WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pole sitter Butch Leitzinger led 59 of 61 laps this afternoon in the nation's capital to win the BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series Capital 100. "I always thought that this would be a great market for a race," said Leitzinger after his...
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pole sitter Butch Leitzinger led 59 of 61 laps this afternoon in the nation's capital to win the BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series Capital 100. "I always thought that this would be a great market for a race," said Leitzinger after his second win of the season and his fourth straight podium finish. "I didn't have a problem all weekend. It's great to be in a position to win so early in my Trans-Am career."
With the exception of runner-up Paul Gentilozzi, Leitzinger basically ran away and hid from the rest of the 22-car field. Leitzinger led Boris Said, Tony Ave, Michael Lewis, and Johnny Miller into Turn 1. But as Leitzinger pulled away from the front runners, Gentilozzi began working his way up the grid from his sixth place starting position. By lap 20, he was up to second. And three laps later, he briefly assumed the lead when Leitzinger pitted for fuel. Then the race's second caution, one lap after Gentilozzi had made his own stop, enabled him to line up right behind Leitzinger on the subsequent restart.
At first, Leitzinger opened up a decent gap on Gentilozzi's Jaguar, but Gentilozzi gradually started reeling in Leitzinger's Corvette as the laps continued to wind down. Although he eventually managed to cut the lead to less than a second, Gentilozzi couldn't find a way past Leitzinger. "Paul would come at me in waves and I'd see him coming and try to defend myself," Leitzinger explained.
"I was very comfortable with the car," explained Gentilozzi. "I could close on him under braking, but he could get off the corner better. Near the end, I gained six tenths on him in one lap. We were going into Turn 1 with a car between us and I was hoping that it was Justin Bell, but it was Simon Gregg. I thought this could be my one shot at Butch. I went in real deep and as I committed, so did Simon and I launched over the median."
Gentilozzi's daring overtaking maneuver on Gregg cost him any shot he may have had at the win. As a result, Leitzinger coasted across the line more than a second ahead of Gentilozzi.
Said, who lost his power steering ten laps into the race, finished 15 second behind Gentilozzi. "I probably made a mistake putting hard tires on the back," he admitted. "I couldn't really do much with Paul so I let him by." Thanks to his sixth podium of the year, Said remains 25 points ahead of Gentilozzi in the points standings.