After dominating the early part of the race, the team encountered a momentary glitch on its car that needed diagnosis, about 45 minutes into the event. While the team remedied the situation and returned Lucas Luhr to the track aboard his HPD ARX-03a, they found themselves four laps down due to Lime Rock Park's short 1.5-mile distance.
The drama didn't end there though as the team was then penalized for a pit lane speed violation.
As they've shown in the past, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing is one to never give up. Luhr, who remained in the car, set out on a mission and put in qualifying lap after qualifying lap and by the time he handed driving duties to Klaus Graf with one hour and five minutes to go, he was up to one lap down to the leader.
Graf, just like his German teammate, put in an incredible performance and made his way back up to the lead lap and took over the class lead with less than 30 minutes to go with a spectacular outside move on Guy Smith in Turn 1. Shortly thereafter he took over the overall lead with about 24 minutes remaining in the event.
Once the driver of the #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a was at the front of the field, he never looked back and built a comfortable gap that would take him to the checkered flag, giving the team what will certainly become one of their most memorable wins.
The victory at Lime Rock Park, aboard its special patriotic livery, is the second for Pickett Racing at that facility. The team picked up its first overall win at the Connecticut track in 2010.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will return to action in two weeks time for the ALMS round at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Muscle Milk Quotes
Lucas Luhr, qualifying driver #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a "We had a good start and everything went to plan. I was able to pull a gap on the 16 car but unfortunately I then felt something was wrong with the car. So I entered pit lane and the team fixed the problem and I was able to go back out.
"Honestly, at that point I thought it was over because we were four laps down. I thought we were going to lose the race so I just put the hammer down and in traffic I didn't take a second guess and just dove in and pushed real hard and by the end of my stint we were only one lap down.
"Klaus made a super cool move on the outside of turn 1, I don't think you see that too often! From then on he pulled away and we got another victory. It is very sweet.
"When you're four laps down on a circuit like Lime Rock it's hard to come back, and this victory, having to fight back like we did, makes it that much more memorable. I'm really happy. The Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a was fantastic and we were able to push like crazy and that's what we had to do to have a slight chance. That we achieved what we did at the end is incredible.
"Finally I want to add that I made a bet with Penny Pickett so it will be an expensive race for me, because I now have to buy my wife a new hand bag! But it's all good. I'm happy and relieved that we got rewarded for all the hard work that Muscle Milk Pickett Racing did. We were by far the quickest car all weekend and to win at the end it is very special."
Klaus Graf, #6 Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a "I qualified every lap I was out there. Up until I got into the lead, I wasn't really aware what was really going on. I pushed so hard I just kind of blacked out everything and pushed like crazy and cut through traffic and took every risk. I used all the experience I have.
"I had already passed Guy Smith on the outside earlier on so I knew it was my only chance because he was quicker on the straight a little bit and around here, unless you get lucky in traffic, it's really difficult to pass, plus Guy is a world class driver, he knows what he's doing, he knows how to defend his position. I knew from practice that I could brake quite late going into Turn 1 with our Muscle Milk HPD ARX-03a staying stable. The car was really, really good today for doing something like that, and so I did it, twice even!
"I have to say, I respect the way Guy Smith raced me. It's really easy to punt somebody off if they come on the outside of you so I appreciate the fair racing.
"It seems that we get pretty exciting races at Lime Rock Park. We had our first overall win in 2010, and that was a heck of fight, and now today it was quite the comeback! It's very rewarding for the guys and a big congrats to everyone at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, they did a great job."
Source: Muscle Milk Pickett Racing