SCC: Daytona: Billy Johnson race notes

MOTORSPORT TECHNOLOGY GROUP FINISHES 4TH AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 28 - The No.18 Motorsport Technology Group Porsche 997 of Tony Buffomante of Naperville, Il. and Billy Johnson of San Clemente Ca. finished fourth in the Fresh from ...

MOTORSPORT TECHNOLOGY GROUP FINISHES 4TH AT DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 28 - The No.18 Motorsport Technology Group Porsche 997 of Tony Buffomante of Naperville, Il. and Billy Johnson of San Clemente Ca. finished fourth in the Fresh from Florida 200 season opener Friday at Daytona International Speedway. The strong top-5 is Motorsport Technology Group's best finish at Daytona, positioning them for a strong run at the 2009 Koni Challenge Series Championship.

The 4th place finish marks the highest finishing Porsche in the Mustang-dominated GS class, as well as the highest finishing driver from the inaugural Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Series with Tony Buffomante. With only seven laps under his belt in a Porsche and at Daytona International Speedway, Buffomante qualified the No. 18 Morris Animal Foundation in the 21st position. Like a seasoned veteran, Buffomante fought through the GS field into the top 10 before turning the controls over to Johnson.

"Tony did a great job especially with so little seat time" Johnson said. "Every session Tony was dropping seconds and was great to work with. He moved through the field, took care of the car, and turned it over in a great position. I couldn't have asked for more."

When the race resumed after the third caution, Johnson found himself in the 42nd position right behind Bill Auberlen. Consistently turning some of the fastest times of the race, Johnson in the No. 18 Porsche matched Auberlen pass for pass and eight laps later both found themselves in the top 10.

"I had a great time moving through what seemed like the entire field with Bill. I could hang with him through most of the traffic and infield but that car was a rocket-ship on the straights."

Johnson worked his way up to 6th before the next caution came out on lap 44. Many of the leaders including Johnson pitted for their last fuel stop. Unfortunately some complications in the pits caused the No. 18 to drop down to 14th. With just an hour to go, Johnson worked his way back up to 4th closing in on Auberlen and the following two Mustangs before the last and final yellow fell ending the race.

"The guys at Motorsport Technology Group did a fantastic job this weekend. The car handled the best it ever has and hooked up better than most cars coming out of corners. This is a great start for the 2009 season and I look forward to keeping this momentum to see the podium in the near future" said Johnson.

-credit: johnson

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Billy Johnson , Tony Buffomante