St. Petersburg report

KENDALL GOES FROM LAST TO FIRST TO TAKE ST. PETERSBURG TRANS-AM SEASON-OPENER ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 23) -- Tom Kendall, driving the No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, came back from an early-race spin to claim...


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 23) -- Tom Kendall, driving the No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, came back from an early-race spin to claim his 16th career Trans-Am victory, a 1.853-second margin of victory over his teammate Jon Gooding at the Kash N' Karry Florida Grand Prix. On the third lap, Kendall, who started third, was running fourth when he spun at an oil-slickened turn seven on the 1.69-mile, eight-turn temporary St. Petersburg street circuit. While a full-course yellow came out to clean the track, Kendall rejoined the field from the back of the pack, setting the stage for his back-to-front charge. "There was a lot of oil down and I though the other guys would crash--then they made it through and I was the one spinning," said Kendall. Dorsey Schroeder, driving the No. 12 Raybestos Mustang Cobra, started the 60-lap, 101.4-mile race from the pole and led the first nine laps before a broken rear axle forced him to pit, losing six laps. After repairs Schroeder managed to work his way back through the 25-car field to an 11th-place finish, four laps down from the leaders. As Schroeder pitted, his teammate Brian Simo, in the No. 22 Valvoline Mustang Cobra, took over the lead and held off Paul Gentilozzi for 16 laps before dropping to second as Gentilozzi made his move for the lead. Gentilozzi held the lead position for the next 27 laps until pressure from Kendall, who had advanced to second when Simo was forced to pit to clear debris stuck to his radiator opening, caused Gentilozzi to over drive a corner, spinning at turn seven. "Things really went my way today," said Kendall. "I got some really good breaks in traffic, and Paul got some bad breaks, and then I was right behind him and able to take advantage when he spun." "I messed up," said Gentilozzi. "We'd hurt the motor early, breaking a rocker-arm, and I was nursing the car a bit. Towards the end Tom was right behind me and I new he'd be fast on the straight-away so I got aggressive in the corner, hit a bump and spun." Once in the lead, Kendall was there to stay, earning he DynoMax Turn On The Power Award for his winning charge, while Gentilozzi recovered to finish third, followed by Greg Pickett, No. 6 AutoLink/HighwayMaster Chevrolet Camaro, and Bill Saunders, in the No. 8 HighwayMaster/AutoLink Camaro. Gooding's second-place result was his career best effort and his first podium finish, while Gentilozzi's third was his 20th top-three performance. Finishing sixth to earn the Raybestos Rising Star of the Race Award was Don Meluzio, in the No. 31 Manheim Auto Auction Camaro, while Pickett earned the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger of the Race Award for improving 20 positions and Simo picked up the CIPA Mirrors Pass of the Race Award. With the win, Kendall takes the points lead with 33, followed by Gooding and Gentilozzi, 28, Pickett, 23, and Saunders, 21. The Trans-Am next compete April 19 at Phoenix International Raceway, part of the Desert Star Classic.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Results from Sunday's 60-lap, 101.4-mile Kash N' Karry Florida Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Trans-Am race, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out. 1, (3), Tom Kendall, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 60. 2, (2), Jon Gooding, Longwood, Fla., Ford Mustang Cobra, 60. 3, (5), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, 60. 4, (24), Greg Pickett, Alamo, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 60. 5, (23), Bill Saunders, Dallas, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, 60. 6, (10), Don Meluzio, York, Pa., Chevrolet Camaro, 59. 7, (4), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 58. 8, (9), Randy Ruhlman, Greensboro, N.C., Dodge, 57. 9, (12), Peter Shea, Irvine, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 56. 10, (11), John W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet Camaro, 56. 11, (1), Dorsey Schroeder, Osage Beach, Mo., Ford Mustang Cobra, 55. 12, (17), Frank Cioppettini Jr., Morristown, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 55. 13, (21), Jim Briody, Cherry Hill, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 54. 14, (18), Bill Eagle, Tampa, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 52. 15, (20), James G. Crist, Clearwater Beach, Fla., Chevrolet Corvette, 51. 16, (25), Jim Maguire, Glendale, Ariz., Chevrolet Camaro, 39. 17, (15), Trent Terry, Benton, Ill., Olds Cutlass, 38, Mech. 18, (7), Mike Borkowski, Middlebury, Conn., Ford Mustang Cobra, 33, Mech. 19, (6), Max Lagod, Barrington, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 27, Crash. 20, (16), Rick Dittman, Mt. Prospect, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 26, Mech. 21, (19), Alain Nadal, Miami, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 22, Mech. 22, (13), Kenny Bupp, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 20, Mech. 23, (14), Bob Ruman, Monroe Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 19, Mech. 24, (8), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 2, Mech. 25, (22), David Rubins MD, Treasure Island, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 1, Crash.

Time of race: 1 hours, 14 minutes, 44.227 seconds. Average speed: 81.405 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 1.8530 seconds Fastest race lap: Tom Kendall, 1:05.209 (93.300 mph) Lap leaders: laps 1-9, #12 Schroeder; laps 10-26, #22 Simio; laps 27-54, #5 Gentilozzi; laps 55-60, #11 Kendall.

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Paul Gentilozzi , Randy Ruhlman , Dorsey Schroeder , Tom Kendall , Max Lagod , Bob Ruman , Greg Pickett , Michael Lewis , Trent Terry , Mike Borkowski , Kenny Bupp , Alain Nadal , Jim Briody
Teams CIP