FINLAY AND MCDOWELL SCORE FIRST GRAND-AM CUP VICTORY AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK BIRMINGHAM, AL (July 29, 2006) The Finlay Motorsports Grand Am Cup entry driven by Rob Finlay and Michael McDowell scored its first Grand Am Cup victory earlier...
FINLAY AND MCDOWELL SCORE FIRST GRAND-AM CUP VICTORY AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
BIRMINGHAM, AL (July 29, 2006) The Finlay Motorsports Grand Am Cup entry driven by Rob Finlay and Michael McDowell scored its first Grand Am Cup victory earlier today at Barber Motorsports Park. The Mooresville, NC based team started off the season scoring a podium finish at Daytona International Speedway, finishing third, but have been experiencing a few teething problems since that race. With the problems behind them, the team set their sights on the Grand Am Cup 200. Rob Finlay started the day off by qualifying the No. 15 Playboy/Palms entry in the eighth position, marking another impressive qualifying effort.
Starting from row four, Finlay knew the importance of staying up front and kept his Playboy/Palms sponsored Mustang within the top-10 his entire stint. "The Playboy/Palms Ford Mustang was phenomenal today," said Rob Finlay. "The race itself was good but it was crazy with all those cars out there. I was able to stay out of trouble during my stint and get the car to Michael in good position. We're happy that we got the win and are looking forward to the next Cup race next weekend."
Finlay's teammate Michael McDowell climbed behind the wheel for his stint and began to work his way back up through the field, running back in the top-10 in a matter of laps. Unfortunately a mix up on the restart forced McDowell to serve a stop and go penalty forcing him to fall back several positions. With his work cut out for him McDowell powered down his Ford Mustang and headed towards the front. The team knew that the leaders had to stop for fuel and that weather was moving in quickly, so they decided to keep McDowell out on the race track where he was leading the race when Grand Am black flagged the event. The cars moved on to pit lane where they stayed until the race was finally red flagged allowing for Finlay and McDowell to pick up their first ever Grand Am Cup victory.
"Rob's opening stint was great," said Michael McDowell. "He qualified the car well so we were able to start the race up front and kept it there the entire time. We saw that the weather was coming so we just stuck to the strategy and it paid off. We had a great car today, I had to serve a stop and go penalty early on but we managed to get our positions back and finish first."
The Finlay Motorsports Grand Am Cup team will next compete on the Le Circuit Trois - Rivieres in Quebec, Canada next weekend.