Rum Bum Racing Looking To Keep the Momentum Rolling at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Home race for Florida squad
HOMESTEAD, Florida, 3 March – Rum Bum Racing comes to their home track, Homestead-Miami Speedway for the GRAND-AM Continental Tires Kia 200 riding a considerable wave of momentum. The BMW M3 team, with drivers Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi, closed the books on 2010 with pair of wins in the final two races of the year. To begin 2011, they promptly opened the season with another win and the team’s first pole position at Daytona International Speedway.
Now the time has come to exorcise the demons of last year’s Homestead-Miami race where a freak occurrence took them out of the running for a certain podium, and possible second win, after likewise winning the Daytona round in 2010.
During the waning laps of the Homestead race last year, Plumb was scything through the field following his final pit stop and while running in the top 5, suddenly had the hood of his BMW M3 open at full speed after some rough and tumble racing had worked the hood stays loose. Plumb was helpless as his vision was entirely blocked, and all podium hopes were dashed.
Today the Joe Varde led team owned by Luis Bacardi has settled into a consistent, well oiled operation anchored by the impressive driving by both Plumb and Longhi. Yet while a win at home would be sweet for so many obvious reasons, the team returns to the home track with a longer view.
“We want the championship this year, and we think we have as good a claim on it as any of the other winning teams in the series,” says Plumb. “There’s no doubt we will drive every lap of this race to earn a win, but we won’t do anything to jeopardize a solid haul of points in the championship. Obviously winning is what Rum Bum Racing is focused on, but we are also thinking about the bigger picture and how every race fits into the championship. But of course, winning at home would be big...”
Keeping a clear and level head is certainly a prerequisite to a successful race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 2.3-mile “roval” course that combines two-thirds of the speedway’s oval with an infield road course will be notoriously congested with an expected field of over 60 cars. Traffic management will require a calm, cool head, patient enough to find the right opportunities, decisive enough to strike when the occur.
Co-driver Nick Longhi will be the first to take on the traffic.
“My task, as it has been since I took on the co-driving role, is to hand the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing machine to Plumb unscathed and in good track position,” says Longhi. “That begins with a great qualifying session where I can hopefully continue to do what we have done so far and put us on or close to the front row. If I can do that, then we just need a good clean start and then I’ll let Joe (Varde) work his strategy magic.”
Qualifying for the Kia 200 takes place at 4:35 PM EST on Friday afternoon, March 4th while race day is set for Saturday, March 5th at 4:15PM. Follow all the action live on grand-am.com and watch the race telecast on SPEED, Saturday, March 19th.
-source: rum bum racing