Mid-Ohio: Dempsey Racing race report

Dempsey Racing Score another Team-Best Finish in Last Weekend's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sixth-Place Gives Team Momentum Heading To Daytona July 4th Race ATLANTA (June 25, 2009) -- Dempsey Racing and lead drivers Patrick Dempsey and...

Dempsey Racing Score another Team-Best Finish in Last Weekend's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio

Sixth-Place Gives Team Momentum Heading To Daytona July 4th Race

ATLANTA (June 25, 2009) -- Dempsey Racing and lead drivers Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster will be carrying maximum momentum to Daytona International Speedway next week after another team-best race result in last Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dempsey and Foster co-drove the No. 40 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 to a sixth-place finish, the duo's fifth straight top-10 finish of 2009 and second consecutive career-best result.

Earlier this month, Dempsey and Foster -- along with Charles Espenlaub -- matched their previous best result of seventh in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen. They did that finish one better at Mid-Ohio where Dempsey qualified and started the race and Foster drove the No. 40 Mazda to the finish.

"We have moved up the finishing order to sixth which is great progress for us as a small team," said Dempsey, who was also among the fastest drivers in wet practice at Mid-Ohio. "We are building on our program and the most important thing is being consistent. It felt good in the car and I felt like I was very consistent on my times. The catch phrase of the weekend was consistency."

Dempsey also emphasized consistency when he recently co-drove with Foster and Don Kitch Jr. in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The classic endurance race fell between the Sahlen's Six Hours and the EMCO Gears Classic, but the demanding travel scheduled didn't stop the trio of Le Mans first timers from scoring a top-10 finish in the GT2 class. Dempsey and Foster did the majority of the driving in the No. 81 Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle Ferrari F430 GT at Le Mans, and their solid ninth-place result is part of the recent run of success. In May, Dempsey and Foster finished 10th in the Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in addition to another seventh in the rainy Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Foster sees no reason why even better results can't be achieved in the near future.

"We had a great day at Mid-Ohio," said Foster, who also joined Espenlaub in the No. 40 to finish seventh in April's race at Virginia International Raceway. "We were certainly better than where we finished and we were one of the quickest Mazdas in the race and in practice as well. Patrick drove great and this was a great result for the team, so we are making progress. We are on the pace now with Patrick, which is fantastic."

While the drivers are performing well on the track, Dempsey is also quick to credit the Dempsey Racing team. The team even deliberately chose to sit out Mid-Ohio's final warm-up session as the No. 40 was dialed in and ready for the race.

"The crew is doing a great job of getting the car set up and we had no problems all weekend at Mid-Ohio," Dempsey said. "I think as long as we can continue doing what we are doing, and maintain that and maintain our focus, there is no reason we can't be on the podium."

Daytona has traditionally been a strong track for the Rotary-powered Mazdas. That history and Dempsey Racing's recent run of competitive performances should combine to make the Daytona race a promising one for the No. 40 team. Unlike the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona is a 2 ¾ hour timed sprint race, similar to the types of races in which Dempsey Racing has recently excelled. Live coverage of the race begins at 2 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 4th, on SPEED.

"We have done better in the summer race than the Rolex 24 the last couple of years but still know we can do better at Daytona than the results show," Foster said. "There is no reason we can't keep our current streak going and certainly post our best Daytona result if not another career-high showing. We will also have the full support of our friends from El Grado Tequila for the first race since Mazda Raceway and that alone will give us an additional boost. We are looking forward to a great holiday weekend race."

-credit: dr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Charles Espenlaub , Don Kitch Jr. , Joe Foster