Stanton, Borcheller Capture Grand-Am Cup Victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 30, 2004) -- Bill Fenton Motorsports and drivers Craig Stanton and Terry Borcheller used fuel mileage to take the victory in the Daytona 250 Grand-Am Cup race at historic Daytona International Speedway.
"I knew that the Porsche's were really good on fuel from racing against the Nonnamakers in the BMW last year," said Borcheller, who was the 2003 Daytona Prototype driver's champion. "I was able to short shift when I could, draft when I could to conserve fuel."
The pole-winning No. 91 Porsche 996 of Doncaster Racing was a frontrunner for much of the race and was in the lead on lap 50 of the 70-lap race when gearbox trouble took it out of the race. Although the team was able to repair the Porsche in the garage, it lost eight laps and finished 19th in the Grand Sport class.
The Powell Motorsports No. 11 Firebird, which had battle with the No. 91 Porsche for the lead, claim the top spot when the Porsche was struck with trouble. However it ducked into the pits for fuel and tires on lap 54 and could not manage to make its way back to the front of pack before the checkered, finishing fifth overall.
TheRaceSite.com No. 43 Porsche next took over the lead, but it too was sent into the pits with 11 laps remaining in the race for a splash of fuel, allowing Borcheller to move to the front, where he remained for the checkered despite the fuel light that came on in the Porsche.
"I heard the fuel light came on. It must have been an hour ago, it feels like, and Terry's going 'Oh I can make, I can make it,'" said Stanton, who anxiously sat in the pits the last few laps waiting to see if his teammate would make it to the checkered.
John Schmitt and Mike Liebl captured the Sport Touring victory, piloting the Bill Fenton Motorsports No. 29 Acura RSX-S to a lap lead over the TC Kline Racing No. 12 BMW Z4 of Anita Sangi and Neal Sapp.
"The car worked really well. Bob (Beede of the No. 29 Acura) and I swapped the lead a few times. I just hung in there. I gave a good car to Mike (Liebl) and he did a wonderful job," said Schmitt, who won the ST championship last season.
NASCAR stars ready for the challenge: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Robby Gordon and Kyle Petty will be competing in this weekend's Rolex 24.
Earnhardt Jr. and Stewart will team up with Andy Wallace in the No. 2 Howard-Boss Chevrolet Crawford. It'll be the second Rolex 24 start for both drivers.
"It's been a real honor to be a part of this program," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Anticipation has been building up to the race. I really enjoyed running this race a couple of years ago and want to thank the Crawfords for giving me and Tony (Stewart) both an opportunity to join their program."
Said Stewart: "In the spring we all have cabin fever and you turn the TV on and we watch you guys (sports cars) race. I'm sitting there going, 'why am I not doing that if I have the opportunity to do it?' I like getting out of the house and getting back in a car as soon as possible."
Jimmie Johnson will be sharing the driving duties on the No. 4 Howard-Boss Chevrolet Crawford with Butch Leitzinger, Elliott Forbes-Robinson and Dave Brunle.
"Everybody's been a great help to me," Johnson said. "This is my first sports car race that I've ever been in. There's been a big learning curve. There's been a lot to learn and a lot to absorb. I feel like I've become more and more comfortable in the car."
Stewart Fastest In Final Practice: Tony Stewart posted the quickest lap time in the final Rolex 24 as race teams made final preparations for the twice-around-the-clock challenge. Stewart turned a lap at 117.125 mph in the Howard-Boss Motorsports No. 2 CITGO Chevrolet Crawford during the final practice session. "I don't think they are going to give a trophy away or anything for being fastest in happy hour. We're just bedding in brakes and trying to make sure we don't have any problems tomorrow," Stewart said. "I don't care what anyone thinks. I think we have a shot, and that's all that matters. I don't care what anybody else thinks about our chances."
HSR Races: James Mullen and Brian DeVries combined to win the Historic GTP/Group C Race. Dave White followed Mullen and DeVries into Gatorade Victory Lane by being the first to take the checkered flag in the Klub Sport Porsche Challenge Race.
Mullen and DeVries dominated their race in the 1992 Spice GTP and finished ahead of second place finishers Jim Oppenheimer and Craig Bennett by 22.113 seconds.
The 1973 Porsche 911S of White was challenged at the finish line by Charles Espenlaub but held on to finish 0.378 seconds ahead of Espenlaub's 1969 Porsche 911.
Tickets for the Speedweeks 2004 events, including the Rolex 24 At Daytona, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.