SCC: Watkins Glen: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing heads to Watkins Glen as they close in on points lead WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.- Automatic Racing will head to Watkins Glen this weekend with the Grand-Am Cup Series for The Glen Grand Sport 250 on June 21 as they close the gap on the...

Automatic Racing heads to Watkins Glen as they close in on points lead

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.- Automatic Racing will head to Watkins Glen this weekend with the Grand-Am Cup Series for The Glen Grand Sport 250 on June 21 as they close the gap on the Grand Sports II (GSII) class leader.

The team was 13 points behind the GSII class leader before the fifth round of the season, held at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Automatic Racing is now only eight points from overtaking the lead as they prepare for round six at Watkins Glen.

Jep Thornton and David Russell will be driving the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 in The Glen Grand Sport 250. Watkins Glen was the site of Automatic Racing's inaugural race, and of Thornton's first street stock race, during the Grand-Am Cup race in 2002.

"I'm looking forward to returning to the first track we raced on as a team," said Thornton. "We didn't do so well last year, but now we have a year of experience and success under our belt, and we hope to do well and stay in a position to win the championship."

Watkins Glen is also the site of Russell's first street stock race. He competed there in 1986 in the Firestone Firehawk Series, which is now the Grand-Am Cup Series.

"Watkins Glen is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the circuit," commented Russell. "It suits my driving style with all of the high-speed sweepers. It suits our BMW well, too. With 20 entries in GSII, it will be the toughest competition we've had since the season opener at Daytona."

Fans will be able to see the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW at the Watkins Glen Prixview Party, which will be held on Wednesday, June 18, from 10:00 am -- 3:00 pm. Cars from both the Grand-Am Cup Series and the Rolex Series will be on display in downtown Elmira, at the intersection of Main Street and Grey Street.

The Glen Grand Sport 250 will feature cars in the Grand Sports I and II classes of the Grand-Am Cup Series. Qualifying will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, June 21. The race will get the green flag at 2:45 pm the same day.

The No. 90 Automatic Racing BMW M3, which is shared by Terry Earwood and Eric Van Cleef, will not be competing in the rounds at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. The car blew its motor during the Rolex Series race at California Speedway, and the short break between rounds did not allow enough time for repairs. The car is in development this season and is not in contention for the points chase, so Automatic Racing has chosen to repair and further develop the car before it returns to the track.

News, race results and audio quotes from Automatic Racing can be found on the Internet at www.AutomaticRacing.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jep Thornton , Terry Earwood , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing