Alex Job Racing press release
Alex Job Racing Fourth in ALMS Six-Hour at Laguna
MONTEREY, CA, (Sept. 17, 2011) - Alex Job Racing's (AJR) Bill Sweedler, Brian Wong and Shane Lewis drover to a fourth-place finish in GTC in today's running of the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Tequila Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Lewis, from Jupiter, Florida, started the No. 23 Battery Tender/William Rast/Robert Graham/Alex Job Racing Porsche from the fourth row and drove it up to third place by lap 58 when he handed it over to teammate Sweedler. Excellent pit work by the AJR crew got Sweedler, Westport, Connecticut, out first and in first for the start of his tour of Laguna Seca. After leading several laps and being a fixture at the front of the GTC field, Sweedler handed the Battery Tender Porsche over to Wong. Wong, Newport Beach, California, was determined to keep the car at the front. Doing double duty Wong had the car on the podium when he handed it over to Lewis for the final run. On lap 209, while running in third, Lewis experienced steering problems and a left front flat tire, putting the team off of the rostrum and in fourth.
"My long stint was good," Wong said. "Shane had good opening run in the Battery Tender/Alex Job Porsche and kept at the front. Bill did a great job leading most of his stint. When I got in, I wanted to get as much as I could get out of it and then put Shane in for the final run. I had a really long stint. The last half hour was a little tougher. The sun was going down, and people started to fight harder. My stint went really good, the car was handling well enough to keep me competitive. We are not happy with fourth, but that is all we had today. The Alex Job guys did great pit work and an excellent job on the car. We are going to Petit looking to get back up on the podium."
Sweedler's stint involved some on track contact.
"The Alex Job team put together an amazing car," Sweedler said. "We struggled early in practice with the set-up of the car, but we got it right for the race. I had a good stint going until the 32 car hit me from behind and through the alignment out in the rear. I was hanging on for the rest of my time in the car. It was disappointing. It is bittersweet coming in fourth. We were looking for a podium finish today. Now we turn our attention to Petit."
Lewis' late race flat tire came at the most inopportune time.
"The team led some laps today," Lewis said. "That shows you the tenacity of Alex Job Racing. We were really working on the set-up all weekend long. We didn't have the fastest car in the race, but not one single person on this team gives up, and that is why I wanted to drive for them. The pit stops were awesome. The strategy was great, Greg (Fordahl, engineer) was working on everything he could, just a never-say-die approach. If it wasn't for that flat tire in the last hour I think we would have been on the podium for sure."
Alex Job, team owner, knows the frustration when a podium slips away.
"We didn't have the fastest GTC car today, but we still put ourselves in a position to be on the podium," Job said. "Bill, Brian and Shane all had good stints behind the wheel. We just caught a bad break with the flat tire in the last hour of the race. The guys did great pit work and were able to get us out ahead of our competition on every stop. We had Brian do a double stint in the middle of the race as it seemed he had a nice rhythm going on the track and was running very consistent times. We will go onto Petit in two weeks for the final and look to close out the season strong."
The ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Tequila Patrón from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca can be viewed tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 18 on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET.
The final round of the American Le Mans Series by Tequila Patrón will be run at Road Atlanta Sept. 28 - Oct.1