Patterson's Predictions Come True at Homestead with Trueman Award and Podium Result
(Homestead, FL) 12 October- With a day job that involves transactions that might include the terminology, ... past performances may not be indicative of future results," Mark Patterson might be excused for not standing up and making bold predictions about the future. But the Rolex Sports Car Series season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway nonetheless saw two bold predictions come true for the experienced Rolex Series racer.
South African-born Patterson won his first Rolex Sports Car Series race with Oswaldo Negri to close out the 2006 season and score the Jim Trueman Award, the honor given to the highest-ranking non-professional driver. He was once again a threat to take the award in 2008, only to narrowly lose out in the closing stages of the final race of the season.
But as the 2009 season opened, Patterson had a very specific goal in mind, and wasn't afraid to say so.
During the traditional press activities surrounding the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Patterson, who is known to let his actions speak louder than his words, broke with that for a moment as he declared that "I will NOT be losing the Trueman Award for a second year in a row..."
But nearly just as soon as he had made that declaration, it was looking like it would never happen. The classification for the award utilizes a mathematic formula that considers both finishing position and miles driven to set the score. So the Rolex 24 At Daytona, which sees the winning entries covering nearly 3,000 miles of racing, can have a very significant effect on the scoring, as most of the remaining races during the season are but 300 miles or less.
And with an engine anomaly ending the day early for the No. 60 effort at the 24, Patterson only got one stint behind the wheel, so wasn't able to put those miles in the bank and was fighting from behind for the rest of the season.
Another bit of prediction, which was more typical Patterson in that it saw him boasting of his co-drivers ambitions rather than his own, was when Patterson told the live audience on SpeedTV that he had little doubt that despite the fact that he'd rejoined the race in last place after the pit stop, ... Ozz is one of the meanest and determined guys you've ever met-we've had an up and down season and an up and down day, but he's going to get us on that podium, just you watch."
And as the closing laps clicked off with Negri making passes left and right to once again return to the Homestead Miami Speedway podium with their strong third place finish, both of Patterson's predictions came true as he shared the champagne-spraying celebrations with his co-driver while also knowing that their combined driving effort all year long saw him become the first-ever two-time winner of the prestigious Trueman Award.
The podium finish also keeps the racing duo's run of scoring at least one top-three finish in every season since 2005 intact.
"Despite having some cars that were just a dream to drive and race this season, we didn't always have the luck to go with them so our results were not what really reflective of how capable this effort really was," said Patterson as he prepared to accept the award formally at the Grand-Am season ending banquet on Monday night. "So finishing on the podium with Ozz and his entire cheering section and getting the Trueman Award feels fantastic. I'm not sure what it is about finishing the season strong like we traditionally have, but it is a tremendous feeling to close the year out this way."