Phoenix: SunTrust Racing preview

SunTrust Team Focuses on Points Championship Phoenix 250 Race Phoenix, Arizona (September 7, 2005) -- It will be hard for the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team to top the feat they achieved at the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at...

SunTrust Team Focuses on Points Championship Phoenix 250 Race

Phoenix, Arizona (September 7, 2005) -- It will be hard for the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley team to top the feat they achieved at the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mid-Ohio late last month. The team recovered from a fire during qualifying and total rebuild of the race car to finish on the podium. The popular SunTrust team, with co-drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli, continues to lead the 2005 Daytona Prototype championship by 19 points, 312-293.

"Normally in a situation like that you would not get to race and you would lose substantial points," said SunTrust car owner Wayne Taylor. "So to not only get the car back in the race but to finish on the podium, it was the ideal situation."

"Being able to rebuild the car was huge," said Bill Riley, owner of Riley Technologies, which spearheads the No. 10 car's operations. "It was a lot of work -- piece by piece, doing so many little, tiny minor things -- but we should have a real good car at Phoenix and we won last year so we're really excited about coming back."

"That was amazing," said Max "The Ax" Angelelli, "just to show everybody what this team is capable of doing -- rebuilding the car overnight and still finishing on the podium was incredible."

"After what this team managed to pull off at Mid-Ohio, we continue to be amazed," said Craig Kelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for SunTrust Bank. "Their focus on the championship this year is undoubtedly always present in their minds and it shows in their work and dedication. SunTrust could not be more proud to be associated with this team."

The Phoenix 250, the eleventh of 14 races, will be the most unique event of the Grand American season. The standard Grand American format will change to a stand alone race each for the Daytona Prototype teams and the GT teams for the first time in their nearly six year history. With a total of an expected 42 combined Daytona Prototype and GT cars, the 1.51-mile circuit was just too small to accommodate all for one race. It will definitely be a different mindset for the drivers, after years of passing slower GT cars.

"I'm pretty disappointed the GT cars won't be out there," Angelelli explained. "We need to have those guys on the road course. I'd rather have a lot a lot of traffic than no traffic. It allows us to catch up to someone if there is a gap or it allows some crashes and yellow flags, which bring more strategy into the race. It's all about conditions and situations."

"This is going to be the first time we're racing solo," said Taylor, who is a veteran sports car endurance driver. "I would think that there will be fewer yellows. This was also the race we had our first win last year. In fact, it's also the place I clinched my first U.S. title in 1994. So this track has some previous success for me. I'm looking forward to going back."

Wayne Taylor, Max "The Ax" Angelelli and the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley race team have dominated the podium this season, finishing on it in seven of ten races and winning four of them. They have led the Daytona Prototype points championship since their spectacular victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in February. They followed that up with victories at Miami, the Barber 250 and the Watkins Glen 200. The SunTrust team's other podium finishes included a second at Fontana and the Daytona 250 and a third at Mid-Ohio in the most recent race.

"Our mindset is still the same as it was in the beginning of the year and will always be -- that we'll take each race one at a time and focus on this championship, " said the 49-year-old Taylor. "The team is so focused and the guys are doing such a great job in preparation. It's just a real big team effort."

"We will have an even better car in Phoenix than [the rebuilt car] at Mid-Ohio when the crash compromised the vehicle and limited us," said Angelelli. "I'm confident we can do even better in Phoenix. We don't want to change anything or our attitudes and will go with the same frame of mind as we always have and try to win."

The Phoenix 250 will feature a 250-mile/166-lap/two and three-quarter hour time maximum race. The Speed Channel telecast of the race will be tape-delayed until Sunday, September 11th at 4:00 p.m.

-suntrustracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli