(September 3, 2000) Leighton Reese (Minnetonka, MN) lead the entire field in Round 8 of the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series today in Ft. Worth, TX at the Texas Motor Speedway. Weather conditions were treacherous as the heat index reached ...
(September 3, 2000) Leighton Reese (Minnetonka, MN) lead the entire field in Round 8 of the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series today in Ft. Worth, TX at the Texas Motor Speedway. Weather conditions were treacherous as the heat index reached nearly 130 on the race track, but Leighton remained as cool as could be to take the victory when the checkered flag dropped.
Many teams experienced serious car trouble, as was suspected. Paul Gentalozzi, who was running near the front of the pack, had a fuel pump go bad, and was forced to end his day early. Other teams that had lead at one point or another, such as Brian Simo and Jack Willes, also experienced trouble of some sort or another. Chris Neville lead quite a few laps only to have his car break on the only yellow of the day. The yellow lasted 3 laps, and that's when the fun began. On the green flag following the yellow, Leighton and I Miller, in the #64 car, were both able to pass Mike Lewis, as problems then initiated for him. Reese had a tremendous restart, enabling him to hold off Miller for the next 10 laps or so to the finish.
When asked how it was to see Johnny Miller in his mirrors keeping in mind the incident in Sebring earlier this season, Leighton replied, "It was kind of scary, all I could see was green, but Johnny raced me good and clean. We made contact a few times, but it was clean and it was racing. I wouldn't be worried to race next to him now like I may have been earlier this season (since Sebring)." When asked how it felt to finally get such a well deserved victory, Reese said "It is such an exciting thing!! My guys have worked so hard this season, and to get a victory in this kind of heat is unbelievable. I think we should do our next race in Saudi Arabia!"
Leighton was able to handle the 110 degree plus weather of Texas thanks to the cooling suit that he was wearing. As he had mentioned earlier in the weekend, those with suits similar to his would be there at the end, and they were. Leighton has also recently donned a new safety apparatus, the HANS device, which helps with keeping the head, shoulders and neck in alignment in the event of an accident. Reese is the first driver in the Trans-Am series to wear such a device. It will be a mandatory device in Formula 1 and some CART races next season. Reese is very pleased with the device that is made by Jim Downing, and will be seen wearing it at every event in the future.
This was indeed a well deserved and well earned victory for Leighton Reese and the entire #66 Banner Engineering/Phillips 66 Pontiac Grand Prix. Our hats off to Leighton and the crew for a great job well done! Stay tuned to our website, www.theracesite.com/leighton, for pictures and continuos race updates.