KENDALL GOES NINE-FOR-NINE AT WATKINS GLEN - ECLIPSES DONOHUE'S ALL-TIME CONSECUTIVE VICTORY MARK; FORD CLINCHES MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - With a 0.985-second margin of victory, Tom Kendall broke Mark Donohue's...
KENDALL GOES NINE-FOR-NINE AT WATKINS GLEN - ECLIPSES DONOHUE'S ALL-TIME CONSECUTIVE VICTORY MARK; FORD CLINCHES MANUFACTURERS' CHAMPIONSHIP
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - With a 0.985-second margin of victory, Tom Kendall broke Mark Donohue's 1968 record for consecutive wins in a season, scoring his ninth-straight victory of 1997 after beating Paul Gentilozzi to the checkered flag at the Watkins Glen Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am Classic. Kendall, driving the No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, was fast-qualifier, led every lap and turned in the fastest race lap en route to his 24th career win and first at Watkins Glen, earning the DynoMax Turn On the Power Award for the best drive of the race in the process. Kendall's victory also clinched Ford's 11th Trans-Am Manufacturers' Championship title. "Winning this race is staggering," said Kendall. "There were so many reasons to want to win this race--myself and my entire crew are fully aware of the significance of this achievement." Gentilozzi, driving the No. 5 RISO Chevrolet Camaro, started fourth and ran third for much of the 42-lap, 102.9-mile race before making a lap-36 pass on Dorsey Schroeder for second, earning the CIPA Mirrors Pass of the Race for his turn one maneuver. Schroeder, in the No. 12 Raybestos Mustang Cobra, finished third, followed by Jon Gooding, in the No. 16 Mountain Dew Mustang Cobra, and Brian Simo, in the No. 22 Valvoline Mustang Cobra. Allessandro Zampedri, making his series debut in the No. 51 Dinema/Rocketsports Camaro, earned the Raybestos Rising Star of the Race award for his seventh-place finish, and Rick Dittman, driving the No. 24 Fel-Pro M&D Auto Camaro, earned the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger award for his 14th-place finish, improving 18 spots from his 32nd-place start. After nine races, Kendall leads the Drivers' Championship point standings with 304, 99 points ahead of Gooding, with 205. Schroeder is third with 211 points, followed by Greg Pickett and Simo, 182; Gentilozzi, 180; and Mike Borkowski, 174.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. Results from Saturday's 42-lap, 102.9-mile Serengeti Eyewear Trans-Am race at Watkins Glen International, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out. 1. (1), Tom Kendall, Santa Monica, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 42. 2. (4), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 3. (2), Dorsey Schroeder, Osage Beach, Mo., Ford Mustang Cobra, 42. 4. (3), Jon Gooding, Longwood, Fla., Ford Mustang Cobra, 42. 5. (6), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 42. 6. (5), Greg Pickett, Alamo, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 7. (9), Alessandro Zampedri, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 8. (8), Bill Saunders, Dallas, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 9. (11), John W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 10. (13), Leighton Reese, Eden Prairie, Minn., Pont Grand Prix, 42. 11. (15), R.J. Valentine, Hingham, Mass., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 12. (17), Bruce Nesbitt, Chicago, Ill., Ford Mustang Cobra, 42. 13. (12), Don Meluzio, York, Pa., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 14. (32), Rick Dittman, Prairieview, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 15. (20), Craig Shafer, Somerset, Pa., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 16. (23), Peter Shea, Newport Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 17. (21), Bruce Barkelew, Columbia, Mo., Chevrolet Camaro, 42. 18. (29), Mike Borkowski, Middlebury, Conn., Ford Mustang Cobra, 41. 19. (22), Jerry Simmons, Ancaster, Ontario, Chevrolet Camaro, 41. 20. (35), Frank Cioppettini Jr., Morristown, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 41. 21. (26), Tony DiLorenzo, Gainesville, Va., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 41. 22. (10), Don Sak, West Bloomfield, Mich., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 36, Crash=2E 23. (14), Bob Ruman, Monroe Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 36, Crash. 24. (33), Ray Genick, Waterford, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, 35, Crash. 25. (16), Paul Alderman, Hockessin, Del., Ford Mustang Cobra, 34. 26. (38), Kerry Hitt, Harrisburg, Pa., Chevrolet Corvette, 30, Mech. 27. (30), Dino Crescentini, Torrance, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 29, Spin=2E 28. (27), Jon Leavy, Miami, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 25, Mech. 29. (7), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 24, Mech. 30. (18), Larry Merricks, Keymar, Mass., Chevrolet Camaro, 21, Tire. 31. (25), Wayne Pluta, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 21, Mech=2E 32. (31), Max Lagod, Barrington, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 17, Tire. 33. (19), John Halbing, Dallas, Pa., Olds Cutlass, 15, Mech. 34. (34), Ted Sullivan, Hampton Corners, Conn., Chevrolet Camaro, 12, Mech. 35. (24), Chet Williams, Chittenango, N.Y., Chevrolet Camaro, 9, Axle. 36. (37), Vinnie Musicaro, Wantagh, N.Y., Chevrolet Camaro, 6, Mech. 37. (28), Jim Briody, Cherry Hill, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 1, Mech. Time of race: 1 hour, 26 minutes, 22.740 seconds. Average speed: 71.475 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 0.985-second Fastest race lap: Tom Kendall, 1:12.345 (121.915 mph), lap 42 Lap leader: laps 1-42, Tom Kendall