Daytona II: Race report

Angelelli and Taylor Give SunTrust Racing Its Second Rolex Series Win in Paul Revere 250 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2004) - The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley team of Italian Max Angelelli and teammate Wayne Taylor earned its second...

Angelelli and Taylor Give SunTrust Racing Its Second Rolex Series Win in Paul Revere 250

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2004) - The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley team of Italian Max Angelelli and teammate Wayne Taylor earned its second Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series win of the 2004 season at Daytona International Speedway early Friday morning in the Paul Revere 250 presented by Brumos Porsche (SPEED Channel, July 4, Noon ET).

Angelelli claimed the lead from the No. 20 CITGO-Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford of Andy Wallace on a Lap 59 restart following a crash involving reigning Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller in the No. 54 Kodak-Bell Motorsports Pontiac Doran and the No. 81 Rx.com/G&W Motorsports BMW Doran of Cort Wagner. Angelelli led the remaining 11 laps and finished 7.311 seconds ahead of Max Papis in the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley to earn the win.

After starting seventh, Taylor claimed the lead for the first time on Lap 23, and stayed in front until handing over to Angelelli on a Lap 30 pit stop. NASCAR star Tony Stewart then took the lead in the No. 20 machine and remained there until he pitted at the halfway point on Lap 35 when Wallace took over and rejoined the race in third place.

It appeared that the No. 20 team's single-stop strategy may have paid dividends as all of the other leaders needed one more trip to the pits. However, when the full-course caution flag flew following the Borcheller/ Wagner incident on Lap 54, the table was set for Angelelli's race-winning pass five laps later.

"Of course, I thought I could have caught Andy Wallace, my car was faster," Angelelli said. "I'm happy I ran the fastest lap of the race. I was really scared when the caution came out. I knew they (Papis) had new tires, and my tires were pretty old, so I really pushed at the end. I didn't know if I was much quicker."

The triumph was Angelelli's first at Daytona International Speedway, and was Taylor's second DIS victory, as he was an overall winner in the 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona. It was also Taylor and Angelelli's first win since taking the Food City 250 at Phoenix in April.

"Once we got in the qualifying, we concentrated on getting in the race setup," Taylor said. "It's one thing being the fastest in every session, it counts when you get the checkered flag. It's been a long time - it's very satisfying. Winning again at Daytona is great."

Scott Pruett started from the pole and led twice during his stint before handing off to co-driver Papis as they attempted to score their third consecutive win. Papis led twice himself, but dropped to third during his final pit stop on Lap 54. The Italian claimed second place from Wallace on Lap 61 but could advance no further.

"I gave it everything I could," Papis said. "Today was a great job for everyone on the team. I guess that's how you win the championship. If you don't finish first, you finish second. We have some work to do, but we know where to work, and we've made a lot of progress. We were pretty good in the infield; we had to work in the other direction."

The second place result was enough to keep Papis and Pruett atop the Daytona Prototype championship standings at the season's halfway point. The No. 01 teammates now lead Angelelli and Taylor by 11 points, 183-172.

"Those guys (in the No. 10) didn't miss a beat," Pruett said. "The 10 car has been our rival all year long; we've been trading it back and forth. But we're in it for the championship. It's hard to race these guys head to head because of the engine differences, but they've made some mistakes and we've taken advantage of them. When they don't, we'll finish second, and make a hard run for the championship."

After losing the lead, Wallace fell back as far as sixth place late in the running. However, he battled his way back to third on the final lap for his and Stewart's second-consecutive third-place Daytona Prototype finish at Daytona.

"I couldn't really charge at the end," Wallace said. "There was nothing left with my tires. It was too hot, and I wore them out with 15-20 laps to go. I knew I was pretty much dead in the water. I just had to see how fast I could go. I doubt if I could have held off Angelelli.

Stewart admitted that the Paul Revere 250 was somewhat of a learning experience, and he will get another chance to score his first sports car victory when he joins Wallace in the No. 20 machine again in the theglen.com 200, Round 8 of the 12-race 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series.

"That yellow didn't help us at all," Stewart said. "The one-stop strategy would have worked if it went green the rest of the way. It's an easy car to drive. This car has got such a good balance to it, that it's not one that you feel you need to fight. It's very driver-friendly. I'm looking forward to racing this car again with Andy at Watkins Glen."

The No. 20 machine was the first of three Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawfords to finish inside the top-six positions. Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Butch Leitzinger wheeled the No. 4 Howard-Boss Motorsports machine to a fourth place result, while Milka Duno and Jan Lammers brought the No. 2 CITGO-Howard-Boss Motorsports car home in sixth place. The No. 58 Red Bull Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar-which started second-finished fifth in the hands of David Donohue and Darren Law.

AUBERLEN CONTINUES GT WIN STREAK; MOVES INTO FIRST-PLACE TIE IN POINTS

In the GT category, points leader Boris Said's move from the No. 21 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 to the team's similar No. 22 machine paid dividends for his former co-driver, Bill Auberlen. By staying in the No. 21 machine, Auberlen continued his GT win streak by taking his fifth consecutive class victory with co-driver Justin Marks. Said and his new co-driver, Joey Hand, finished second allowing Auberlen to move into a tie in the class point standings with 186 markers apiece.

"This is the second time that I've won the Paul Revere 250 (the first win came in 2002)," Auberlen said. "I really love it. Our car was a handful. The Porsches had us covered on top speed. We had them covered on the infield. We had them covered on our driver lineup, our pit crew and our strategy. We were pretty bad in practice. I left it in the hands of the crew. They tuned the car up. (They) turned it from a four-lap car into a 20-lap car, which was much easier to deal with in the race."

"We fought the same problem all week," said Marks who scored his first Rolex Series win. "It was difficult for us to get the power down in the corners. It was just real loose. We made a lot of changes before the race. The experience of the team made those changes the right ones. The car was the best in the race and I just tried to stay in touch with the leaders and have the car in a competitive position for when I gave it to my teammate."

NONNAMAKER CELEBRATES FIRST ROLEX SERIES CLASS WIN IN SGS

In a dominating performance, Super Grand Sport (SGS) polesitter Wayne Nonnamaker drove the No. 41 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup nearly flag-to-flag in the lead en route to his first career Rolex Series class victory. Nonnamaker led all but two of the 70 laps and finished one lap ahead of SGS co-points leaders Marc Bunting and Andy Lally in the No. 38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup.

"I'm pretty tired," Nonnamaker said. "The ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche just did an excellent job. The crew did an amazing job on the stops. We've got a good set-up here. We've had success in the Grand-Am Cup, now we've been able to translate that into the Rolex - this is our first win in the Rolex. We're very excited and we're pumped for the rest of the year."

John Littlechild and Spencer Pumpelly co-drove the No. 37 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup to its second-consecutive SGS podium and third of the season with a third place showing, and Joe Nonnamaker-who celebrated his 55th birthday on Thursday-also drove the full, 70-lap distance by himself and finished fourth.

-garra-

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