Ben Keating Scores Maximum Dodge Viper Cup Points at Texas World Speedway
College Station, Tex., September 4, 2011 – The thermometer failed to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit today for the first time in a long while, but Ben Keating was on fire at Texas World Speedway, scoring a pole and a win to extend his lead in the Dodge Viper Cup championship going into the final two races next month.
“It meant a lot to win today,” said an emotional Keating. “Home track, lots of spectators. Man, I couldn’t be happier. It was such a bad deal yesterday, getting a puncture at the start. Though I didn’t have anything for A.J., I would have gotten a second, except for the tire.”
Yesterday’s winner, A.J. Morgan, started the race on the front row, but had to scramble for the runner-up slot after spinning his tires on the standing start. He also had fast lap in the race.
“It was a bit dusty and I just started spinning the tires, so I was focused on getting traction and hanging on the outside of everybody to get up to Ben as quick as possible, because I knew he’d run away. Luckily I made up for my bad start in turns one and two. I got within I second or two of Ben and basically stayed there for the whole time. He ran a great race. It was a great weekend for me—a first and a second and I qualified second both days so I made up some ground. Now it’s off to Daytona to see what we can do.”
Jeff Courtney hung on to his second place in the standings with a comeback third after starting fifth. To get there, he had to work his way around Dave Fiorelli and Kurt Sollberger on the dusty, wind-swept track.
“Once I got around the two guys, the leaders had checked out on me,” said Courtney. “I gained a little ground on them but I burned up the tires doing it and faded back.”
David Mazyck backed up yesterday’s fifth place with a sixth today, a couple of seconds ahead of celebrity driver Jim Johnsin, a Grammy award winning record producer (http://www.rebelrock.com/JimJonsin), who turned up the wick on his Dodge Viper ACR-X for a seventh place finish.
Celebrity driver and motorcycle builder Dar Holdsworth (http://www.brassballsbobbers.com/) improved to tenth place today. “This is violent in a good way,” said Holdsworth about his Viper Cup weekend experience. “There is no way I could have done this without the help of Cindi Lux,” he added. Holdsworth was competitive in the 640-horsepower ACR-X in his first-ever race car drive, after arriving in Texas on Friday with zero experience.
The Dodge Viper Cup travels to Daytona International Speedway October 22-23 for the deciding races of the season. Ben Keating, Jeff Courtney and A.J. Morgan are all in the hunt for the championship.