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Kelowna Driver better after a few weeks off!
By Urss Ullyot
Kelowna Capital News

Mike Richardson was glad to be back in a race car on the weekend and he showed it. After missing three consecutive races in the Barber Dodge Series, the Kelowna driver returned to his seat in the Prestige Inns No. 34 car for the Toronto Molson Indy weekend. Richardson posted his best showing ever in the Barber Dodge Series, finishing in eighth place in an event-filled race. Memo Rojas of Mexico City took his first series victory, taking the lead at the mid-point of the race. "It was so tough out there, no one was giving an inch," Rojas told the Barber Dodge Series Web site. The 28-lap race featured three full-course yellows for multi-car accidents and finished under a yellow flag. Seven of the 16 starters failed to reach the checkered flag. "I waited for guys to make mistakes and made my passes," said Richardson, who drove a clean race on the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit. Richardson had most everything go right for him Sunday, although he may have been wondering why he made the trek to Toronto during Friday's practice. He brushed the wall and broke off the front spoiler pushing himself and what he felt was a car that lacked racing power. He switched to a backup car Saturday and qualified 14th for the race. "It was tough getting back into the car and finding the rhythm," said Richardson, who was forced to the sidelines for more than a month due to lack of financial sponsorship. However, when the green flag dropped Sunday, the fourth-year pro came through with his best showing on what he considers his favourite track. "It's a pretty cool track with some neat turns," said Richardson, whose 2002 Toronto race lasted just four laps before he blew an engine. The Barber Dodge Series is a development series and an entry-level for prospective CART drivers. Richardson's next outing is in two weekends time at the Vancouver Molson Indy, where he posted his previous best finish, a 12th last year. The Toronto race can be seen Aug. 16 on the Speed Channel.