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(June 16, 2001 - Albuquerque, New Mexico)   --- A record sold-out crowd at Albuquerque's Sandia Motorsports Park cheered Ken Petrie on to his third straight U.S. Speedway Series victory in the first Indy car race ever held in New Mexico. The 5000+ fans were on their feet as polesitter Petrie, of Parker, Colorado and his #77 Precision Industries March-Chevrolet held off the mid-race charge of Don Warren, in the #24 ADI Lola-Buick. Warren fought his way from sixth on the grid to challenge Petrie and finish second in the 40-lap feature on the .465-mile semi-banked oval.

"I remembered Don really gave me quite a run when we raced at Lacrosse, Wisconsin, when I looked in the mirrors and saw him coming hard. I knew I had to put in some real good laps and get some breathing room," said Petrie, who now has a commanding lead in the USSS 2001 Driver Championship.

"I was able to catch him, but I just couldn't do anything with him. Then I was driving with one hand while I reached down to make an adjustment and he began to pull away from me. I just didn't quite have enough. I was gaining but just not fast enough," said Warren, of Aberdeen, Washington. He was making his USSS debut with the Loophole peedwayseries team of Bud and David Hoffpauir, who lead the USSS 2001 Team Championship.

Dale Buckley, of Commerce City, Colorado, in the Buckley Machine March-Chevrolet, and Eric Koselke, of Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Lennon & Associates Lola-Chevrolet, had a good battle for third and fourth respectively. John McDonald, of Winchester, California, brought his Slover's Porting March-Chevrolet home for his first top 5 finish in the USSS, while David Hoffpauir, of Black Forest, Colorado, motored consistently into sixth in his ADI March-Buick.

The only caution of the race came on lap 29 when second-quickest qualifier Phil Erickson, of Reno, Nevada, lost the engine in his Erickson Companies Lola-Buick and exited the track with a spectacular turbo fire. Mike Koss, of Cold Water, Michigan, qualified third in his first USSS race, in the Brayton Engineering Lola-Buick, but made a late start, after his crew rushed to solve an electrical problem he experienced on the pace lap. He was able to take the checkered flag in eighth, while Mike Lee, of Minturn, Colorado, finished ninth after the engine in his Formby Ford Autoplaza Lola-Buick let go early in the race.

Greg Gorden, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, had been sitting second in the driver championship and was poised to challenge longtime rival Petrie for the Sandia trophy, but his team did not have enough time to trace problems in the black box of his Pikes Peak International Raceway G-Force-Aurora. He was unable to start the race and dropped to fifth in the standings.

Despite his engine difficulties, Erickson moved into second in points, while his third-straight fourth-place finish moved Koselke into third spot in the overall USSS championship.

The USSS Sandia Indy Car Shootout was held under the auspices of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and capped an exciting night of NASCAR Weekly peedwayseries at New Mexico's finest motorsports facility.

"I love this track," said Petrie, "It's wide, smooth, and fast; and I know everyone is looking forward to the rematch when we come back to Sandia in August. And that race will be 100 laps, so it is going to be alot of fun."

The Indy cars and Champ cars of the U.S. Speedway Series next face-off on the oval at Dodge City Raceway Park in Dodge City, Kansas for "Farmland Beef" Night on Saturday, July 14. Then USSS returns to Sandia Motorsports Park on August 3 and 4, with NASA Pro peedwayseries.

or contact  (505) 352-8888
or contact  (510) 232-NASA

For USSS information:
contact Pam Barker -
United States Speedway Series
Voice Mail / Fax: (403) 264-2471 ext. 6476
E-mail: unitedstatesspeedwayseries@alberta.com