HRPWorld.com Racing takes win and championship at Daytona International Speedway.
With the Championship on the line, the HRPWorld.com Racing effort took the battle to the Daytona International Speedway for a six hour race on the high banks of the famous circuit. At the most recent race at Mont Tremblant, the #41 King Motorsports Acura Integra had clinched the Manufacturer's Title for Acura, but the Team and Driver's Championships were still on the line. The brother duo of Will and Wayne Nonnamaker, drivers of the #41 Integra, led the Driver's Championship, and needed a third place to ensure their Championship.
Race day looked bleak for the #41 Integra. A missed shift in qualifying meant that the crew had exactly four hours to pull out a motor and tranny and put another one in for the six hour finale. Led by Mike Thomas, Trevor Whipple, and Vince Harrington the crew finished with thirty minutes to spare and the car rolled out onto pregrid to start from last position.
>From last, starting driver Wayne Nonnamaker slowly moved his way towards the front and when he pitted for fuel he was in third place. At the four hour mark Will Nonnamaker had taken the car to the lead, and from there Wayne Nonnamaker took the car home for the victory.
"The Championship is what we really wanted when we came down here," commented two time Champion Wayne Nonnamaker in victory circle. "We also wanted the win real bad too. To get both of them? I am speechless. Wow."
Three time Champion Will Nonnamaker, who had some more time to formulate his words after watching the last couple of hours from the pits, continued on: "This race win goes to this HRPWorld.com Team as much as it does to us as drivers. Endurance racing is the ultimate form of a team sport. The team threw together a motor for the race after qualifying that ran flawlessly. Then in the race, Bill Pate called such an excellent pit strategy. Relying on his 20 years of endurance racing knowledge is what helped the #41 King Motorsports Integra win this race."
The #41 may have been taking it easy in the last twenty minutes to win, but the #42 King Motorsports Integra and the #44 King Motorsports Integra were both on the same lap as the #57 Protégé and the three were entrenched in a battle for fourth position.
Cagey veteran John Wymore in the #42 Integra secured fourth place while rookie Tony Nuzzo in the #44 took fifth less than a second behind. Wymore shared his car with Joe Nonnamaker while Nuzzo shared his Integra with Don Velcio and Michiel Schuitemaker.
Bill Pate founded the Phoenix Promotions effort in 1983. Phoenix Promotions is responsible for the HRPWorld.com campaigns car preparation, promotions, and team management. Pate had this to say after the race: "I am so happy to see this team win its third Driver's Championship in four years. When I started this team in 1983, my brother Phil and I did it so we could race together. Now to see Will and Wayne racing together and winning Championships, it is a very special time for the team."
Although the team is not able to make public their full plans for the 2003 season, part of their twentieth anniversary season will include a defense of the STII title for Acura.
Further support for the HRPworld.com campaign include AcuraClub.com, AEM, Denso, Hawk Brake, Horizon Audio, Mugen Power, Red Line Oil, and TheRaceSite.com