Jeff Courtney Survives to Win Dodge Viper Cup Race 2 at Sebring
Sebring, Fla., May 15 - Jeff Courtney survived an event-filled race to take Dodge Viper Cup Race Two this weekend at Sebring International Raceway. He was gridded third for the standing start and fell in behind second fast qualifier A.J. Morgan as pole man Ben Keating got a great start and entered the fast Turn One car lengths ahead of the pack. Keating did not make it through as he carried too much speed and spun off into the tire wall. He was able to back out, taking a few tires with him, and re-joined the field in last place, his passenger door stove in and various parts loosened in the undercarriage.
The course was under a full-course yellow for two laps and when the race went green Courtney out-dragged Morgan, taking a short-lived lead until Morgan got a good run on him out onto the back stretch and went by. Morgan led easily, but for only a couple of laps before losing his clutch. He slowed entering that same back stretch and Courtney went by again.
“At around Bishop’s Bend I wanted to go from four to three and it wouldn’t go,” Said Morgan. “Then I noticed that the clutch pedal was flat on the floor.”
Morgan dropped way back as he sorted out clutchless shifting and Billy Gropp’s Mopar Dodge Viper inherited second place. Gropp was black-flagged for an alleged yellow flag violation and served a drive-through penalty re-entering the fray in last place. That penalty is under review by race officials, so the finishing order is not yet official.
Morgan got going again but then blew a front tire and was out of the race. By then Courtney had a huge lead on new second place man Todd Nelson. Keating clawed his way back up to third, dragging his undertray behind. Back in the paddock he acted as if he had won the race after an epic drive. Dave Fiorelli drove Keating’s back-up car in the race after heavily damaging his own Dodge Viper ACR-X at the start of Race One.
Results (All Dodge Viper ACR-X):
Official Results To Follow.