VR-JPMD #20: GP, DSR interviews; SSA bounce;
Valvoline Runoffs '97
Copyright (c) 1997 John P. M. Dillon
Mark Youngquist was bounced from SSA after tech, and T1 is still pending, but all other results from Friday are now final without changes. Rumors are that Youngquist's car was the wrong model year (too old), but these rumors are unconfirmed.
Weather today is clear but cold, maybe low 60's.
Here are raw notes from GP Driver interviews:
GP 1st: Hugh Armstrong 2nd: Steve Sargis 3rd: Kevin Allen
Ann: "Most exciting race of this weekend so far."
HA: That was a great race.
Steve: Lap 13, you were in lead, spun, and what you were thinking about the other.
KA: I came over hump at T.11 and saw Prather and ? in front of me slow, so I was looking for a yellow flag. Spun because I was a bonehead; went a fraction of an inch too far. When I sat in grass forever, the car wouldn't restart.
HA: We were battling.
SS: They weren't slowing each other up enough!
SS: Ran top 2 whole race. Lap 11, got stuck in 2nd gear, took almost a lap to get out of second, then saw Kevin spin, started puttin' coals to the boiler, thoguht I'd rattle him, really didn't until the last lap, I thought I could've gotten around him when he stuck. Fun race, unfortunately stuck. But I couldn't shake these guys. Always watching for Kent [Prather].
KA: First time I was even able to run with these guys. I was expecting all of them to come around me at once.
HA: My right front brake locks up in T.7.
KA: After spun, my throttle hung open.
HA: When Kevin spun assumed that Steve had spun off, I was shortshifting, I'd never led RO's before, wanted to play it safe, then crew gave me +4 seconds, I thought "what? and saw Steve coming." Tried a defensive line in carrousel, car was pushing, then suddenly went off track, then felt a thump and spun around. I jammed it into first and got going.
KA: Rick Klein built my car, all the credit goes to him.
HA: Bachman built my motor, helps me every year.
KA: I was excited to stay with Steve; he's my hero, I've gotta catch him.
DSR Driver interviews
1st: Michael Reupert 2nd: Al Beasley, Jr 3rd: Lutrell Haras
LH: What kept you from lead: I had a really good start, tires working well at the start, they just wore me down. I don't think I went any slower, they just picked up speed.
AB: Just before Michael caught up and something broke on the car, it wouldn't turn as well in one direction. I was gonna try to make a run on him on the last lap. THen we got caught up in traffic, he got away from me, I just hung on for second.
MR: Won in '90 as well. Had the fastest qual time here. Strategy: I had to patient, had to wait for hard compound tires to come around. Couldn't run hard enough for tires to come up to temperature. Got a couple of breaks, when Jason went off in front of us, it came up. Planning and watching where I could get the other guys, knew where my strengths were.
MR: Learned patience 2 years ago in the Turn 1 wall. Learned a lot of confidence in the car, never finished worth than 2nd. Thank all my competiotrs, it was a close race but clean, knew I could trust them.
LH: I thought Rueupuert was gonna run off and hide, I was surprised to hang with him. Third trip to ROs, finished 5th in '95. Weather has been excellent, but cold this morning.
LH: Engine is Yamaha FTR1000
MR: Engine: Homebuilt by me and Terry Harvey (brother-in-law). Wanna give him credit, he's a big part of the engine program. Forget to mention him on the podium, want to make sure he's recognized.
AB: Just switched to Yamaha this spring, still getting it sorted out. Doesn't have the same problems the old engine did.
LH: Bob Wirth R&D Services is doing the engine work. Engines have been no problem. [Laurie: wife reported some handling problems.] Came out with new shocks, but most of time fighting a water overheating problem due to changed radiator and ran out of time testing the setup.
Laurie: Mark Hoover broke crank on the good motor this one didn't do as well.
David Kaiser's not here this year, had a lot of bad luck, Laguna problem getting car ready, then crashed at top of corkscrew and bent the tub. Choice was mad thrash to put the car together or take the year off, so decided on the latter.