TheRaceSite.com wins Grand-Am Cup Daytona 250; Bill Fenton Motorsports takes Sport Touring victory.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 30, 2004) -- TheRaceSite.com team kicked off the 2004 Grand-Am Cup Series with a victory Friday evening in the Daytona 250. Fuel conservation was key in drivers Craig Stanton and Terry Borcheller putting the No. 44 Porsche 996 in Gatorade Victory Lane.
"I knew that the Porsche's were really good on fuel from racing against the Nonnamakers in the BMW last year," said Borcheller. "I was able to short shift when I could, draft when I could to conserve fuel."
The polesitting 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.
The BGB Motorsports No. 38 Porsche 996 of Guy Cosmo and Mark Plummer brought home second-place honors overall.
"I'm really happy. Two wins in a row last year was really tough to beat. I wanted to come in here and show the guys that we could pull off three, but finishing second to a guy like Terry Borcheller isn't too bad. I'm not too upset," said Cosmo.
Mike Cronin Jr. and Stu Hayner rounded out the overall and Grand Sport podium with the Unitech Racing No. 33 Nissan 350Z.
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.
"It was just a great day. I've got to hand it to Steve Wheeler. He made an incredible call on the pit stops and that made the whole day. John really did all the hard work - picked off the fast laps. All I had to do was get in there and drive," said Liebl.
The Grand-Am Cup Series will travel next to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Grand-Am Cup 250, March 27-28. The Daytona 250 will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Saturday, February 14 at 4 p.m.