Fenton Acura Podiums at Phoenix Bill Fenton Motorsports drivers Hugh and Matt Plumb threw everything they had at the lead car in Saturday's Grand-Am Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and earned a close second place finish. "At least...
Fenton Acura Podiums at Phoenix
Bill Fenton Motorsports drivers Hugh and Matt Plumb threw everything they had at the lead car in Saturday's Grand-Am Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and earned a close second place finish.
"At least it was a car identical to our Acura RSX Type S that beat us. We qualified on the pole and lead more laps than the winners did, so that's a couple bragging points in our favor," said Fenton, following the 100-lap race on the 1.51-mile combination NASCAR oval and infield road course circuit.
"An ironic aspect of the finish was that between Bob Endicott, who shared the winning car, and Eric Curran, who was third, there's two ex-Fenton Motorsports drivers with five wins for the team between them. We train them well," he joked.
The Plumb brothers, first Hugh then Matt, racing their Southern Auto Auction/Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles RSX, were only :04.386 seconds behind Endicott and Mike Galati.
Teammates Bob Beede and Ed Magner finished 15th in their identical car.
Hugh Plumb snagged the pole position for the 26-car field at a new track record 1:09.424 during Friday's qualifying. "After last weekend's race, the team needed a boost like this," said Plumb. "We knew since the race was just for our class, the track would probably stay green for the full two hours, so winning or finishing second would be decided on who pitted when and where they were when they got back on the track. And that's how it played out."
Hugh led the first 64 laps with Galati hot on his bumper. Galati's team flinched first and pitted him on lap 63, turning the driving over to Endicott. One lap later Hugh Plumb pitted from the lead to put his brother in the car.
"We just weren't quite as quick with our pit stop. It took us a little longer both with our driver change and the servicing of the car," Matt said. "Unfortunately, it put us out behind Endicott and I wasn't able to gain it back. Rest assured it won't happen again."
The win was Acura's first in the Grand-Am Cup Street Tuner class since the 2004 season finale at Fontana, Calif., when Endicott and Beede won, giving Honda the series Manufacturer Championship.
"Because Acura finished 1-2, we passed BMW in the Manufacturer Championship points and are now only three points behind Chevrolet," Fenton noted. "Our next race is May 27 at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, which is our home track, but one where the series has never raced."