Victory Lane Recap (IPS) - 2003, Michigan
Taylor Continues 2003 Winning Streak at Michigan
BROOKLYN, Michigan, Sunday, July 27, 2003 – Rookie Mark Taylor continued his domination of the 2003 IRL Infiniti Pro Series season by winning the Michigan 100 at Michigan International Speedway, his fifth victory in seven races.
“I knew that I would have a great car, and that is the main reason I'm able to do it, with such consistency,” said Taylor, who earned a record third consecutive Pro Series victory. “Without those guys, I wouldn't be able to get these results. I wouldn't have the confidence in the cars on the ovals.”
Taylor, who started seventh, passed pole sitter Arie Luyendyk Jr. for the lead on Lap 20.
“I surprised myself when I was able to take the lead on that first restart,” said Taylor. “From that point on, I felt confident. We were able to run the inside line. Just able to move it up the track a little bit coming out of the corners and going into the corners, just make sure no one got down the inside of me.
“I haven't had a problem all year, and hopefully, we can keep it that way.”
Rookies Jeff Simmons, in the No. 20 Western Union Speed Team Dallara, and Thiago Medeiros, in the No. 36 Genoa Racing entry, finished second and third, respectively, following a last-lap dash.
“My plan for the whole race was just to get into second place and stay there,” said Simmons, who crossed the finish line a mere .0023 of a second ahead of Medeiros. “That's what my plan was. It just didn't work out for us.”
The 50-lap sprint was slowed twice due to accidents. The first incident occurred when rookie Ross Fonferko, in the No. 6 Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone, spun entering Turn 4 on Lap 7.
Drivers Matt Beardsley, Brandon Erwin, Jonathan Urlin and Cory Witherill were collected by Fonferko’s spinning car, with Erwin making hard contact with the outside wall in Turn 4.
Erwin was airlifted to Foote Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Mich., for further evaluation. He was awake and alert. Beardsley, Fonferko, Urlin and Witherill were unhurt.
Paul Dana and Arie Luyendyk Jr. made contact on the backstretch on Lap 41. Both drivers were uninjured.
Rookies hold the top three positions in the Infiniti Pro Series standings. Taylor leads Medeiros 323-210, while Simmons ranks third with 206 points. Freedom 100 winner Ed Carpenter is fourth with 201.