Daytona II: SunTrust Racing race report

SunTrust Pontiac Riley Celebrates Another Second Place Finish at Daytona in the Brumos Porsche 250 Daytona Beach, Florida (June 30, 2005) - There was a reward at the end of the rainbow today for the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team of ...

SunTrust Pontiac Riley Celebrates Another Second Place Finish at Daytona in the Brumos Porsche 250

Daytona Beach, Florida (June 30, 2005) - There was a reward at the end of the rainbow today for the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team of Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli. Their "pot of gold"came in the form of valuable championship points, of which they collected 32 and jumped back into the lead of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class.

After starting from the pole position, his first pole in nine years, the 48-year-old Wayne Taylor drove a hard and steady pace for his stint of nearly 45 minutes. A caution on Lap 22 precipitated the call to pit for fuel, tires and a driver change by SunTrust team owner and pit strategist Bill Riley. The eventual race winner was the No. 4 Howard-Boss Motor sports Pontiac Crawford of Butch Leizinger and Elliott-Forbes Robinson. The SunTrust team's second-place finish catapulted them back into the points championship lead with seven points over the No. 01 CompUSA/Chip Genesis Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz. The SunTrust team had nearly 50 guests on-site to help cheer on their fan favorite duo of Taylor and Angelelli.

"It was really a great race. I had probably the best fun I've had since a long time ago," said Altamonte Springs, Florida resident Wayne Taylor. "We wanted to win the race badly, but leaving the race with a seven point lead, that's better than winning, so we're really happy. We also really wanted to win this because today is George Koehn's retirement day, but you know he's going to be with us indefinitely. He'll be part of the championship." (Mr. Koehn is the outgoing President and CEO of SunTrust Banks, Florida and an integral part of the race team partnership.)

Weather could have been a huge factor as afternoon rains are common in Florida in the summer months and today was no exception. There was heavy rainfall after today's early afternoon qualifying session, but the skies cleared and produced a rainbow for the start of the race at 7:15 p.m. ET.

"Certainly we would have liked to win," said Bill Riley, who's racing strategy is becoming legendary in Grand American. "If I'm going to lose to someone, it's nice to lose to someone as nice as Butch Leitzinger. I'm okay with it. We made up some good points. The team did well, the engine was okay. It was just after that last restart, we just didn't have the speed at the time."

Max "The Ax" Angelelli battled many of the 24 other Daytona Prototype cars and worked his way through the 29 GT cars throughout the course of his nearly two-hour stint, including rivals and last year's champions, Scott Pruett in the No. 01 car and Max Papis in the No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac Riley. There were four cautions for a total of 14 laps during the 70-lap Brumos Porsche 250 race. Angelelli led four of them, while his teammate, Taylor, led the first two race laps before acquiescing to Jorg Bergmeister, Papis' teammate.

"I am happy for the championship, happy for the points, but disappointed because the No. 66 car could have let me go by earlier," said the popular Italian Angelelli. "I lost so much time behind him and that reduced my chances to get close to the No. 4 and try to pass. It's a shame. Like I said though, it's good for the championship. We're back on the lead by seven points and we need to fInish all the races possible on the podium, in the top three, and then we can think about the championship."

"We are really proud of Wayne and Max. They ran a great race and ending up first in the points so far in the championship is fantastic and they just had a great day," said an enthusiastic Tom Kuntz, the new President and CEO of SunTrust Banks, Florida.

- suntrustracing.com

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , Jörg Bergmeister , Max Angelelli