Cleveland - Paul Gentilozzi ( ...
Cleveland - Paul Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls HomeLink Jaguar XKR) scored his third consecutive victory of the season this afternoon in the Trans-Am Series 100 presented by Simple Green. With the win, Gentilozzi moved past Bob Tullius into third on the All-Time victory list with 22 career wins.
The race was delayed for one hour due to heavy rain in the Cleveland area. Gentilozzi, who began the parade lap on rain tires ducked into the pits midway through the pace lap to change to slicks. The gamble paid off because shortly afterward the sun came out allowing the track to dry significantly.
"I don't know if we were smart or lucky today, but we'll call it smart," said Gentilozzi. "It was a tough decision. We went out for one lap to see and then made a judgment decision. We had a wonderful car and were fast all weekend. We did what we had to do and got lucky."
Stu Hayner (#58 Trenton Forging Soenen Motorsports Ford Mustang) picked up a second place finish, his first podium finish of the 2001 season. Hayner was one of several drivers that came in during the pace lap for slick tires.
"We had Dave Moxlow of Trenton Forging in the stands this afternoon," said Hayner. "He's a pilot calling every airport to check on the weather. He advised us that it was looking clear and that we should go to slicks. The gamble really paid off."
Johnny Miller (#64 Automationdirect EATON Cutler Hammer Jaguar XKR) finished third, his fourth consecutive podium finish. Miller challenged the early race leader, Brian Simo (#88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta), but was unable to pick up a bonus point for leading a lap. Miller began the afternoon on rain tires and did not pit for slicks until lap 17.
Simo led the first 31 laps before coming in for slick tires midway through lap 32. By leading the most laps on the afternoon, Simo won the BFGoodrich Tires Take Control Award.
Tomy Drissi (#15 TDM Motorsports Jaguar XKR) was the winner of the MSD Ignition Take Control Award which is given to the driver who improves the most from qualifying. Drissi began the afternoon in 27th place and finished with a solid seventh place finish.
The points standings in the race for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup after round five are: Gentilozzi, 134; Miller, 129; Lou Gigliotti, 115; Simo, 114; Tommy Archer, 106; Michael Lewis, 86 points; Drissi, 67; Bob Ruman, 64; Simon Gregg, 62; Hayner, 60.
By leading the race after Round Five, Gentilozzi picked up a $10,000 cash bonus from High Tech Performance Trailers. In addition, Gentilozzi collected a 2,500 bonus from Jaguar as well as a $2,500 bonus for winning the Motorcity True Performance Pole Award this weekend.
Today's race will be broadcast by CBS Sports at 3:30 (EDT) on Sunday, July 1. Round six of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, the Wine Country 100, will be broadcast live from Sears Point Raceway at 2:30 (EDT) on Saturday, July 21.