SCC: Fontana: Automatic Racing race notes

Automatic Racing Finishes Season with a 6th at California Speedway FONTANA, Calif. -- Automatic Racing ended the 2004 Grand-Am Cup season with a sixth-place finish in the Grand-Am Cup 250 at California Speedway on Saturday, October 30. Jep...

Automatic Racing Finishes Season with a 6th at California Speedway

FONTANA, Calif. -- Automatic Racing ended the 2004 Grand-Am Cup season with a sixth-place finish in the Grand-Am Cup 250 at California Speedway on Saturday, October 30. Jep Thornton and David Russell were assured of a podium finish before a flat tire with two laps to go dropped the No. 09 BMW M3 back to sixth.

Thornton had the duty of qualifying the Grand Sports class BMW, but he struggled because of an issue with the brakes. He was only able to earn a starting position of 17th. The team made adjustments in the scant amount of time between qualifying and the race, and the car was like new when the green flag fell.

Thornton got to work passing the cars ahead of him, and he ran in third place before moving into the race lead. An hour of racing had been completed, however, and Thornton was forced to make his routine pit stop.

Russell climbed into the car for the remainder of the race, maintaining a solid third place. Automatic Racing seemed almost assured of another podium finish when a flat tire forced Russell to pit. He was able to salvage a sixth place finish.

"We had a decent race. The car was perfect," said Thornton. "In qualifying we were off because of brake issues, but we got those sorted out. It was fun passing people, going from 17th to first. We were able to bring the car to the top of heap, and Dave was solid P3 when he got a flat tire. We got P6 after qualifying 17th so that was quite good for us. All in all it was a decent season. We got the car sorted more and we got a bunch of top ten finishes."

With the off season ahead of them, Automatic Racing is already making plans for their 2005 Grand-Am Cup season. The team will be starting their testing regimen early, and they will be busy preparing the No. 09 BMW for Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, January 7-9.

Fans can keep up with Automatic Racing's off season activities at www.AutomaticRacing.com.

Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic Commercial Aircraft, LandAir, Engine Music Studios, Moton Shocks and Fikse Wheels.

-ar-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jep Thornton , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing