Spirit of Daytona Racing Closes Rolex Sports Car Season at Grand Prix of Miami Homestead, FL (October 10, 2009) -- Spirit of Daytona Racing finished 14th in Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami after the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing ...
Spirit of Daytona Racing Closes Rolex Sports Car Season at Grand Prix of Miami
Homestead, FL (October 10, 2009) -- Spirit of Daytona Racing finished 14th in Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami after the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche-V8-powered Coyote suffered contact from behind and compromised the season-ending race outing for the team.
After taking time to sign autographs and pose for photos with a group of Boy Scouts on hand for the Rolex Sports Car Series season-finale event, Buddy Rice opened the two hour and thirty-minute race from eighth on the grid. He kept the red, white and blue Coyote in the lead pack despite an overall lack of grip that cost him race pace. An early stop for new tires and different tire pressures didn't help the issue as much as hoped.
But before the team could keep making adjustments, larger repairs were needed when Rice suffered damage following contact from behind. The team did quick work in the pits to get the car back on track as Antonio Garcia took over the controls, but the setback in track position was too much to make up as Spirit of Daytona Racing closed out the season with a 14th place finish.
"I just got hit from behind and there was too much damage to keep going, so I had to pit to get it fixed," said Rice. "The car was decent, but we just didn't have the grip that we needed. The car was pushing pretty aggressively before we got hit, but afterwards we were really lose! The car was pretty warm of course, but it was better than its been before, so that's just one of the things that the team has improved on. Hopefully we can keep improving in other areas as well and getting stronger and stronger with this program."
"This wasn't what we were looking for today but that's racing sometimes," said team owner Troy Flis. "The car fell off more than we expected to. We had been hoping that we'd be quicker over the longer runs than we turned out to be, so we were playing catch up already before we got hit. But it was a great effort from the team. This heat makes it hard to do almost anything and the guys just put their heads down and took care of what needed to get done. Now we'll take a day or two and reward these guys with some fishing and then get back to work on next season. We know what we need to work on and we're looking forward to moving forward with this program and getting things going for 2010."