(July 14, 2001 - Dodge City, Kansas)   The drivers of the U.S. Speedway Series came to Dodge City Raceway Park, gunning for series leader Ken Petrie in the Dodge City Indy Car Showdown.  They were aiming to shoot holes in his three-race win streak.  Phil Erickson was the only one with a fully-loaded gun, though.   His #7 Erickson Companies Lola-Buick ran flawlessly to take his first USSS Indy Car victory in the 50-lap race; while Petrie and his archrival Greg Gorden both experienced fuel pump problems.
    "I'll take any win I can get!  This feels good after the engine problems we had at Albuquerque," said Erickson, "The two leaders had mechanical problems, but I was up there pushing and waiting.  You have to be there to take advantage of the opportunity.  I've missed lots of chances with problems myself, when the guy behind me was consistent and got past me.  But my car was running great and I have to thank my chief mechanic, T.J. Clark, and crew for giving me such a great car to drive."
    Erickson (Reno, NV) took the green on the outside of the front row beside Petrie (Parker, CO) , who captured his fourth consecutive pole with a time of :14.12 on the .375-mile high-banked oval.   Gorden (Colorado Springs, CO)  started third in the #37 Pikes Peak International Raceway G-Force-Aurora and jumped past Erickson on the opening lap to challenge Petrie for the early lead.   The pair diced nose to tail, turning laps in the low 14's and dodging traffic. 
    On lap 20, Gorden made his move,  passing the #95 Precision Industries March-Chevrolet on the inside going into the first turn.   He then opened up his lead, as Petrie began to slow with fuel pump problems.  Gorden looked to have a clear shot at his first win of the season until lap 36, when his fuel pump let go, bringing out the only yellow of the race.
    On the restart, Erickson's consistency paid off.  He quickly moved passed the limping Petrie and motored on to take the checkered flag, leaving Petrie to settle for second place.    
    Behind the three frontrunners, Mike Koss (Coldwater, MI), Dale Buckley (Commerce City, CO), and Don Warren (Aberdeen, WA) were locked in a three-way battle throughout the race.  Warren's throttle stuck, though, on the #66 ADI Lola-Buick and he looped the car in the infield grass to avoid hitting the slowing Gorden, going out in seventh-place.  Buckley also developed an engine problem in the #48 Buckley & Company Lola-Chevrolet and retired in sixth.  Koss motored on to take third in the #9 Brayton Engineering Lola-Buick.
    Eric Koselke (Indianapolis, IN) continued his consistent fourth-place finishes in the #17 Lennon & Associates Lola-Chevrolet.   After a string of engine failures in previous races,  Mike Lee (Minturn, CO) was pleased to bring the #40 Hilton Valdora Resorts/Formby Ford Lola-Buick home in fifth.  Gorden was credited with eighth-place points, while John McDonald (Winchester, CA) and David Hoffpauir (Black Forest, CO) went out  in ninth and tenth respectively with mechanical problems.
    Petrie retained his lead in the USSS 2001 Driver Championship with 91 points,   20 ahead of Erickson.  Koselke remains in third, just 6 points short of Erickson.  Koss, Warren, and Hoffpauir earned 43 points to bring Loophole peedwayseries's total to 151 points in the USSS 2001 Team Championship and giving team owners Bud and David Hoffpauir a 45-point lead over McDonald Motorsports.
    The Indy cars and Champ cars of the U.S. Speedway Series next return to the oval at Sandia Motorsports Park in Albuquerque on August  25.
or contact  (620) 225-8299

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