Lazier Repeats as Belterra Indy 300 Winner
Career Wins Leader Pulls Away After Duel With Buhl
Buddy Lazier (#91 Tae-Bo/Coors Light/Delta Faucet Dallara Oldsmobile) dueled Robbie Buhl (No. 24Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing G Force Ifiniti) in a classic battle down the stretch, but Lazier held on to repeat as winner of the Indy Racing League Northern Light Series Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
A crowd of 47,323 witnessed three lead changes in the last 10 laps of the race between Lazier and Buhl. However, Lazier wound up with alone at the finish line and Buhl finished ninth and a lap down after running out of gas with two laps to go.
"Real close racing. Great racing," Lazier said. "Robbie Buhl made it hard for me, and I had to make it hard for him. This is two in a row at this racetrack. I've never done that before. I really like Kentucky.
The win was an IRL record fourth of the season for Lazier. He is the career wins leader in the series with eight. Lazier also broke his own track record at Kentucky with an average race speed of 174.910 mph. His previous record was 164.601 mph.
Buhl's problems actually started well before he ran out of fuel. During a scheduled pit stop on lap 158, a problem with fuel transfer resulted in a spill that did not allow the Buhl's car to completely fill up with gas, ultimately leading to his inability to finish the race.
"It's frustrating," Buhl said. "It's a game where tenths of a second make a difference and we were just trying to make everything work perfectly. There was a little bit of a miscue and the end result is we didn't get enough fuel in the tank."
Polesitter Scott Sharp (No. 8 Delphi Automotive Systems Dallara Oldsmobile) led the most laps in the race at 105, but finished second, 1.582 seconds behind Lazier. Sam Hornish, Jr. (No. 4 Penzoil Panther Dallara Oldsmobile) came in third.
Hornish maintains his Indy Racing Northern Light Series points lead, but second-place Lazier has moved within 25 points.
The race was the last of the 2001 season at Kentucky Speedway. Check www.kentuckyspeedway.com throughout the fall and winter for updates on the 2002 schedule.