USTCC Round 6: Pole-sitter Gary Sheehan Dominates at Sears Point in Subaru WRX
Sonoma CA, U.S. Touring Car Championship round 6: When the (Subaru) stars fully align, big things happen. This was certainly the case for Gary Sheehan and teamSMR at Sears Point Raceway, in the USTCC's sixth and penultimate race of the season. On a rainy, wet race day when all things seemed to come together perfectly, the Subaru of America-sponsored team earned their first win of the season after several disappointing near misses.
Sheehan, driving the 2002 Subaru WRX with All-Wheel Drive, consistently turned the fastest laps of the race on his way to a dominating victory, with a huge winning margin of 40 seconds. Getting away from the field early and never looking back, Sheehan, who loves racing in the rain, put the WRX's All Wheel Drive traction advantage to work, gaining ground on his competitors in each and every turn of the wet track.
Sheehan commented, "It was just a perfect weekend for us. We qualified on the pole Saturday when the track was dry, so we knew the car was very strong. When the rain began to fall, we had a lot of confidence that this would be our day to win. The WRX loves wet tracks...and so do I."
Making the victory even more savory for the Northern California-based team is the fact that Sears Point Raceway is also their home track. The local win delighted the contingent of teamSMR and Subaru WRX fans gathered for the event; Sheehan showed his appreciation to them by slowing and pumping both fists out of his window during the victory lap.
The effort further solidified the team's third place position in the season-long points championship, with one race still to be run, (at Laguna Seca, also near the team's home turf in Northern California). Mathematically, teamSMR still has a chance at winning the season championship should they manage to win the final race.
The 2001 season is teamSMR's first campaign with the Subaru WRX.
The United States Touring Car Championship is sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association, and is America's premier grassroots Touring Car racing series.
The 2002 Subaru WRX embodies Subaru's legendary motorsports history. Featuring The Beauty of All-Wheel-Drive, and the Turbocharged 2.0 liter boxer engine, the WRX boasts three World Rally Championships to its pedigree, as well as countless other motorsports victories around the world.