Dole Gets Season Finale Win on Kasemets Penalty
Summit Point, WV – Tonis Kasemets crossed the start/finish line under the checkered flag first, but Series officials slapped the Atlantic Championship Series veteran with a one-minute penalty for blocking, handing the season finale victory to John Dole in a No. 6 Swift 016/Mazda, who was the only car on slick Hoosiers on a drying track at Summit Point Motorsports Park.
Kasemets, clearly the fastest Atlantic car all weekend, started on wet tires on a drying race track, putting on a driving clinic at Summit Point Motorsports Park, taking what appeared to be his second win in two days by just a car length. Kasemets established a huge margin after just a handful of laps in the No. 96 K-Hill Motorsports Swift 014/Toyota, but a drying track left Dole on slick tires hunting him down.
Defensive driving on the front-straight coming to the checkered flag was deemed blocking by Series officials, denying Kasemets a weekend sweep on his run from pole position, which would have made it two wins in two days in West Virginia for the Estonian.
“That was not all that bad on slicks, even at the start,” said Dole, who added that his tire choice was based on watching the end of the F1600 Formula F Championship Series race, where all the leaders were hunting for water on a dry track. Prior to learning about the penalty, Dole commented that there was a little blocking on Kasemets’ part, but, “that is the way it goes.”
Kasemets said he knew there was one car on slicks closing, so he attempted to open the biggest gap possible.
“I had to be defensive on the straight,” he explained. “The K-Hill car was fantastic here, and we were basically hunting for water on the rain tires the entire race.”
2012 Atlantic Championship Series Champion David Grant surrendered second position on rain tires, coming home third before the penalty (which lifted him to second) for Polestar Racing Group in the No. 12 Swift/Toyota.
This season however, for Grant, included four straight wins with sweeps at Road Atlanta and New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt, in addition to a pair of second places at Summit Point.
“That was the wrong tire choice,” noted Grant. “For the first two or three laps, they were perfect, but then the track dried and I had to hunt for water so they wouldn’t melt off.”
Brother Keith Grant finished third, marking his sixth-straight podium of the 2012 season for the Ohio-based Polestar squad in the No. 40 Swift 014/Toyota.
Dwight Rider and John Burke completed the top five. Kasemets, after the one-minute penalty, was sixth, ahead of Bruce Hamilton, Chris Fahan, Rich Zober and Andy Schaufelberger.
Connor Burke failed to finish with a broken rear wing on his No. 19 Company Motorsports entry.
Keep track of the latest Atlantic Championship Series news regarding the 2013 season at www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com.
Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff Gap Avg. Speed Best Tm Best Spd 1 6 John Dole 20 24:56.515 - - 96.224 1:09.868 103.051 2 12 David Grant 20 25:42.460 +45.945 +45.945 93.357 1:14.732 96.344 3 40 Keith Grant 20 25:53.966 +57.451 +11.506 92.666 1:14.902 96.126 4 11 Dwight Rider 20 25:55.251 +58.736 +1.285 92.590 1:14.797 96.261 5 55 John Burke 20 25:55.399 +58.884 +0.148 92.581 1:12.632 99.130 6 96 Tonis Kasemets 20 25:56.390 +59.875 +0.991 92.522 1:13.474 97.994 7 36 Bruce Hamilton 20 26:00.709 +1:04.194 +4.319 92.266 1:13.585 97.846 8 39 Chris Fahan 20 26:05.404 +1:08.889 +4.695 91.989 1:14.406 96.766 9 66 Rich Zober 19 25:03.372 1 Lap 1 Lap 90.995 1:15.965 94.780 10 34 Andy Schaufelberger 19 26:00.404 +57.032 +57.032 87.670 1:19.244 90.859 DNF 19 Connor Burke 5 7:08.270 15 Laps 14 Laps 84.059 1:20.962 88.931 DNS 151 Nick Neri 0 -.--- - - - -.--- - DNS 31 Brendan Puderbach 0 -.--- - - - -.--- -