Team Sahlen Entries Fight Through Difficulties at Phoenix Enduring three races in one day through triple-digit temperatures is only part of the challenges Team Sahlen faced through last weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway. The team...
Team Sahlen Entries Fight Through Difficulties at Phoenix
Enduring three races in one day through triple-digit temperatures is only part of the challenges Team Sahlen faced through last weekend's race at Phoenix International Raceway. The team had entries in both Grand-Am Cup class races as well as the Grand American Rolex race. This was in addition to back-to-back race weekends on the west coast. The team faced multiple difficulties during the Phoenix race but managed still to put Team Sahlen cars out on the track for each race.
Problems with the ABS system had Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker struggling for speed in the Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport (GS) class race. Both drivers found the car excellent in practice but shortly before the start of the race the ABS began locking the Porsche 996's brakes. This braking problem made it difficult for both Joe and Wayne maneuver the many bending brake zones around Phoenix International Raceway.
"We have two spare ABS computers for the Grand Am Cup Porsche but because there are multiple 996 versions of the ABS computer, both our spares only worked on the other two cars we had there. We have run cars without ABS before, but never the Porsche. Therefore we didn't have a setup to go to that would allow for the most drivable car," stated Wayne Nonnamaker.
In the Team Sahlen No. 44 car was Joe Sahlen and Will Nonnamaker. Sahlen had an excellent stint early on and turned the car over to Nonnamaker. Shortly after Nonnamaker took over for Sahlen, an electrical problem resulted in a blown fuse cutting power to the engine. The problem was quickly diagnosed but resulted in a 29th place finish for the car.
"This electrical situation was very bizarre but we were able to find it quickly. Unfortunately for us we fell back in position significantly," stated Nonnamaker.
For the Team Sahlen Street Tuner class, the team's Ted's Hot Dogs Dodge SRT-4 made its first race appearance since a crippling incident at VIRginia International Raceway. After the VIR race Team Sahlen crew members immediately went to work on the vehicle which sustained damage significant enough to keep the car off the track for months. Team Sahlen driver Will Nonnamaker was pleasantly surprised to get the car out on the Phoenix track.
"The hit this car took on the front end was extremely bad but we did get to take it out for a test run at Phoenix. The test run was not as successful as we would have liked but in looking at the car, you cannot imagine it only being a few weeks to get it back out on the track. There were some parts that were damaged in the wreck that we didn't discover until too late," sated Will.
Will attests this quick turnaround on the car is due to the team's new location.
"I strongly believe that since we moved into our new shop we are able to do things at a higher level and repair damage to cars even faster than before. The equipment that we have available to us is enabling us to be at the track and competitive as well. From the new lift, to the dynamometer, and our shock dyno we have really made some good moves into our cars' preparations. In addition we got some very useful help from crew member Troy Miller which was very significant in getting the structural damages repaired," added Nonnamaker.