Minneapolis report

KENDALL TAKES SPRINT PCS TRANS-AM ON STREETS OF MINNEAPOLIS MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (July 6, 1997)- Tom Kendall, driving the No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, won his sixth-straight Trans-Am race after topping runner-up Dorsey ...

Minneapolis report


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (July 6, 1997)- Tom Kendall, driving the No. 11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, won his sixth-straight Trans-Am race after topping runner-up Dorsey Schroeder by 1.779 seconds on the streets on Minneapolis. Jon Gooding finished third, followed by Paul Gentilozzi and Greg Pickett.

"Needless to say, I'm ecstatic," said Kendall. "In the first session, we stumbled on to something good, and we went with that setup for both cars for the whole weekend. Throughout the race I had to take the corners one at a time, as opposed to looking a couple corners ahead, because the course is really demanding - It's the best street course I've ever been to."

Kendall, of Santa Monica, Calif., started fifth after posting his 10th-consecutive fastest-qualifier effort but was in front of the 23-car field by lap eight, holding the top position for the remainder of the 63-lap, 100.8-mile race.

Once Kendall was in the lead he cruised to a relatively easy victory, but getting to the front was a wild ride for the three-time and defending Trans-Am Drivers' Champion. Gentilozzi, in the No. 5 RISO Chevrolet Camaro, started on the pole and led the opening three laps before getting spun on lap four by Brian Simo, driving the No. 22 Valvoline Mustang Cobra.

Simo led the next four laps while Kendall made his way into second, past third-place starter Schroeder, in the No. 12 Raybestos Mustang Cobra. On lap eight Simo dropped back behind Gentilozzi, answering a penalty for his spin-causing nudge, putting Kendall and Schroeder in the top-two spots, the order they would run the remainder of the one hour, 33 minute, 24.181-second race.

While the leaders worked their way through traffic, Gentilozzi, with Simo close behind, was making his way through traffic after running as far back as 16th following his spin. On lap 17, Gentilozzi had progressed to fifth and made his move on Gooding for fourth as the pair slowed entering turn one. Gentilozzi overshot his mark and had to use the turn one runoff area but Simo was able to take advantage of Gooding's avoiding maneuver to take over the spot.

"We went in deep and I saw that both Dorsey and Brian had their tires locked up," said Gentilozzi. "If I'd gone on, it would have been a big wreck, so I went around."

For the next 37 laps the order remained Kendall, Schroeder, Simo and Gooding. Gentilozzi, meanwhile, had pitted for two new driver's-side tires and again worked his way back to fifth when the second of two full-course yellows came out, this time for Jim Derhaag, who came in contact with R.J. Valentine and crashed at turn four but was not injured.

When the field took the green on lap 54, Gentilozzi again missed turn one and went through the runoff area, re-entering behind Gooding, who had advanced to third when Simo broke his gearbox on the restart, ending his day in 13th. For the remaining nine laps Gooding and Gentilozzi were locked in a nose-to-tail battle for position, and on the final lap Gentilozzi was able to make it by, only to be re- passed three turns from the checkered flag.

"Gooding made a banzai move and got off line and I got by him," said Gentilozzi. "Then I got into the marbles and tagged the wall, giving the position back to Jon - I probably could have prevented it, but it likely would have taken us both out. I deserved fourth today and he deserved third."

For his double back-to-front efforts Gentilozzi earned the DynoMax Turn On the Power Award and also the CIPA Mirrors Pass Of the Race award, while Greg Pickett earned the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger Of the Race award for advancing nine positions from his 14th place start, and Mike Borkowski won the Raybestos Rising Star Of the Race award.

After six races, Kendall leads the Drivers' Championship point standings with 203 points, followed by Schroeder, 133; Gooding, 132; Pickett, 131; Simo, 127; Borkowski, 119; Gentilozzi, 105; Bill Saunders, 92; Michael Lewis, 90; and John Miller IV, 86.

In the Manufacturers' Championship point standings, Ford tops Chevrolet 54 to 22, followed by Pontiac with one point.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Results from Sunday's 63-lap, 100.8-mile Sprint PCS SCCA Trans-Am Championship Round 6 Race at the Minneapolis street circuit, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).

1, (5), Tom Kendall, Santa Monica, Calif, Ford Mustang Cobra, 63. 2, (3), Dorsey Schroeder, Osage Beach, Mo., Ford Mustang Cobra, 63. 3, (8), Jon Gooding, Longwood, Fla., Ford Mustang Cobra, 63. 4, (1), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro, 63. 5, (14), Greg Pickett, Alamo, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 63. 6, (7), Mike Borkowski, Middlebury, Conn., Ford Mustang Cobra, 63. 7, (15), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 62. 8, (10), R.J. Valentine, Hingham, Mass., Chevrolet Camaro, 62. 9, (18), Don Meluzio, York, Pa., Chevrolet Camaro, 62. 10, (17), Rick Dittman, Prairieview, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 62. 11, (6), John W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet Camaro, 61, Mech. 12, (19), Bruce Barkelew, Columbia, Mo., Chevrolet Camaro, 58. 13, (2), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 53, Mech. 14, (23), Jim Briody, Cherry Hill, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 50, Mech. 15, (9), Jim Derhaag, Chaska, Minn., Chevrolet Camaro, 45, Crash. 16, (12), Max Lagod, Barrington, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 38, Mech. 17, (11), Bob Ruman, Monroe Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 32, Mech. 18, (13), Leighton Reese, Eden Prairie, Minn., Pontiac Grand Prix, 10, Crash. 19, (22), Michael Starnes, Mission, Kan., Ford Thunderbird, 6, Elect. 20, (16), Don Sak, West Bloomfield, Mich., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 5, Mech. 21, (4), Bill Saunders, Dallas, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, 3, Motor. 22, (21), Bruce Nesbitt, Chicago, Ill., Ford Mustang Cobra, 3, Susp. 23, (20), Peter Shea, Newport Beach, Calif., Chevrolet Camaro, 0, Mech.

Time of race: 1 hour, 33 minutes, 24.181 seconds. Average speed: 64.751 mph Margin of victory: 1.779 seconds Fastest race lap: No. 11 Kendall, 1:16.750 (75.048 mph) (Record) Lap leaders: No. 5 Gentilozzi, laps 1-3; No. 22 Simo, laps 4-7; No. 11, Kendall, laps 8-63

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