2001 Results - Star Mazda Series - West

May 27, 2001
Willow Springs  International Raceway

Jenkins Keeps Win Streak Alive With Latest Victory

Just before the Star Mazda event Sunday morning, we found 19-year-old Scott Jenkins on a mission in Willow Springs' snack bar. "I gotta have a banana," said the now five-time West Division race winner. Could this simple yellow fruit be one of the keys to his racing success? Eventually passing on the slim offerings from the cornucopia at the counter, Jenkins headed back to Team Bucknum Racing--bananaless.

Still, it was one of those typical Rosamond weekends at Willow Springs: hot and windy. In fact, the wind kicked up enough for drivers to take note as they navigated the historic 2.5-mile road course. This round of the West Division championship also doubled as the last SCCA National in the Southern Pacific Division.

From the pole, Jenkins paced a good-looking field of 12 Formula Mazdas to an early green just as SCCA starter Chuck Weinstein unleashed the pack with the comment, "that was almost a perfect start." As the field headed into Turn One, Jenkins stayed to the inside with Jim Hall II, Valley Motor Center's Scott Kusy, SierraSierra Enterprises' Moses Smith, Bob Negron and Mike Anderson following. After just one lap, Jenkins started to pull away as a tight battle for second developed between Hall and Kusy. Negron stayed close to Smith, a dice for fourth that would eventually become the best race on the track.

Early in the race, Hall and Kusy paired up in a race for second. Hall had gotten the better start and held second until the start of lap six when Kusy dove to the inside of Turn One to take the position. Jenkins, however, was already five seconds out front, but Kusy increased his margin
over Hall, who did the same with the Smith/Negron battle behind him. "I just had to bury it down the inside," said Kusy of the Turn One pass on Hall. "It was very close and good racing."

Still sorting out new cars, the SierraSierra Enterprises team registered a top five finish with Smith successfully holding off a hard-charging Negron, who made several attempts to pass Smith. "That was an awesome race with Bob," Smith said. "It got pretty exciting there for a while, but I was pretty sure I gave him enough racing room."

Negron agreed with Smith that it was a good race. "I think I was quicker through Nine and I could get a run on him down the straight, but I wasn't quick enough, I guess," Negron said. "I was just flat out for three-quarters of a lap."

Anderson, driving the ex-Dave McMillan HASA Pool Supplies mount, held his sixth-place starting position to the checker and was followed across the line by Bob Hatle, Chris Emanuel and Glenn Bjorkman. During the race, rookie Frank Bain, Smith's teammate, had a little trouble with the high-speed Willow road course, spinning twice--once in Turn Four on lap three and then in Turn Three on lap 18. Luckily, he was able to safely continue both times and finished the race. Other off-course excursions claimed Larry Couture and Valley's Rob Walker. In separate
incidents, Couture departed on lap 20 with a gearbox problem that stranded him on the inside of Turn Three. Then, just a lap later, Walker spun off just a short distance past where Couture was parked and tapped the wall, ending his race a couple laps early.

Jenkins' game plan was to run some fast laps in the beginning of the race and then conserve tires for the end. "We knew this track eats tires, so I wanted to get a good lead and save the tires for the last three laps or so in case we had to race hard again," Jenkins explained. The  ebear.com/HASA Pool Supplies/ AGG Enterprises-sponsored driver also noted a fierce cross-wind, especially in Turn Two. "It was relatively calm at the beginning of the race, but it got worse. Nine was a little twitchy, but in Two the wind crossed the apex and pushed me across the track," Jenkins said.

The ninth round of the Star Mazda Series West Division is July 7, at Irwindale Speedway, which is also the final event in the three-race Red Line Oil Oval Championship. In that points battle, Jenkins has an eight-point lead over Negron. Hall is third, just four points behind Negron.

For West Division points, Smith's lead over Hall is nine, 288 to 279, with Hatle third at 247. In the Masters championship (for drivers 45 years of age and older), Kusy is now in the lead with a two point lead over Hatle.

For more information about the Star Mazda Series West Division Championship, please log-on to the Star Mazda Series website at www.starmazda.com or contact series administrator Gary Rodrigues at (818) 909-5319. --Jane Anderson

(2.51-mile road course)

Driver/Hometown (Team/Sponsors) qualifying time. All drive Star Formula
Mazdas with 13B Mazda rotary engines on Goodyear tires.

QUALIFYING: 1. Scott Jenkins/Portland, Ore. (Team Bucknum Racing/
ebear.com, HASA Pool Supplies, AGG Enterprises) 1:19.323; 2. Scott
Kusy/Scottsdale, Ariz. (Valley Motor Center/Troon Golf) 1:20.254; 3. Jim
Hall II/Ventura, Calif. (JHR/Jim Hall Karting School) 1:21.082; 4. Bob
Negron/San Jose, Calif. (Raceland) 1:21.227; 5. Moses Smith/Chandler, Ariz.
(SierraSierra Enterprises/Troon Golf, JOZ Enterprises) 1:21.591; 6. Mike
Anderson/Anza, Calif. (DARE/HASA Pool Supplies) 1:22.516; 7. Bob
Hatle/Oceanside, Calif. (R.H. Racing) 1:22.546; 8. Rob Walker/Portland,
Ore. (Valley Motor Center) 1:22.696; 9. Chris Emanuel/Huntington Beach,
Calif. (Valley Motor Center/Airguard, Hawn) 1:23.282; 10. Larry
Couture/Claremont, Calif. (City of Hope National Medical Center, Rudolph &
Sletten General Contractors/Team Hope Racing) 1:23.815; 11. Frank Bain/San
Diego, Calif. (SierraSierra Enterprises) 1:24.310; 12. Glenn
Bjorkman/Goleta, Calif. 1:25.697.

TIME OF RACE: 31m31.164s 
FASTEST RACE LAP: Jenkins 1:21.368 (110.609mph) 
LAP LEADERS: Jenkins 1-23
Pos. Name
1 Scott Jenkins
2 Scott Kusy
3 Jim Hall II
4 Moses Smith
5 Bob Negron
6 Mike Anderson
7 Bob Hatle
8 Chris Emanuel
9 Glenn Bjorkman
10 Frank Bain
11 Rob Walker
12 Larry Couture



TOP 10 WEST DIVISION POINT STANDINGS (After 8 of 12 rounds): 1. Smith, 288;
2. Hall II, 279; 3. Hatle, 247; 4. Kusy, 226; 5. Jenkins, 225; 6. Negron,
213; 7. Emanuel, 195; 8. Pierre Ehret, 167; Larry Couture, 167; 10. Bain,

1. Kusy, 120; 2. Hatle, 118; 3. Negron, 104; 4. Emanuel, 88; 5. Ron Island,
28. *For drivers 45 years of age and older.

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