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Father's day Bumps!
By Doyle Potenteau
The Okanagan Saturday

Monterey, Calif., is where Mike Richardson should have been this past weekend, roaring around infamous Laguna Seca. An eager backmarker, however, ruined his trip south two weekends ago. In the third stop of the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series, the Milwaukee Mile, Richardson only completed two laps before his day, and all of June, came to a crashing end. An overanxious driver clipped the rear of Richardson's blue and silver Dodge and spun the Kelowna resident. The offending driver missed the sliding Richardson, but the racer two spots behind Richardson didn't and smashed into him. "I was basically going sideways down the track," said Richardson, whose Dodge suffered severe suspension damage. "It's aggravating when a racer isn't patient when they should be. He got underneath me, which put me sideways . . . and the guy behind him just collected into me. "And that was that for the race." Disgusted at his luck, Richardson made a beeline for the pits, hopped in his rental car and drove to the hotel, where he spent a frustrating night replaying the race in his mind. Frustrating because Richardson qualified im the middle of the pack at 12th. "It was tough to qualify, as we had only two laps," said Richardson, who plans on also missing the June 22 race in Portland. "And I was one of the first ones out, and it was a cold day. You could see your breath. Then as the day went on, it warmed up and track times improved. "Still, I had a decent qualifying time which meant I wasn't going to be a backrunner like I was in my first year last season. I moved up to the middle of the pack and now a podium finish isn't out of the question. "After this mishap, I'm going to take some time off to regroup." After Portland, Barber Dodge visits Cleveland (July 5), Toronto (July 13), Vancouver (July 27), Mid-Ohio (Aug. 9) and, to close out its 10-race season, Montreal (Aug. 24).

As for racing on an oval and reaching average speeds of 130 miles an hour, Richardson said he prefers road courses. "(Ovals) are sort of boring, in a way," said Richardson. "At Milwaukee, there are only two corners to learn. Once you master those, you got it made. And then you keep going around and around and around. I was sort of getting dizzy after getting out of my car. "There's definitely a lot of repetition and the car's momentum keeps building, leading to faster and faster times. It was good, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time." At Laguna Seca, Dan Di Leo of Markham, Ont., took the checkered flag in the Grand Prix of Monterey. Di Leo finished 1.533 seconds ahead of polesitter Memo Rojas of Mexico City in Sunday's 41-minute timed race on the 2.238-mile circuit. David Martinez, of Mexico, finished third. Di Leo won $13,000 US while Rojas and Martinez respectively pocketed $8,750 and $6,500. Other notable results from the 19-car field included Al Unser's sixth-place finish, up six spots from his 12th-place starting position, and fellow Canadian Chris Green of Beaconsfield, Que., in 10th.