FINLAY MOTORSPORTS PULLS OFF A SEVENTH PLACE FINISH AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY HOMESTEAD, FL (March 24, 2007) - The Mooresville, NC - based team of Finlay Motorsports had high expectations for today's running of the Linder Industrial Komatsu ...
FINLAY MOTORSPORTS PULLS OFF A SEVENTH PLACE FINISH AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
HOMESTEAD, FL (March 24, 2007) - The Mooresville, NC - based team of Finlay Motorsports had high expectations for today's running of the Linder Industrial Komatsu Grand Prix of Miami. The team put the No.19 Daytona Prototype machine, driven by Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante, towards the top of the speed charts during the morning warm up posting the third quick time of the session.
Rob Finlay strapped into the Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential/Make-A-Wish sponsored machine and made his way onto to the starting grid in anticipation of a green flag start. When the flag flew Finlay brought the orange and black machine down the front straightaway and soared into turn one for the start of what became an action packed event. Finlay was holding his own until a Porsche GT machine made contact with his car causing him to spin out on the race circuit. Keeping a calm head, Finlay immediately got the machine headed back in the right direction and returned to the race action. Unfortunately the team's Ford-powered Crawford experienced a problem with straightaway speed from the start and was at a disadvantage for the remainder of the race.
"I don't even know what to say," said Rob Finlay. "The car was pretty good and the guys did an incredible job in the pits but this situation with the motor is getting a little old. We've got a great deal to think about after this one."
Michael Valiante climbed behind the wheel around lap 24 and began what would become a grueling stint, showing his driving talent and proving once again his competitive nature. Taking advantage of the team's incredible pit stops, Valiante was able to move into the sixth position by lap 76.
The Finlay Motorsports team, led by Frank Resciniti, produced some of the best stops of the day making up an impressive three positions during their final pit stop.
With the team's work in the pits completed it was all Valiante for the remainder of the 2-hour 30 minute time limit race. Muscling his way around the 11-turn road course of Homestead-Miami Speedway, Valiante managed to hold off his fellow competitors and scored the team's best result of the 2007 season by finishing in the seventh position.
"I'm extremely disappointed," said Michael Valiante. "I really felt that this car was good enough for the podium. The guys had some great pit stops and even made up three positions during the last stop. We're so close to being where we need to be to win one of these things."
The Finlay Motorsports team will next compete at Virginia International Raceway April 27-29.