By Patrick Stephan of TrackSideOnline.com presented by Honda Racing/HPD
The Neil Alberico led field got through turn one cleanly, but then down at the exit of turn four, we saw a bunch of smoke and then some cars sideways and then several crashed. Never really got a replay and couldn’t tell exactly what started the mess, but the end result was Weiron Tan, Florian Lattore, and Alessandro Latif were never able to complete a lap. Pato O’Ward made it back around attempted repairs, but he’d only get credit for one lap completed.
O’Ward and Tan had good starting spots of 8th and 7th respectively ruined, so tough break for those drivers.
Interestingly we heard from the drivers after the race that their in-car yellow light system was actually flashing the entire start of the race. So, some drivers weren’t sure if the race was underway or not, but at least the racing among the leaders stayed clean until the yellow was really out.
Up front, the order was pretty much as they started and it stayed that way through the restart on lap 6. At the completion of the first flying lap, it was Alberico, Guiterrez, Burkett, Urrutia, Connery, and Grist.
On lap 9, Burkett went for second in to turn one, and made the move work but lost the spot back later in the lap as Guiterrez got the spot back again. Jose said he wasn’t expecting that “dive bomb” but he was able to get the spot back so it was ok.
For his part, Burkett said he wasn’t actually planning to make that move either, he was going to brake later, and then Guiterrez braked a little earlier so he either had to try and make the pass or hit him.
The next yellow came out on lap 16 when Bobby Eberle stopped between turns 2 and 3 and had to be pulled off the track. That erased a 3.16 second lead for Alberico.
Back to green for a one lap shoot-out, Alberico was able to hang on to complete the second MRTI clean sweep of the weekend.
He was followed by Guiterrez, Burkett, Urrutia, Connery, Grist, Kellet, Owen, and then the top expert class driver (of 2 here) – Jay Horak who was ninth. Raoul Owens rounded out the top 10.
Note that Alberico didn’t run in the Cooper Tires Winterfest, though he did do a little bit of testing though (not as much as they wanted).
This is Burkett’s first podium in his first weekend of ProMazda. And for Alberico he scored his first pole and first win yesterday, backing them up with his second pole and second win today.
|1||3||Neil Alberico||19||1||Active||Cape Motorsports w/WTR|
|2||7||Jose Gutierrez||19||0.7999||0.7999||2||Active||Juncos Racing|
|3||2||Daniel Burkett||19||2.0101||1.2102||6||Active||Cape Motorsports w/WTR|
|4||81||Santiago Urrutia||19||2.7390||0.7289||4||Active||Team Pelfrey|
|5||91||Kyle Connery||19||2.9040||0.1650||12||Active||JDC MotorSports|
|6||5||Garett Grist||19||3.2548||0.3508||11||Active||Juncos Racing|
|7||28||Dalton Kellett||19||5.2023||1.9475||13||Active||Andretti Autosport|
|8||23||Will Owen||19||5.5832||0.3809||9||Active||Juncos Racing|
|9||37||Jay Horak(E)||19||10.2940||4.7108||17||Active||M1 Racing|
|10||19||Raoul Owens||18||1 LAPS||73.8128||5||Active||JDC MotorSports|
|11||26||Parker Nicklin||16||3 LAPS||2 LAPS||15||Active||JDC MotorSports|
|12||13||Bobby Eberle(E)||14||28.7911||18.0859||16||Mechanical||World Speed Motorsports|
|13||6||Timothe Buret||8||2 LAPS||1 LAPS||3||Mechanical||Juncos Racing|
|14||82||Pato O’Ward||1||11.2377||1.5881||8||Contact||Team Pelfrey|
|15||22||Weiron Tan||—||1.2724||0.7179||7||Contact||Andretti Autosport|
|16||10||Florian Latorre||—||1.1046||10||Contact||Cape Motorsports w/WTR|
|17||14||Alessandro Latif||—||4 LAPS||1.0596||14||Contact||World Speed Motorsports|