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Cunningham Pushes Series Lead Back Out


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* 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series

Rnd 13 Watkins Glen International\

New York State


Sat/Sun Sept 24/25




Cunningham Pushes Series Lead Back Out

Young New Zealand racing driver Wade Cunningham has pushed his lead in the 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series back out to 33 points with a third place finish in this morning's (NZ time) thirteenth series round at Watkins Glen.

Cunningham, 21, started the race from pole position but was passed on the first lap by series veteran Jeff Simmons and third-generation 17-year-old racer Marco Andretti.

Simmons ended up winning the 29 lap race round the 5.3 km New York State 'road' course despite an off-course excursion on the second lap which forced him to work his way back through the field to the front.

Andretti led until the second last lap when Simmons - who had regained second place by lap 15 - got a better run past a lapped car.

Cunningham remained close - crossing the line just 0.2374 of a second behind Andretti and 0.8092 behind Simmons - but could not find a way past.

“"It was a tough day." he said. "We had the car set up for higher downforce. I was quick, if not a little quicker than the guys in front of me, but I couldn't get close enough to make a pass going into the corners."

Despite that, Cunningham expressed himself reasonably pleased with the race - and the points he scored.

Both arch series rival Travis Gregg and teammate Bobby Wilson - the latter who got up to second at one stage - spun and ended up down the field, Wilson in ninth place, Gregg in 12th.

Points-wise that could hardly have been worse for Gregg, who is now third in the overall points standings, 41 points behind Cunningham and eight behind race winner Simmons, who is now in second place, 33 points behind Cunningham with just one round of the 2005 Menards series to go.

Cunningham now returns to his Indianapolis base to prepare for the final round of the 2005 Menards series at the California Speedway over the October 15/16 weekend.


2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Rnd 13 Corning 100 Watkins Glen International Raceway New York USA Sat/Sun September 24/25 2005

Practice 1
1. Jeff Simmons 1.56.4493
2. Bobby Wilson 1.59.9770
3. Wade Cunningham 2.0.3851
4. Rocco DeSimone 2.0.3851
5. Larry Connor 2.0.7407
6. Marco Andretti 2.1.5747

Practice 2
1. Wade Cunningham 1.40.0505
2. Jeff Simmons 1.40.3081
3. Marco Andretti 1.41.7312
4. Scott Mansell 1.42.1371
5. Phil Giebler 1.43.0416
6. Chris Festa 1.43.4437

Practice 3
1. Wade Cunningham 1.39.7438
2. Jeff Simmons 1.40.7061
3. Phil Giebler 1.40.9495
4. Marco Andretti 1.41.6525
5. Nick Bussell 1.41.0669
6. Rocco DeSimone 1.42.5145

1. Wade Cunningham 1.39.6051
2. Jeff Simmons 1.39.8142
3. Scott Mansell 1.40.9076
4. Jamie Camara 1.41.5943
5. Marco Andretti 1.41.8377
6. Bobby Wilson 1.42.1402

Race (29 laps).
1. Jeff Simmons 29 laps
2. Marco Andretti +0.6318
3. Wade Cunninghamn +0.8692
4. Chris Festa +25.6854
5. Nick Bussell +39.8262
6. Phil Giebler +40.7311
7. Jamie Camara +54.6885
8. Larry Connor +1.08.2439
9. Bobby Wilson 1.34.0780
10. Marty Roth +1 lap
11. Jon Herb +1 lap
12. Travis Gregg +2 laps
13. Rocco DeSimone +4 laps
14. Scott Mansell dnf

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