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Hartanto Continues Winning Streak into 2009 Season

Ryan Cristobal - USTCC PR/Media Services Team
Thursday, June 11, 2009

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Andrie Hartanto on a roll at Thunderhill Raceway Park and wins his 4th straight USTCC event

Willows, Ca. – The 2009 Nitto Tire United States Touring Car Championship season took the green flag Sunday, April 26th, 2009 on the challenging track of Thunderhill Raceway Park in the Northern California town of Willows.

Andrie Hartanto started the season where he left off in 2008, which is in victory lane.  Hartanto now holds a USTCC series record of four consecutive wins in the #88 RedZone/SuperTech/Wicked Tuning Prima Racing Acura TSX surpassing and breaking a tie with 2005-2006 USTCC Driver Champion Dave Brown at three consecutive victories. With the victory, Hartanto quickly solidifies himself as an early favorite for the 2009 championship, especially being teamed up with 3-Time Champion and defending 2008 USTCC Co-Champion Tom Lepper.

But Hartanto’s drive to the record books did not come without a challenge.  Once again Hartanto had to fend off the hard charging Andy Chittum in the #38 BTM Motorworks/LeMans Karting BMW 328ti who finished second for the fourth consecutive time behind Hartanto.

Andrie Hartanto, Andy Chittum and Pete Bovenberg make the Podium
2007 Champion Curt Simmons, driving the #49 Stevens Creek Dodge SRT-4 was in the thick of the action all the way to the end, until flywheel issues dropped him from any chance for the win or podium.  2007 Co-Champion Pete Bovenberg took advantage of his teammate’s misfortune and placed his #94 MBO Motorsports Honda Civic Si in solid third place, his first podium finish since his 2007 Championship campaign. 

Michael McColligan in the #38 Mazdatrix/Idemitsu MC Racing Mazda RX8 with a strong finish, rounded off the Top 4 and took home the GoPro Camera award for best improvement between his qualifying and race speed.

Vince Parker finished 6th in USTCC action at Thunderhill
Driver teammates Tommy Lo and Paul Ko in the Midnight Performance Acura Integra finished fifth in their first USTCC start and were the Dupli-Color Top Rookies of the Race, after edging another newcomer Vincent Parker in the #96 Bay Bridge Motors/Pointsix Racing  MINI Cooper-S who finished in sixth place.

The USTCC series will return to Thunderhill Raceway Park on May 30-31, this time in a reverse direction.  Hartanto/Lepper driver tandem will aim for two consecutive victories to pad their championship chances.  Chittum will look to finally break into the top step of the podium and break his streak of second places.

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