SCC: Mid-Ohio: Team Sahlen race report

Team Sahlen takes lead in Bob Akin Award with 7th place at Mid-Ohio Team Sahlen's Homecoming to Mid-Ohio was a sweet one. A strong 7th place finish in GT lead to Joe Nonnamaker assuming the lead in the Bob Akin Sportsman Award ...

Team Sahlen takes lead in Bob Akin Award with 7th place at Mid-Ohio

Team Sahlen's Homecoming to Mid-Ohio was a sweet one. A strong 7th place finish in GT lead to Joe Nonnamaker assuming the lead in the Bob Akin Sportsman Award Championship.

The Drivers and Crew utilized the Test Day and Practice Sessions to their advantage to gain valuable track time in setting up the car for the winding Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Qualifying saw Joe Sahlen and Joe Nonnamaker turn in Team Sahlen's strongest starting spots of the year. For the start of the race, the HRPWorld.com Corvettes started 12th and 13th.

A bit of a mix up at the first turn saw the #42 and #43 race cars go for a spin. This shake up put Team Sahlen at the back of the pack. But the drivers and crew didn't give up, and fought back over the course of the race. At the 90 minute mark, Team Sahlen had battled back to 11th and 14th in the race. Will Nonnamaker was forced to retire the #42 HRPWorld.com Corvette at the 46 lap mark.

"Joe and I had a great run going. We were moving up the field, having already topped off our tanks, while others still needed to pit. We would have bee in contention for a Top 10 run. Unfortunately, debris from the #74 car caused damage to our belt and pulleys which forced us to retire." - states Will Nonnamaker

Wayne Nonnamaker pressed on in the #43 racer. His consistent pace placed him in 4th place. It appeared that the race would draw out to a long green flag run to the checkered. But then a late race yellow changed all those plans. The Team Sahlen crew performed a fantastic pit stop, changing tires and fueling up the #43. Wayne returned to the track in 3rd place behind the pace car. Then a strange bit of twist occurred. Large amounts of track rubber collected on Wayne's tires, forcing him to pit under yellow for clean tires. Wayne returned to the track, and fought hard back to 7th place at the end of the race.

"I don't know how the tires picked up so much rubber. It would have been great to have restarted in 4th place with brand new tires. 7th is still a strong finish, and it gave us great points for Dad in the Bob Akin Award." - states Wayne Nonnamaker

***

Team Sahlen Dodge charges hard at Mid-Ohio

At last year's Mid-Ohio Street Tuner event, Team Sahlen had a strong run with a 3rd place qualifying as the highlight. For 2007, Team Sahlen hoped to repeat that strength.

But this year, qualifying was a bit different. In fact it was the complete opposite; with a mechanical gremlin causing the #03 HRPWorld.com Dodge to miss the qualifying session all together.

"Missing qualifying was a bit of a disappointment. But having finished 10th at Iowa, while starting last gave us confidence that we could repeat that feat." -stated Joe Sahlen

And true to Joe Sahlen's words, Team Sahlen did just that. By lap 38, Joe drove #03 to 3rd place after starting 33rd. The Team Sahlen crew then made the final pit stop, placing new tires and gas into the Dodge, as will as Will Nonnamaker entering the driver's seat.

Will returned to the race in 20th spot. Soon Will picked off one spot at a time. By lap 60, the #03 was up to 12th place. But then trouble struck. The left rear hub had a freak failure, forcing Will to pull off the track and watch the remainder of the race from the sidelines.

"What an exciting race. Joe and I were having a really strong run. I was having a great race with Guy Cosmo until the failure. In the end, Guy finished in 4th place. It makes one wonder if we would have kept running, that would have translated into a 5th place? That would have been something; 33rd to 5th place, moving up 28 places!" - states Will Nonnamaker

***

Team Sahlen's Robb Brent shows he has the speed

Team Sahlen entered the Mid-Ohio KONI Challenge GS race with 2 entries. The HRPWorld.com #04 Porsche was driven by Robert Brent and Robin Burnett. Plus the HRPWorld.com #05 Porsche was chauffeured by Robb Brent and Aaron Bambach.

Test Day and Practice was very smooth, with all 4 drivers getting plenty of track time.

Qualifying was eventful and difficult for all drivers to find a clean lap. This was due to the fact that there was 40 Grand Sports race cars on course at once.

Robb Brent easily slotted the #05 into 20th place on the grid. Additionally, Robin Burnett, in his first ever pro race, did a solid job posting a 31st best time.

"Qualifying was crazy. At this track; Porsches, BMWs and Mustangs are faster at different parts of the track. On my hot lap, I unfortunately caught a Mustang in a twisty part. We ended up only 4/10ths of a second out of 10th place." - stated Robb Brent

At the start of the race, a freak electrical gremlin caused the #05 HRPWorld.com Porsche to miss the first two laps.

Team Sahlen's Robin Burnett ran a strong race, running as high as 26th. Then a failed clutch forced the #04 HRPWorld.com Corvette behind the wall for the remainder of the race.

Despite being down 2 laps at the start, Robb Brent pressed on. Running a stunning pace, Robb layed down the 16th fastest race lap out of the 40 car field. At the mid-point in the race, Robb handed the driving chores over to Aaron Bambach. Aaron continued the clean run for Team Sahlen and brought the #05 racer home in 22nd position.

"Robb did an excellent job for Team Sahlen today. He is really progressing into a very capable driver. His 16th fastest race lap, despite being down two laps was excellent. Hopefully we can put a program together again in the future to allow Robb and Aaron to show their true talents." - stated Will Nonnamaker

***

Sahlen's Becomes Top Dog with Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium

Sahlen's will be making a celebrated return to Ralph Wilson Stadium starting this fall. The Buffalo Bills Friday announced that the team has signed a sponsorship deal with Sahlen Packing Company, Western New York's hometown hot dog producer. Sahlen's will become the official hot dog company of the Buffalo Bills. In accordance with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

As the official hot dog company of the Buffalo Bills, Sahlen's will receive full trademark usage of all official Bills logos; signage at Ralph Wilson Stadium and sponsor presence on buffalobills.com and the Bills Video Board. Sahlen's Hot Dogs will also be served exclusively for all Ralph Wilson Stadium events.

"We listened to our fans," said Vice President of Business Development Pete Guelli, "and we were able to partner with Sahlen's to give them what they want - a quality hot dog from a great company. We are proud to, once again, be serving Sahlen's hot dogs at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Developing this partnership with a company that has been dedicated to the Western New York community for over 125 years, is a win-win situation for our fans and the Buffalo Bills."

Founded in 1869 in Buffalo as a family business, Sahlen Packing Company is dedicated to providing only the freshest and highest quality meat products. In addition to being the name behind the Buffalo area's favorite hot dogs and premium quality deli meats - Sahlen's has grown from its Western New York roots to offer its "Old Fashioned" Smokehouse Ham and Turkey Breast in over 15 states.

"We are proud to be involved with the Buffalo Bills organization," said Joe Sahlen, President of Sahlen Packing Co. "We are happy to support our home team and look forward to continuing our dedication to the Western New York community by providing the finest products available. Sahlen's has been supporting local charities for years, including Women's and Children's Hospital and the United Way.

-credit: www.teamsahlen.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Guy Cosmo , Wayne Nonnamaker , Will Nonnamaker , Joe Nonnamaker , Bob Akin , Joe Sahlen , Robb Brent , Aaron Bambach
Teams Team Sahlen