Long Beach: Finlay Motorsports No. 5 race report

ROB FINLAY AND MICHAEL VALIANTE SCORE SECOND TOP-10 FINISH IN-A-ROW AT LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, CA -- (April 8, 2006) -- Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante driving the Make-A-Wish/Z-Line Designs sponsored Daytona Prototype brought home the team's...

ROB FINLAY AND MICHAEL VALIANTE SCORE SECOND TOP-10 FINISH IN-A-ROW AT LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, CA -- (April 8, 2006) -- Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante driving the Make-A-Wish/Z-Line Designs sponsored Daytona Prototype brought home the team's second top-10 finish in-a-row earlier today on the streets of Long Beach. Rob Finlay competing on the 1.97-mile 11-turn Long Beach street circuit for the first time started the race from the 23rd position but managed to pick up numerous positions before hading the driving duties over to his teammate Michael Valiante.

"Overall I'm pleased with our finish today," said Rob Finlay. "But our thoughts are really with our teammate Memo Gidley right now. Although the finish was good our friends are what's really important."

The team's second entry driven by Memo Gidley and Michael McDowell was involved in an incident earlier today that sent Gidley to the hospital for evaluation. Gidley was released and watched the track from his hotel room in Long Beach. When Valiante climbed behind the wheel, he peeled off the pit lane and continued where Finlay left off picking up several more positions bringing home the car in 6th position. The team's performance on the track today earned them the SunTrust award for most improved positions during a race for the second time in a row.

"That was a great run for us," said Michael Valiante. "Rob did a great job on the opening stint. He brought the car in under the yellow and handed it over to me in great shape. I was able to continue the charge towards the front and take the checkered in the sixth position. I really think we were quick enough to be on the podium today but it's just too bad we didn't have a few more laps of green."

The Finlay Motorsports team will next compete at the Virginia International Raceway the weekend of April 23.

-fm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Michael Valiante , Michael McDowell , Rob Finlay