strategy would work out to be very good plan. As the field of 31 cars headed into the first turn, a major chain of accidents erupted. Many cars had made contact which resulted in a number of cars spinning. One car flipped into the infield. Amazingly, although Moses was caught in the middle of this multi car pile up, he would manage to escape untouched, and improve a few positions in the process. By the time the field took the restart, Moses ascended to eighth place. By mid-race, Moses had avoided yet another multi car pile up, improving his position to fifth place.
Despite numerous attempts to advance his position, Moses would finish the race in the fifth position. Twelve of the thirty-one entries would not finish the race due to mechanical problems, or racing incidents, holding true to what Moses had predicted the race to be.
"We have had a bad couple of runs the last two races, so I really wanted to just finish well this week, and get back on track - hopefully start building back some momentum. I knew our set-up was not the best, but I was pretty confident in our race strategy. I would have liked to make it back up on the podium, but I am very happy with my fifth place finish."
This race will be televised on Speed on August 22, 2004 at 9:00 am PST. The Infineon Race will be broadcast on Speed on August 1, 2004 at 11:00 am and again on August 6, 2004 at 8:30 pm. Please tune in to experience all the action.
Also for more information on Moses or the Star Mazda North American Championship, please visit www.mosessmith.com.