PPIR Qualifying

3 championship races set for Sunday National record falls at PPIR; 1st women earns spot on podium FOUNTAIN, Colo. - A pair of firsts took place Saturday at Pikes Peak International Raceway in the 2nd annual Rocky Mountain Classic. Russ ...

3 championship races set for Sunday National record falls at PPIR; 1st women earns spot on podium

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - A pair of firsts took place Saturday at Pikes Peak International Raceway in the 2nd annual Rocky Mountain Classic.

Russ Gamester set a PPIR and national USAC Silver Crown record as he leads qualifying for one of Sunday's three championship races. Gamester of Peru, Ind., covered the PPIR banked, one-mile oval in 25.537 seconds at 140.972 mph.

"The car felt great," Gamester said. "It felt so smooth, it was kind of scary, because you don't know how fast you went. The faster you go, the smoother you are. It feels like you're not going so fast. It's a weird feeling."

In addition to the Silver Crown event, championship races for USAC Midget and ARCA stock cars will take place at PPIR with pre-race activities beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Another first was accomplished by 19-year-old Sara Senske who finished third in the Star Formula Mazda championship race Saturday to become the first women to win a PPIR podium finish.

"I'm so glad to be on the podium," she said. "It's a huge finish for me."

Senske attended the Lynn St. James Driver Development Program in 1994 and 1995. Her best previous finish was fourth in the Mazda series.

"To see her get opportunities and do so well with those opportunities is just so cool," said St. James, who had started the previous six Indy 500s before failing to qualify this year. "My heart's pounding."

NOTES: Motorsports legend Chris Economaki is at PPIR this weekend to serve as the event Grand Marshall. "I was just telling people of all the new tracks that have been built in recent years, Homestead, Texas, St. Louis, Fontana, Las Vegas and Pikes Peak, all but the last two were built by people with extensive knowledge of building race tracks. The last two turned out to be the best. From a competitive perspective, and a fan's perspective, this place gets high marks. The fans get a fantastic perspective." ... You might as well call this the Hamilton Family Reunion weekend as Indy Racing League regular Davey Hamilton qualified for the Silver Crown and Midget races while his dad, Ken Hamilton, and uncle, Jim Hamilton, qualified in the Silver Crown field 16th and 29th, respectively.

For tickets to any PPIR event: call (719) 382-RACE or toll-free (888) 511-PPIR; or at the PPIR track box office and all Front Range King Soopers.

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Series USAC
Drivers Davey Hamilton , Russ Gamester