Automatic Racing's Segal and Varde Finish Fourth at Miller
TOOELE, Utah -- Jeff Segal and Joe Varde drove the No. 90 Automatic Racing BMW M3 to a finish of fourth in last Friday's Grand-Am Cup 200 at Miller Motorsports Park, proving that they know the fast way around the new desert course.
Varde's debut as a driver for Automatic was an immediate success, as the team manager qualified the Grand Sport BMW eighth. "It's been a while since I qualified a race car; probably four or five years," said Varde. "My times were faster in qualifying than they'd been all weekend. It felt good to be back competing in a car."
Varde started the race, and he finally had to pit under green since the race ran caution-free. When he pitted, Varde was running seventh.
Segal then got behind the wheel and continued the chase, finally crossing the finish line in fourth. "We were a good distance from the leaders since there were no yellows. I had a lot of space in front of and behind me on the track and I didn't really see anyone my whole stint. Other guys ahead of us fell back with problems and I just had to bring it home."
Varde added that "the crew did a great job and the pit stops were amazing. When I slammed the door after our driver change, they were already done. I credit the fourth place finish to the crew."
At just 21 years old, Segal found himself paired with a teammate whose racing career spans even more time. "Doing driver changes was a lot more difficult because Joe is a lot shorter than me and the seat was a problem," laughed Segal. "But Joe, he's got a lot of experience and he knows what he needs out of a car. We were able to quickly get the car where we needed it."
Segal now sits ninth in the driver championship, and Miller marked his sixth top-ten finish of the season.
Dave Riddle and Kris Wilson drove the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 to a finish of 12th. It marks the best finish for the co-drivers this season.
The tenth and final round of the Grand-Am Cup season will be held October 6-8 at Virginia International Raceway. The Grand Sport race is scheduled for six hours and will mark the longest race in series history.