Watkins Glen October Coverage:|
F2000 Race 2
Connery Sweeps Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen, N.Y., October 16 — Kyle Connery (11th in the American Driver Ranking) took advantage of one restart, stressed out over another restart, and was positioned at the end to take a convincing win in the second F2000 Championship Series race to sweep the final weekend of the season.
It was the first restart which gave him the lead. Audette, from the pole, held off Connery, who started second, for the initial lead. At the first restart on lap four, Connery made his move.
"I got by Remy at the restart," Connery said. "He got me all the way over to the wall, and I was worried I was going to tag it, but thankfully he gave me some room going into One, and we were able to pull of the pass and hold him off."
Connery then started to open up a gap for the next two green flag laps, but then the second full course yellow came out. It, too, lasted two laps. This time, Connery had to defend while Rob Nicholas, who got by Audette, looked to pounce.
"I was worried about him getting a draft," Connery said. "This weekend especially we had an incredible tailwind going down the back straightaway. I just tried to make sure I didn't lock up the tires going into One and break away as quickly as I could."
He succeeded, but not without a fight from Nicholas going into the Inner Loop. Once again, he opened up a gap for two green flag laps.
Kyle Connery grabbed the lead on the first restart and held on during the second restart for his second win of the weekend.
"Once we got into clear air, the car started working great," Connery said. "We made one bar adjustment and the rest of the time was just making no mistakes."
Once again, another double yellow came out for two laps. This time, Connery had nothing to worry about as the time limit expired before they could go back to green, giving Connery the win. Nicholas and Audette rounded out the podium.
This was Connery's sixth victory of the season, surpassing Audette, who had five, for the series lead. However, various crashes and a one-race suspension caused Connery to finish third in the championship with Audette taking the title.
"Third in the championship, got Rookie of the Year, two race wins this weekend," he said. "It really turned out to be a great weekend for the team. Can't wait to come back next year."
Connery has sponsorship for a full season next year.
Chris Livengood (ranked 10th) finished second in the championship despite a disappointing race in the finale. He started fourth, got up to third at the start, temporarily moved to second, but fell back to seventh at the end.
F1600. Young up and coming American driver Wyatt Gooden had a banner weekend in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series, taking two poles and two wins. His first pole was by over a second, but the race was a bit closer. A long drafting train kept the field close, but Gooden was able to hang on for the win ... by just a nose or 0.079 seconds. The second race was a lot easier as he immediately pulled away en route to an 8.624 second victory.
Gooden entered only one other weekend in the series at Mid-Ohio. He won both races there as well, going a perfect four for four on the season.
Copyright © 2011 by Russell Jaslow and American Driver Ranking. All Rights Reserved.