|April 30, 2000 - Buttonwillow Raceway Park|
Flag-To-Flag Victory Nets Ryley Points Lead
What started out as a frustrating weekend for Grant Ryley and the Worldspeed Motorsports team, ended in jubilation after Ryley led green-to-checker to score his first victory of the 2000 Star Mazda Series West Division season. "The car just felt slow all weekend," said Ryley, who now shares first place in the series points tally with Team Bucknum Racing's Bryan Selby. "The guys worked on the car after every session and they were here until midnight Saturday. In the end, we had the best car."
Utilizing Buttonwillow Raceway Park's #26 counter-clockwise,
2.95-mile configuration, the Star Mazda race also doubled as the SCCA
Saturday's dual sessions were dedicated to practice with the single qualifying session conducted Sunday morning. Ryley posted the quickest time and was the only driver in the one-minute, 45-second range. Behind Ryley, series rookies Chantz Wade, Scott Bradley and Bryan Selby stopped the clock within 0.162sec of one another. Valley Motor Center's Matt Beardsley rounded out the top five qualifiers, just two-tenths off Selby's time. The only non-qualifier was series veteran Taylor Fletcher, who broke a rod end on the first lap of the qualifying session and couldn't repair it in time to re-enter the track.
As has become custom for the Star Mazdas at Buttonwillow, the race was started on the aptly named I-5 straight on the East Loop. When the green was shown, Ryley eventually led a long line of race cars into the sweeping Riverside 9, left-hander and around the rest of the circuit to head the opening lap. Wade lost the most positions on the start, falling back to fourth. He quickly regained his second-place starting spot, but Ryley was already comfortably out front. Wade gave chase to Ryley, actually opening a slight gap between himself and the three cars battling for third--Beardsley, Selby and Bradley. Following the lead five cars, David Sterenberg, Chris McMurry, Alex Figge, Bob Hatle and Frank McCormick rounded out the top 10.
The top five positions remained intact, although Sterenberg lost
sixth place with an "off" on the outside of Riverside 9. He rejoined the
With Ryley out front, Beardsley, Selby and Bradley battled over
second place, navigating through traffic as the race passed the halfway
Perhaps the most dramatic action in the race came with less than
three laps remaining when Beardsley was lapping traffic in the infield
"My car got really loose toward the end of the race, mainly because the race was green all the way," said Bradley, whose day got off to a shaky start when the Worldspeed driver spun off course in the Star Mazda hairpin. "I just got on the gas too soon and then I ended up on the curbing."
At the checker, Ryley crossed the finish line with more than 12 seconds to spare. Selby held off Bradley with McMurry and Figge rounding out the top five. Behind Beardsley in sixth, finishing an impressive seventh was privateer Hatle with Worldspeed's McCormick in eighth and Team Bucknum's Ginni Swanton holding off Booth in a great race for ninth. Behind Sterenberg in 11th, Fletcher finished 12th after starting last.
Unfortunately, there were some incidents that claimed several usual
front-runners. Marc Hartranft and Brady Gross collided on lap 10,
In the championship calculations, rookie Selby and Ryley are tied with 77 points each. Beardsley is third at 74 with Bradley fourth with 67 and McMurry fifth at 63. In the Master Series (drivers 45 and older), Hatle leads with 40 points. Chris Emanuel and Fletcher are tied for second with 30 points each. Hill and Choquette round out the top five Master points.
The third and fourth rounds of the Star Mazda Series West Division will be held May 20-21, at Thunderhill Park in conjunction with a NASA event. For more information about the Star Mazda Series West Division contact series administrator Gary Rodrigues at (818) 909-5319. --Jane Anderson
|Round 2 - Western Division Official Results|
|Pos||Driver||Laps||Laps Led||Difference||Fast Lap|
|11||David Sterenberg||20||1 Lap||1:48.536|
|19||Jim Billys||19||2 Laps||1:53.550|
|21||Marc Hartranft||11||10 Laps||1:52.591|
|22||Brady Gross||10||11 Laps||1:50.839|
|23||Chantz Wade||9||12 Laps||1:47.551|
|25||Bryan Willman||6||15 Laps||1:51.669|
|26||Scott Kusy||1||20 Laps||2:22.488|
|Round 2 - Western Division Points|
TOP 10 WEST DIVISION POINT STANDINGS
(After 2 of 12 rounds)
1.(Tie) Ryley/Selby, 77; 3. Beardlsey, 74; 4. Bradley, 67; 5. McMurry, 63; 6. Figge, 56;
7. Sterenberg, 55; 8. Hatle, 54; 9. Wade, 53; 10 (Tie) McMillan/Swanton, 48.
TOP 7 MASTER SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
(After 2 of 12 rounds)
1. Hatle, 40; 2.(Tie) Emanuel/ Fletcher, 30, 4. Hill, 12; 5. Choquette, 11;
6. Simon, 10; 7. Waddell, 9.