Phoenix: Planet Earth Motorsports race report

Orison Planet Earth Moves Into Third In Team Championship After Phoenix Top Ten Phoenix, AZ -- The Phoenix International Raceway round of the Grand American Rolex Series marked the third event of the 2004 season. The Orison Planet Earth ...

Orison Planet Earth Moves Into Third In Team Championship After Phoenix Top Ten

Phoenix, AZ -- The Phoenix International Raceway round of the Grand American Rolex Series marked the third event of the 2004 season. The Orison Planet Earth Motorsports team came into the race having won the last three seasons in a row on the tight Phoenix International Raceway 1.51 mile course. However, those wins came in the Grand Am Cup series and the team is now competing in the premiere Grand American Rolex Series.

On Saturday April 7th when the green flag fell for the two hour and forty five minute race, the Orison - Planet Earth Motorsports effort was looking to survive what they thought would be a very brutal race. With nineteen Daytona Prototypes and over forty cars on the Phoenix International Raceway track the team was expecting there to be a lot of yellows.

Joe Nonnamaker, team owner and starting driver of the #41 Orison Planet Earth Porsche, started his business life as a Certified Public Accountant and always has numbers running through his head. After the race he had this to say:

"We figured it out before the race and with that many cars on a mile and a half, even perfectly spaced out there would be one car every two hundred feet. The Daytona Prototype drivers were relentless in the race and some of the yellows that occurred were simply due to over aggression."

The team survived the race to score a sixth place finish with the #41 Orison Planet Earth Motorsports Porsche. The finish puts the team in third in the Team Points for the hotly contested Grand American Rolex Series Championship.

"Our victory today was coming out of this race with an undamaged car," commented Will Nonnamaker, finishing driver of the #41. "The aggression on the track was very bad and there were a couple of times I had to back off to save the car and getting out of here with no body damage it was worth it."

With an average finishing position of sixth this season Joe and Will Nonnamaker now sit in eighth place in the Driver's Championship with nine races remaining.

The team's second entry for the weekend saw a new driver join the team for a one race stint. Mae Van Wijk's normal ride, the G&W Motorsports Porsche, had mechanical troubles early in the weekend that couldn't be fixed. She then secured a ride in the Orison Planet Earth Motorsports effort #42 Porsche GT3 Cup. Wayne Nonnamaker finished for the young driver.

"I was impressed with Mae's maturity," commented Wayne Nonnamaker. "She has the right attitude to go racing and that counts for a lot. She handled herself very well in our race car all weekend long. What happened to her in the race was simply due to the high aggression of the traffic."

The #42 ran into difficulty in the race when she was pushed onto the curbs by a GT car. While the car was undamaged the curb knocked off a radiator line and the team spent the next twenty minutes fixing the car. Nonnamaker finished the car in twelfth place.

Support for ORISON Marketing - Planet Earth Motorsports' campaign in the 2004 ROLEX Grand American series comes from: GOJO, DENSO Iridium Power, Jack Link's Beef Jerky, Menards Home Improvement, Kempthorn Auto Mall, NRAuto.com, Red Line Oil, SpeedSource, TheRaceSite.com, TheRaceMarket.com, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine and 9 Magazine.

-pem-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Wayne Nonnamaker , Will Nonnamaker , Joe Nonnamaker , Mae Van Wijk
Teams SpeedSource