Heading into our season ending event at Virginia International Raceway, the SpeedQuest Racing team and drivers were hoping to end on a high note. Having just completed a successful testing session at Gingerman Raceway, we felt confident...
Heading into our season ending event at Virginia International Raceway, the SpeedQuest Racing team and drivers were hoping to end on a high note. Having just completed a successful testing session at Gingerman Raceway, we felt confident we had found some additional speed and a better set up heading into this event.
We started our weekend with a very balanced set up, and the drivers were simply looking to fine tune the #59 SpeedQuest Racing/KoRn entry, until the rains came that is. In keeping a close eye on the forecast and radar throughout the week, we decided that a softer "rain" set up would be a better decision for the race and began working in that direction.
All was going well, and the times were improving throughout the practice sessions until a punctured tire sent driver Adam Pecorari off track for a wet ride through the Virginia mud. Adam did a great job in trying to maneuver out of the spin, but just caught the end of a guardrail into the drivers' door, tearing the metal skin away. The crew quickly started going over the car to make sure none of the structure of the car was compromised and the suspension was in tact. Luckily we only required some minor sledgehammer repairs and a new door.
Knowing that with 69 cars in the field, qualifying would be of great importance. The #59 Mustang GT entered the qualifying session a bit late, with driver Romeo Kapudija only getting one flying lap in before the wet caught him out and an off track excursion sent him into the mud with only a short time to get the car race ready before the green flag dropped. "We had a car that was capable of qualifying in the top five, unfortunately I went off the dry line by a couple of inches and I went into a wild spin off course." Stats Kapudija. Romeo's one lap was good enough for a 13th starting position.
The team knew full well that there would be many yellow flags by racing in the wet with so many cars in the field, and playing out the yellows was most important. Kapudija started the race on rain tires and by lap seven was in P7 overall when the yellow came out. With the track drying, we opted to bring Romeo in for a new set of slicks, when many decided to stay out. That meant loosing all those precious positions, but we felt this was the right decision. Going back into the field in P50, Kapudija quickly made up time, passing as many as 11 cars per lap. Within nine laps the SpeedQuest entry was back up to P10 and running some of the fastest lap times of the race.
Yellows came and went a few more times, and just before the half way point, taking advantage of a timely yellow would again be the move to make. With the rains again coming down on lap 23 we brought the car in for a full stop, putting driver Adam Pecorari in the car for the final run. An extended stop to put the four new rain tires on sent us back into the field in P41, knowing Adam would have his hands full to bring the car home in good condition and high in the order. Much as his teammate did earlier in the race, Pecorari quickly started making up ground on the field. Now those timely yellows would play a major part, by stacking up the field for Adam to reel in the competition. By lap 48, with only three laps remaining Adam had pushed the car up to P10 with P8 & 9 directly in front, and running a full half second slower than the #59 Mustang GT. As he is making the pass on the ninth place BMW the yellow came out once again to negate his momentum and would finish the race under yellow flag conditions in 10th overall position. "Its unfortunate we had the extended stop and I got in the car so far back," stated Pecorari. "The car felt good in the wet and we were turning constant times to be in the top 5. With a few more laps, we could have achieved that, but with as many yellows we had, it made passing difficult."
A job well done to our two drivers Romeo Kapudija and Adam Pecorari for fighting all day and all year to run up front on a consistent basis. We would also like to thank KoRn for their continued support throughout the season; we are looking forward to a successful 2006 with many surprises in store.