Ben Keating Dominates Dodge Viper Cup Presented by Pennzoil Ultra Race 2 at New Jersey Motorsports Park
Millville, NJ, Sunday June 12, 2011 – Ben Keating scalded the track in qualifying, and then led the race all the way to the checker, followed by Jeff Courtney and A.J. Morgan to make up the podium for Dodge Viper Cup Presented by Pennzoil Race 2 this afternoon at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
“We had a lot of work to do last night after yesterday’s incident,” said Keating, referring to Courtney’s contact with him that cost him the lead in Race 1. “I finished in eighth place yesterday. That put AJ Morgan and me into a tie for the championship points lead going into this race, so it was an important race for me.”
“The first hot lap [in qualifying this morning] on sticker tires, I went out and pushed it really hard and did a 1.23.8. We’re really excited about that. It’s the only 1.23 out here this weekend,” Keating added. “It was more about having a good start, getting out front and getting enough of a margin so I could race the margin. That way, if there were any problems out there, there would be nobody to blame but myself. ”
After four rounds, Keating leads the 2011 Dodge Viper Cup Series Presented by Pennzoil.
The field did not make a lap before an incident forced guest driver Andy Bell off the track, damaging his rear suspension. The race was then under a full course caution to clean up before resuming without further incident.
“Unfortunately someone got a little excited on the first lap and T-boned my rear end in the eighth corner. I was out, just like that. 45 seconds into the race,” said Bell, who nevertheless expressed satisfaction with his experience. “I’ve come away with a lot of memories. This was absolutely one of the best weekends of my life. I met a lot of new friends.”
Keating said, “I was grateful for the yellow laps.”
Jeff Courtney commented on his second place finish: “my crew pieced the car back together late last night, and with no time to line it back up etc, we knew we were a long shot. I would never say I am satisfied with a second place, but today I think it’s the best we had. I got a good start and was able to pressure Ben early but the second lap yellow gave us a restart from hell and Ben gapped me pretty good there. I could never really get back to him again to apply any pressure. Ben was very fast and drove a great race.”
Michael Von Quilich finished fourth after another duel with Dave Fiorelli, beating him by just three tenths of a second. This reversed their positions from yesterday’s race in which Fiorelli finished in front of Von Quilich by the same margin.
Kurt Sollberger made up for yesterday’s DNF by placing sixth ahead of guest driver Jimmy Kite. Todd Nelson and David Mazyck followed in eighth and ninth, respectively.
The next Dodge Viper Cup weekend is at Virginia International Raceway, Alton Virginia, July 9-10, for races five and six.
Dodge Viper Cup
New Jersey Motorsports Park Race 2 - Sunday June 12
|Pos||Car No.||Name||Best Time||Laps||Difference||Total Time|
|4||19||Michael Von Quilich||01:27.273||18||18.941||32:32.724|