Said collects series-high fourth victory of the season in Johnson 100 at Road America. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 17, 2002) -- Boris Said responded to recent challenges to his Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup points lead in the most...
Said collects series-high fourth victory of the season in Johnson 100 at Road America.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 17, 2002) -- Boris Said responded to recent challenges to his Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup points lead in the most convincing way possible Saturday when he drove to his fourth victory of the season in the Johnson Controls 100 at Road America.
Said (#33 Applied Computer Solutions Panoz Esperante) took permanent control of the lead on the 11th of 25 laps, when he passed Don Sak (#10 Trenton Forging/missingkids.com/Revolution Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette) following a restart. Said went on to a 0.866-second victory over Paul Gentilozzi in the eighth of 12 rounds in the 2002 Trans-Am Series championship.
Said's victory joins his previous triumphs at Mosport, Lime Rock and Cleveland, and gives him 231 championship points for the season, 29 more than Gentilozzi (#3 Johnson Controls/ Microchip/ Futaba/Matrix One Jaguar XKR), who moved past Butch Leitzinger and back into second place with 202 points.
Leitzinger (#88 Tommy Bahama/Tom Gloy Chevrolet Corvette) entered the weekend second in the championship, but battled a weekend of misfortune, culminating when his car detoured into a gravel trap at Road America's famed Canada Corner on the 19th lap. He ultimately finished 21st in the 23-car field, three laps down, and dropped to third in the title race with 189 points.
Said enjoyed much greater success, collecting his seventh podium finish in eight 2002 starts and nearly doubling his points lead coming into the event.
"The team gave me a great car like they do everywhere," observed Said, who averaged 87.39 miles per hour and led 20 of 25 laps en route to the checkered flag. "There was no drama out there. We ran in clean air all afternoon and just had a great day."
Said's first stint on the lead came following an accident involving pole sitter Kenny Wilden (#40 XtremeLens Chevrolet Corvette) on Lap 2. Wilden, who had led the first lap from the pole, struck a concrete retaining wall at Turn 13, bringing out a red flag, which caused the race to be stopped for 25 minutes.
Wilden sustained a mild concussion in the incident. Following his extraction from the car he was transported by ground to St. Nicholas Hospital of Sheboygan and was due to be released Saturday night following a series of x-rays and a Magnetic Resonance Imaging test.
"I'm fine," Wilden said. "I'm sore and I've got a headache, but I'm very thankful for the job the safety team did in getting me out of the car. I'm looking forward to meeting them all again and thanking them."
"It was unfortunate what happened to Kenny," Said noted. "You never like to see that happen to anybody, and I'm sure we would have had a great race."
Gentilozzi's runner-up result was his fourth podium performance of the season, including a victory at Long Beach. He extended Trans-Am Series records for starts (181), top-three finishes (59), top-five finishes (92) and top-10 finishes (122).
"We hung in there," Gentilozzi said. "Being up front, Boris had the advantage of not really having to work his car. I had to use up more car than I wanted to, and I just couldn't get by.
"But the championship is far from over. Until Boris goes in to the last race with a 34-point lead, it's still up for grabs, and we're going to keep putting the pressure on. There's lots of exciting racing left."
Johnny Miller (#64 Automation Direct/Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR) finished third, his third podium result of the season and his first since taking runner-up honors at Mosport in Round 2. He and Leitzinger were involved in the most entertaining racing of the day before Miller finally took third place on the lap before Leitzinger's excursion.
"We had a great run today," Miller said. "You always want to win, that's what it's ultimately all about, but after some of the great racing today, third [place] feels pretty good and will do.
"We raced each other really hard for a few laps," Miller said of his duel with Leitzinger. "It took some body work and a bunch of brake pad to finally get by him. It was an absolute blast -- great fun."
Stuart Hayner (#02 Trenton Forging/Tom Bell Chevrolet Corvette) finished fourth, followed by Tony Ave (#53 Trilithic Panoz Esperante). Hayner posted his fifth consecutive top-six finish, including a season-best third at Cleveland, while Ave recorded his second fifth-place finish in his past three events.
The Johnson Controls 100 will air via tape delay Sunday at noon ET on SPEED Channel. The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup continues with Round 9 on Sunday, Sept. 1 on the streets of downtown Denver, Colo.
Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup championship leaders (unofficial, following 8 of 12 events): Boris Said, 231; Paul Gentilozzi, 202; Butch Leitzinger, 189; Johnny Miller, 177; Stu Hayner, 157; Randy Ruhlman 156; Tony Ave, 145; Tomy Drissi 133; Michael Lewis, 131; Simon Gregg, 110; Paul Fix, 110.
-scca pro racing-