Dismore Things Change

Mark Dismore’s future in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series could very well hinge on his performances in the final two races of the season.

Dismore, who drives the No. 28 Dallara-Aurora for Kelley Racing, is without a sponsor next year after Delphi Automotive cut back its funding to support one car.

It just so happens that this weekend’s race at the brand-new 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. is sponsored by the Indiana-based company, giving Dismore that much more incentive to go for his first win of the season.

“It's not been our day for a lot of days; and we have two races to try to make something happen here,” Dismore said. “The last two races are on high-speed tracks, and I seem like I'm better at that stuff than I am with these bull rings anyway. So I'm looking forward to going to these last two races and hoping we can put together two good races and turn the season around for us a little bit.

“I can win these races just as Sam can and about six other guys. But we're one of the guys that can win the race. So we're looking forward to it and it would really help us turn our season around for us.

“And with Delphi sponsoring that race, we'll be even more motivated to keep our Delphi-Bryant car out front all weekend.”

Keeping his car out front is something Dismore has not been able to do much this season. A favorite for the IRNLS title entering the season, Dismore has struggled through mechanical problems and bad luck.

At the season-opener in Phoenix, Dismore finished 25th after being caught up in an accident involving Jeret Schroeder and Gil de Ferran. It hasn’t gotten much better. In fact, Dismore’s biggest disappointment of the year came in the Indianapolis 500. Dismore had a comfortable lead when mechanical problems knocked him out of contention.

"We put together some of the fastest race laps,” said Dismore, who lives just a hop, skip and a jump away from Indy in Greenfield, Ind. “It was too easy. That's the thing - it was too easy. I guess in a lot of ways, we were lucky, but I don't feel very lucky.”

The week after Indy, Dismore won the pole at Texas, but he couldn’t turn that into a win. He fell out of the race 132 laps into the 200-lap race when his engine expired again. It’s problems similar to that that have kept him off the podium since April of 2000, when he finished second at Las Vegas.

“That's what we need to happen, we need some things to work out,” Dismore explained. “That hasn't been happening and it hasn't been anyone's fault. There's no one person you
can point to or any situation on our team that you can point and say, ‘There's the problem, let's fix it.’ That's what's so frustrating about it. If it was that simple, this problem would have been fixed a year and a half ago.

Dismore also ran strong at Nashville, but he was speared from behind by Airton Dare during an accident. Another promising race ended with a 16th-place finish.

“We've had a lot of good race cars this year, we've had a lot of opportunities to win races and I can't say that anyone's thrown them away because that hasn't been the case in any situation,” he said.

His bad luck held throughout the balance of the summer, until he finished 2nd Sunday at the inaugural event at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.

“Maybe things have changed,” Dismore said. “I know I can win races and got a lot of racing left in me, but I've got two races this year to prove that and we've got to go forward from here and I'm looking forward to that.”

His first chance to turn his season around comes this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Dismore has tested at the track, and he’s optimistic about his chances on the high-banked oval.

“We had a good test there,” he said. “We were there for a tire test, but we were also able
to do some independent testing. I think we have a relatively decent idea of what to do with our Delphi-Bryant car. We can go back there with a decent baseline setup, and if the weather cooperates, we'll get some valuable track time and come up with a good qualifying car and setup for the race.

"I think Chicagoland Speedway is a one-groove track. There might be a second groove, but it's going to be pretty limited. It's very similar to Kansas Speedway, so if you can get your car to work in the second groove, you'll have an advantage.”

Practice for the sold-out Delphi Indy 300 begins Friday. Qualifying is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET Saturday.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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