LaRue Grabs Mid-Ohio Win
Lexington, OH - A lap 12 pass for the lead gave John LaRue the victory to close out the F2000 Championship Series weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The No. 17 driver ended his streak of second place finishes, taking his first win of 2016 over Brandon Dixon and Steve Bamford in round eight of the season.
"We're very happy. We chased the car all weekend and it finally came to us," said LaRue, who passed Championship leader Bamford for the race lead on lap 12 on the back straight and never looked back.
"Steve is always so quick and he has so many laps, he's a heck of a racer. I figured if we kept him in sight we'd have a chance at it," LaRue noted.
LaRue also set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:24.569.
Dixon followed in second, improving his finishing place one position after a third place run in Saturday's race and taking the opportunity after Bamford spun in turn one.
"I know Steve spun and that gave me an opportunity," said Dixon, in the No. 5 Citation. "After getting by Steve I was pretty much doing qualifying laps because I thought he might be coming. That was all I had."
Bamford started on pole, led early, and completed the podium in third place in the No. 07 entry for Rice Race Prep.
"It was an interesting race with John. I made an adjustment in turn one (while running second) and spun and Brandon got by me. All in all third isn't bad," Bamford said.
The third place run ended Bamford's win streak, which stood at four after a single victory at Watkins Glen in May, two at VIR in June, and one on Saturday at Mid-Ohio.
The race saw two tense periods, with the first being a green flag on the back stretch to start the 30-minute event. However, a first lap incident involving Brendan Puderbach and Peter Gonzalez produced a safety car and a mid-race restart. The clean-up also forced the planned 21 laps to a 30-minute timed window, with competitors logging 18 laps at Mid-Ohio on Sunday afternoon.
The McCusker brothers, John and Austin, completed the top five for Dotworks Racing, as Austin picked up five spots after starting in tenth.
Robert Allaer followed in sixth, with Dave Weitzenhof in seventh, followed by Steve Jenks, who started fourth. Connor Gawry and Robert Wright completed the top ten.
F2000 next takes to the track for rounds nine and 10 of the season, held at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 5-7.