Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 Runs as High as Sixth At Long Beach Saturday LONG BEACH, Calif., April 8 - The Feeds the Need/Doran Racing team dodged at least two big bullets in the Crown Royal Grand American...
Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Kodak EasyShare DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 Runs as High as Sixth At Long Beach Saturday
LONG BEACH, Calif., April 8 - The Feeds the Need/Doran Racing team dodged at least two big bullets in the Crown Royal Grand American Challenge Rolex Series race on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. Saturday and ran as high as sixth, but unfortunately its Kodak EasyShare/Amp'd Mobile/SIRIUS DORAN JE4 Ford No. 77 then brought out the third caution of the race and the car ended up 22nd in the final rundown.
Luckily driver Terry Borcheller of Vero Beach, Fla., wasn't hurt when he hit the wall in turn five on lap 34 while running sixth. Another car's driver, Rocky Moran Jr., ended up in the hospital with a badly bruised left leg after a violent accident earlier in the race. The other Kodak EasyShare driver, Harrison Brix of San Jose, Calif., had dodged a big bullet in that crash, as he was the third driver to pick his way through the carnage in that accident, which brought out the first yellow on lap 11.
Borcheller also dodged a bullet on lap 23 when the third- and fourth-place cars crashed in front of him in turn one while he was running eighth.
Brix started the race in 12th place and he ran the first 10 laps in 11th place until the crash that sent Moran to the hospital occurred. Burt Frisselle was experiencing a problem and was trying to make it to the pits but he veered right into traffic and was hit by both Eddie Cheever Jr., who was fifth, and Moran, who was sixth. Mario Haberfeld, who was seventh, also got caught up in the problem. Luckily for the Kodak EasyShare team Brix was able to miss the accident and also pick his way through the debris that was so extensive it forced the track crew to close the frontstretch while they cleaned up.
Brix pitted under the full-course yellow on lap 11 for fresh tires, fuel and to let Borcheller take over. The Feeds the Need/Doran Racing pit crew performed a very fast pit stop and had Borcheller on his way in no time. Some teams received stop-and-go penalties for using the frontstretch instead of following the pace car down pit road at that point and the standings got scrambled, but Borcheller was in seventh for the restart on lap 22.
Right after that the crash with the third- and fourth-place cars occurred on lap 23, although it didn't cause a full-course yellow. Borcheller was in sixth when one of those did wave with 25 laps down, however, for debris.
The green waved again on lap 30 with Borcheller still in sixth. Almost immediately he came under heavy pressure from the two Krohn Racing cars. He successfully fought them off and was starting to draw closer to the fifth-place car of Darren Law when he ran into trouble in Turn Five on lap 34, hitting the tire wall and causing the Kodak car to lose some bodywork and suffer a damaged rear wing. Borcheller was able to make it back to the pits where the team worked skillfully to make make-shift repairs so the car could continue, and it subsequently finished 22nd when the checkered waved on lap 52.
Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett won the race in the CompUSA car.
"I don't think I got hit; I didn't feel anybody hit me," Borcheller said afterwards. "It was unfortunate. We were sixth at the time and I was hoping for a top five, but it was going to be tough. It damaged the bodywork and the rear wing; it didn't break the suspension. Hopefully we'll have better luck next time."
"I was the third driver through the big crash," Brix related afterwards. "They told me over the radio that there was a big accident and I had just asked them which lane to use to get through it when I came up on it. I made it through OK but we'd run over so much stuff we had to change tires as a precaution.
"I was fighting an oversteer and I thought we might need an air pressure adjustment for Terry," Brix added. "It was shaping up to be a top-10 day; some days are just better than others. We'll hope for better luck next time."
Three more races are coming right up. The next one is at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. April 21-23. The series then comes back to California for a race at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey on May 5-7, and then it appears at Phoenix International Raceway May 12-13.
Saturday's race was broadcast on SPEED on a same-day, tape-delayed basis.