|August 6, 2000 - Round Eight Pocono Nationals|
a refreshing, sun filled Friday Test Day, 3 FM Series drivers, Jim Nichols
and Bill Haney with the able support from Racers Edge Motorsports and
Chris Schanzle practiced for the Pocono National & Formula Mazda
Series race. Schanzle and
Haney were learning the track for the first time.
Schanzle, from Maryland, is driving a new FM this season in his
first National and his first FM series race.
He was eagerly welcomed. He
comes with a championship winning IT sedan background in the Mid Atlantic
series. After lunch, Haney
found out the terminal velocity into turn one as he slid wide and backed
into the mud, stripping the right side pod from the car but other apparent
dawned another beautiful day for driving. Noticeably absent again was FM
Series leader Bruce Crockett who was still home recuperating from an off
road motorcycle accident. All
drivers hope he makes it to the final Summit Point races, where it was
jokingly rumored the drivers would flip a coin to see who was going to
tighten his belts. Nichols,
2nd place in the series, was anxious to gain points and not have a repeat
of the Glen weekend when he came away with no race points.
drivers worked the traffic with the Sports Racers and a few slow Formula
Atlantics! With the
temperatures cool, the lap times began to fall.
In the first of 2 qualifying sessions, Nichols who had been close
to the track record on Friday and knew the track well from 2 prior race
weekends, was tuning the car and finally got under the record according to
his data system. Unfortunately,
Timing & Scoring is located half way into turn one, and they did not
get the record lap time. In
the second session, Nichols made the new record setting time stick and
qualified 1st in class at 1:33.579 for 10th on the grid, breaking Mylon
Stocktonís record of 1:33.837 set in the same race last season.
Schanzle was the 2nd FM with 1:34.118 for 12th and Haney 3rd FM
with 1:35.187 for 14th out of 30 cars.
Race day was overcast but with the FA, FM, Sports Racer 20 lap race second
in the morning, the drivers were not thinking of rain. However, a long
clean up from the first GT race allowed the weather to move in and the
sprinkles started to fall as the cars took off on slicks for the pace lap.
Nichols, in an uncustomary start, got held up, leaving the door
open for Schanzle and Haney to steam by on the inside. Nichols watched
from behind as Haneyís left front wheel love-tapped a Sports Racerís
side going into turn one and continued unaffected.
race continued in that order with a double yellow showing on lap 14 when a
FA slid off in turn one due to deteriorating conditions. Nichols thought about pulling into the pits and finishing his
race in 3rd to guarantee points but was wisely advised by Jon Mirachi to
tuff it out. At the restart
with 3 laps remaining, Schanzle also lost it in turn one but was able to
reenter in 3rd among the FMs. Haney
then slide off into the braking area off the fast back straight but
reentered right in front of Nichols.
Nichols took the opportunity to pass Haney into the same back
straight braking area on the next lap. Nichols was set to win placing 8th
overall. On the last lap
Haney spun in the tight 1st gear turn onto the main straight allowing
Schanzle to capture 2nd place at the finish leaving Haney 3rd.
points can be reviewed at:
by Jim Nichols
|North Eastern Division Official Results - Pocono Nationals|