USTCC: Gary Sheehan Summit Point race summary

Sheehan Motor Racing wins round 3 of USTCC at Summit Point Raceway. Gary Sheehan took the victory in an abbreviated race at Summit Point Raceway in his Subaru of America sponsored WRX. Gary Hutto finished in 2nd place driving the Global ...

Sheehan Motor Racing wins round 3 of USTCC at Summit Point Raceway.

Gary Sheehan took the victory in an abbreviated race at Summit Point Raceway in his Subaru of America sponsored WRX. Gary Hutto finished in 2nd place driving the Global Motorsports Group BMW 328i and David Lang claimed the final podium spot with his Miracle Auto Painting Honda Prelude.

The Summit Point event took the majority of the U.S. Touring Car Championship (USTCC) competitors on the longest trip of the season. Most of the teams are based on the west coast, and hauling their racecars and gear to West Virginia made for grueling 6,000 road trips across the country.

The teams had to quickly come to grips with a track they hadn't been to before. Practice and qualifying times were close on Saturday, but Sheehan grabbed the pole position in the Sunday qualifying session with a fastest lap time of 1:25.455, nearly 1.5 seconds faster than the competition. David Lang qualified 2nd with a time of 1:27.880. Gary Hutto and Dave Davis filled row two with times of 1:27.972 and 1:27.977 respectively. The remainder of the field qualified with times between 1:28 to 1:30.

At the start of the race Sheehan jumped into the lead while Hutto and Davis got past Lang. Sheehan got through turn 1 cleanly while Hutto and Davis tangled, sending them both into the grass but able to continue, giving Ali Arsham in his Honda Civic a shot at 2nd. It was short lived as Arsham overcooked turn 5, giving 2nd place back to Hutto.

Hutto gradually closed the gap to Sheehan until the USTCC cars began lapping slower cars from the two other classes that were on the track. Sheehan dealt with the traffic much better than Hutto, quickly increasing his lead from 0.6 seconds to over 7 seconds. At just about half distance in the race, two cars blew their motors separately and oiled down five of the track's 10 turns. Officials black-flagged the race to evaluate the condition of the track. With an estimated clean-up time of 45 minutes, officials waved the checkered with the competitors in the pits, bringing the race to an end. At just over half distance, the race was considered a complete race and full championship points were awarded.

"It's unfortunate that the race was ended prematurely, but I'm pretty happy with where we ended up," said race winner, Gary Sheehan. "Our car was awesome today and I was having good luck getting through the heavy traffic. I had a comfortable lead before the race was black flagged and it would have been tough for Gary (Hutto) to make up that distance."

The pole position and race win points awarded to Sheehan Motor Racing puts them back into the championship lead as the series approaches it's midpoint. TeamSMR now has a 20 point lead over 2nd place Gary Hutto and the Global Motorsports Group team.

A recent schedule change puts the 4th race of the season just around the corner at Buttonwillow Raceway on July 13th and 14th. This gives the teams just enough time to scramble back across the country and prepare themselves and their cars for the high temperatures and dry weather that is typical of California's Central Valley during the summer months.

-smr-

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About this article
Series General
Drivers Gary Hutto , Gary Sheehan
Teams Global Motorsports Group