Canney and Plumb take Championship Hit at Barber Birmingham, AL (22 July, 2008)-- Fresh off second and fourth place finishes in the last two rounds of competition, Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb were looking to make strides in the Grand-Am KONI ...
Canney and Plumb take Championship Hit at Barber
Birmingham, AL (22 July, 2008)-- Fresh off second and fourth place finishes in the last two rounds of competition, Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb were looking to make strides in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge GS Class Championship this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
Entering the weekend second in the team championship standings, there was plenty of optimism about the Alabama race outing for Canney and Plumb. Unfortunately, the duo suffered a literal and figurative hit to their championship aspirations on the very first lap of competition as Canney was forced off track and sent spinning into the barriers when a competitor hit the front of the No. 58 Sunset Hills Vineyard prepared by Rehagan Racing.
The damage from the incident was extensive, but the crew rallied to repair the car in time for Canney and Plumb to return to the track with still over an hour to race, soldiering home for a twenty-ninth place finish and two potentially precious championship points.
Quinn Conda, Ray Sharp, Craig Young and others on the Rehagen Racing team did an amazing job to get the car back on the track. The repair effort was all the more remarkable given the significant car changes made prior to the race, before ultimately requiring the team to switch to their backup car.
"We had some problems with our differentials overheating, we broke a rocker arm and had to swap motors, and you hate to not even complete the first lap. It's really frustrating but that's racing. The other driver came over and apologized after the race, which shows class, but the damage was done to our points race. We had some good luck to make it on fuel in Watkins Glen, but we just didn't get any luck here today. This is a big set back for us championship wise, but we will recover as much as possible in the next few rounds."
The run to the finish was key, particularly given the results that the other championship contenders experienced, as the Barber round produced an all-Mustang podium for the first time in Series' history.
"When you are trying to make up ground in a championship, you obviously hope to not have days like this," said Plumb, who scored second in the 2006 KONI ST class championship. "But there just wasn't anything that Mike could do there, so hat's off to the guys for all the effort they put in all weekend, and hopefully we can get back in form in Iowa. You never know what kind of problems the other guys might run up against, so we just have to put this behind us and be ready to go again because there is still a tremendous amount of racing yet to go in this championship."
- credit: mcanney.com