April 20, 2002
Rookie wins 'Greatest Spectacle in College Racing' at Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Timothy O'Brien, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering technology from Lebanon, Ohio, claimed the 2002 Grand Prix title today (Saturday, 4/20) in the 45th annual Purdue Grand Prix.
O'Brien, whose team name was "Excalibur 2," chased leaders Thomas Gray, a senior from Indianapolis, and Adam Kasick, a junior from Munster, Ind. through much of the race. Gray, who won the race in 1999 and 2001, lost the lead in lap 68 after experiencing mechanical difficulties.
After several pit stops, Gray left the race for good in lap 139. Kasick, who had a one-half lap lead on O'Brien with 25 laps to go in the race, experienced mechanical difficulties in lap 137. O'Brien preserved a two-lap lead over the rest of the field to secure the victory.
Nick Watt, a sophomore from Naperville, Ill. majoring in mechanical engineering technology and representing the Delta Chi fraternity, finished second. Thirty-three Purdue students, competed in the event.
Victor Garcia, a junior from Ecuador majoring in horticulture, took third place.
O'Brien said he was thrilled with the victory, especially after chasing Kasick through much of the race.
"I tried to drive a smart race and stay clean," O'Brien said. "In lap 110, I thought 'Oh, man, I'm never going to make it.' It's great."
Eric Goginski, a 2000 graduate from Lewis Center, Ohio, won the alumni race. The 50-lap race, held every five years, featured 16 drivers from Indiana and Ohio.
Goginski said he was happy to claim the victory, especially after a disappointing race two years ago.
"I led the race for 16 laps and had mechanical problems," Goginski said. "This was my last hurrah. I like being back here, and I like this race. I hope it never ends."
The Purdue Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit organization that conducts the kart race and related events to raise money for student scholarships. The foundation awarded 18 scholarships totaling $10,000 in the 2001-2002 school year. The foundation receives support from Ford Motor Co., Coca Cola Co. the Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics.
Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704, email@example.com
Sources: Timothy O'Brien, (765) 495-5920, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Goginsky, (740) 549-0846, email@example.com
Timothy O'Brien leaps into the arms of his teammate in celebration of his victory in the Purdue Grand Prix kart race. O'Brien, a freshman in mechanical engineering technology, from Lebanon, Ohio, led the final 23 laps of the race. Thirty-three Purdue students competed in the 45th annual event today (Saturday, 4/20) on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The Purdue Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit organization that conducts the race and related events to raise money for student scholarships. The foundation awarded 18 scholarships totaling $10,000 in the 2001-02 school year. (Purdue News Service Photo by David Umberger)
A publication-quality photograph is available at ftp://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/grand.prix02.jpeg