Mid-Ohio: SunTrust Racing preview

SunTrust Team Looks to Continue Winning Streak at Mid-Ohio Lexington, Ohio (August 23, 2005) -- After back-to-back victories at Daytona and Watkins Glen, the SunTrust racing team is looking to continue their winning streak at the EMCO Gears...

SunTrust Team Looks to Continue Winning Streak at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, Ohio (August 23, 2005) -- After back-to-back victories at Daytona and Watkins Glen, the SunTrust racing team is looking to continue their winning streak at the EMCO Gears Road Racing Classic 400 kilometer race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 26-28, 2005.

The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley race team of Wayne Taylor and Max "The Ax" Angelelli has been the team to beat all season after starting the year with an incredible victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and a follow-up win at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. They have been on the podium in six of nine races and lead the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Daytona Prototype point championship by 21 points over the second-place challengers of the No. 01 CompUSA team of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz, 282-261.

As the season gets closer to the end, the team vows to continue their successful strategy.

"It's really easy right now, the way the team is operating and the drivers," said SunTrust team owner Bill Riley, who also strategizes for the team. "It's really all clicking. We're working hard not to upset that success, yet still making improvements to the car and the team. It has been a terrific season with our winning the 24 Hours and the three other wins. The icing on the cake would be to win the championship. We need to do everything we know how to do to do that. The biggest issue is not to have any DNFs (did not finishes). That would even up the championship and that puts a lot of pressure on the guys and the drivers not to make mistakes. It is more so than for the other guys (teams), who can take huge risks to make gains. I believe we're going to see more of that, especially more behind-the-scenes risks with set-up and strategy, than we would take. We were in the same position with that last year."

SunTrust team owner/driver, Wayne Taylor, knows a small series lead can swap hands quickly.

"Obviously, we have increased our points lead, but that doesn't really mean anything in the overall scope of the series," said Taylor. "You can be up 21 points one race and down 35 the next. We're going to approach this race the same as any other one we do -- to try to finish as high as we can and in front of the 01 car, but not take too great of risks. When talking about the number of races we've won, I look at it more deeply actually. We have done 21 races since we formed the SunTrust race team and we have won seven of the 21 races, which is 33.3%. I'm very proud of that."

"I am quite comfortable with the lead we have, but it is still the same -- to look after the 01 car," said Max Angelelli, whom Watkins Glen second-place challenger Alex Gurney referred to as "The Man of the Series". "I'm extremely happy with all the races we've won. I was just saying to Wayne that we're not spending time to enjoy the results we accomplished this year."

The team is looking forward to competing in the tenth of the 14-round of the Grand American series, which will feature a 250-mile/111-lap2/2-3/4 hour time maximum race on the 2.258-mile rolling Ohio course.

"I have always liked the Mid-Ohio race track," said the veteran sports car driver Taylor. "It's a real road racing facility. It's going to be tough race."

"It is quite a challenging track because it is narrow," added Italian driver Angelelli. "At the same time, there are a lot of spots we can overtake. Traffic (slower cars) will play a bigger role throughout the race."

"The season just keeps getting better and better," said John Mauney, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing Services for SunTrust Bank. "The drivers and team continue to stay very focused on the goals and their devotion and attentiveness to details has served them well. We are able to continuously benefit from the successes they have achieved."

In addition to the victories at the Daytona 24 Hours, Miami, Barber and the Watkins Glen sprint races, the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team has posted second-place finishes at Fontana and the Daytona 250, a fourth at Laguna Seca, and sixth at Mont-Tremblant and the June Watkins Glen 6 Hour race.

The Saturday night EMCO Gear Road Racing race, August 27, begins at 5:30 p.m. ET and will be tape delayed until Sunday, August 28th at 12:00 noon ET on Speed Channel.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , Max Angelelli