Cooper Doubles Up At Exhibition Place


The grid for round eight was set on the finishing order in round seven, with Cooper (TC) and Lipperini (TCB) starting on pole.

The same story applied to Cooper as in race one, as the field closed back up on him after another caution, but he held off the Civics behind him after a restart. Behind him, there were several instances of contact in TC.

On lap one, there were two separate incidents. Ruscitti, Miller and Gary Kwok all made contact heading into turn one, and continued, while in turn three, Alain Lauziere, Jonathan Young and Ruscitti all had contact in turn three.

Kwok and his teammate Young in the No. 91 M&S Quality Produce Honda Civic Si, were forced to retire after the first lap. Meanwhile, Lauziere in the No. 47 MINI Genuine Parts/Castrol/RMW MINI Cooper S JCW, advanced up to fourth place in class.

Ruscitti still emerged from the chaos in fifth place at the end of lap one, advancing from ninth. That gain secured him the Optima Batteries Best Start Award.

Neither of the first lap incidents triggered a full course caution. But Lauziere’s luck ran out later in the race, at turn three, with contact on lap seven bringing out the first and only caution of round eight.

Cooper, Tom Kwok and Winchester restarted first through third, where they were once the caution flew – all three remained in their positions, but a charging Miller came close to scoring his elusive first podium finish of the season. The charge ended for the Shea Racing driver though after he needed to use the turn one escape road again to avoid potential calamities ahead of him Miller finished fourth. Ruscitti finished fifth.

The TCB battle, meanwhile, was intense all race between Lipperini and Francis Jr. Lipperini held off Francis Jr.’s attempts, either to the inside or outside going to turns one and three, but only for the first half of the race.

On lap 10, after a restart, Francis Jr. finally got around Lipperini, and Davis followed suit. Francis Jr.’s move netted him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award for the second time in as many races.

“It was a great day,” said Francis Jr. “I had to start from back in first race. I knew I couldn’t wreck my car because I had the second race to do.”

It was a needed second place finish for Davis after his fifth place in round seven, while Lipperini scored his third straight podium finish in third place. Davis took home two awards: the Sunoco Hard Charger Award (he started fourth) and the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race Award for his move from fourth to second on lap 10.

Francis Sr. finished fourth, while P.J. Groenke in the No. 66 Mulligan Gold/Tundra/ Honda Fit recorded his best finish of the 2013 season on home soil, in fifth place.