Endicott & Galati Win Grand-Am Cup Avondale Mazda ST 200 in Phoenix DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 20, 2004) -- Six-time Grand-Am Cup Series class race winner Bob Endicott took control of the No. 144 Davis Motorsports Acura RSX-S during a green...
Endicott & Galati Win Grand-Am Cup Avondale Mazda ST 200 in Phoenix
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 20, 2004) -- Six-time Grand-Am Cup Series class race winner Bob Endicott took control of the No. 144 Davis Motorsports Acura RSX-S during a green flag pit stop on Lap 64 and charged to the checkered flag to claim the seventh class victory of his career in the Avondale Mazda Street Tuner 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Endicott's co-driver, Mike Galati, pressured polesitter Hugh Plumb in the No. 27 Southern Auto Auction/Acura Certified Pre-Owned Acura RSX-S throughout his opening stint, and when the driver changes on both machines were complete during the caution-free race, the No. 144 machine came out with nearly a five-second lead. Endicott, the 2001 ST class champion, led the remainder of the 100-lap sprint, beating Matt Plumb to the stripe by 4.386 seconds.
"It was very difficult," Galati said. "Early on I was in fourth, and then I was able to get by and catch up to Hugh. We had an incredible race early on. Several times I was alongside of him, but the temperature in the car with the draft was going way high. I was short-shifting trying to stay out of trouble, which was almost impossible. I think early on, I was a little bit quicker through (Turn) 1 and the infield, but as soon as we got on the banking I couldn't do anything. I had to stay out of trouble because otherwise the car was going to melt down, that was a big problem. Early on it was a good race, and a couple times we got pretty close. The guys did a fantastic job with Davis Motorsports. It was a great race, they did a great job on the pit stop and it was an outstanding job."
"This has always been one of my favorite tracks," added Endicott. "I've been racing here, probably, 10 years now. The Acura is pretty well suited to this track. You have to set the car up pretty loose to make it work, but you deal with that. We had a great pit stop, and I really think that's what made the race for us. Towards the end of the race, with about a half an hour to go, the power steering hose broke and I had oil all over the windshield. It made the car very difficult to control up on the banking. My arms are killing me. I've got to really hand it to the guys at Davis Motorsports. They were up almost all last night working on the cars. They are really good guys. They're new to this series but they intend to stay here and win."
The runner-up finish for the No. 27 machine was the third top-10 class result of the season for the Bill Fenton Motorsports team. The duo finished second in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and posted an eighth-place result last weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"Knowing right away that the track was going to be greasy and the track was going to warm up, and a feisty Italian behind me breathing down my neck, I knew I just had to conserve the car, push as hard as I could and conserve the front tires, which we managed to do," said Hugh Plumb. "I think I was able to take advantage of some lapped traffic, and maybe Michael's car was having some temperature problems. The Bill Fenton Motorsports Acura RSX was awesome. Hopefully we've got some momentum going to take us to Lime Rock and hopefully be on top of the podium. Matt, my brother, did an awesome job as usual."
"I've got to hand it to (Galati and Endicott), they had a great pit stop, obviously better than ours," contributed Matt Plumb. "We came out behind them by four seconds or something. We put two fresh tires on the front and left what was on the rear, and the way our car was setup, it went extremely loose. I was having quite a few problems coming through the banking, and Bob Endicott is one of the faster people in an Acura. I just kept trying to chip away at it and he'd pull forward and I'd try to chip away at it, and it's a lot harder when you're behind him. Lapped traffic always comes into play, and he did a great job. I'm a little disappointed because we could have done a better job as drivers and on the pit stop. Hugh did an amazing job, and kept it in front of another one of the better Acura drivers you've ever seen. We should be very happy with that."
Points co-leaders Jamie Holtom and Eric Curran posted their fourth-straight top-four finish to start the season with a third-place result at PIR. Holtom started the machine eighth, but the duo picked off positions during each of their stints to come away with an impressive podium finish. The tandem came into the weekend having won the previous two races (Virginia International Raceway and Laguna Seca), and with today's finish, extend their lead in the Street Tuner point standings. They now hold a 22-point advantage over Jim Holtom and Daniel Colembie (128-106).
Will Turner and Don Salama finished fourth in the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i. It is the duo's third top-five finish of the season, and the result catapults the No. 95 co-drivers into a tie for fifth in the current standings with 104 points. Defending ST champion David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay finished fifth in the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8.