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July 24, 2002

Ground Control
Kelowna's Richardson takes 18th spot at Barber Dodge pro series race in Cleveland

Thank goodness for frequent flyer miles. It was probably the only thing that kept the costs down for Mike Richardson during his latest episode of driving in the Barber Dodge Pro Series.

At the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland last weekend, the Kelowna racecar pilot was getting his nose and wings into all sorts of trouble on his way to an 18th place finish.

In qualifying, Richardson went through two wings.

"The track is very tricky, because there are no markings to gauge turning zones," said the series rookie about an event-filled weekend on the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit.

Richardson ended up qualifying 22nd of the 23 cars in the weekend field.

Then in the first turn of the first lap of the main event, he got his nose into the back of American driver Atticus Misner, who ended up spinning his way right out of the race.

Richardson, one of only three Canadian drivers in the series, had to go to the pits to replace the nose cone, with only a full-course yellow keeping him from going a lap down.

However, the integrity of the car was compromised. He would finish 18th of the day, one lap down. His pay cheque for the weekend was $750.
"It's not going to quite cover the costs (of last weekend)," commented Richardson about his winnings.

Meanwhile, Richardson is looking for his first points of the year.

Next week, the racing comes closest to home with the Vancouver Indy weekend, July 25-28

"I'm really excited about Vancouver," said the Prestige Inn-sponsored driver. "Out of all the races (this year) this is going to be my most important race."
There is surely to be added excitement, nervousness and more than a few butterflies to quell before the 34-year-old climbs into the driver's seat next weekend. The Vancouver race will be the first chance he has had to showoff before friends and family since he took up open-wheeled racing three years ago.