Spirit of Daytona Racing returns to Laguna Seca as defending race winner

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Spirit of Daytona Racing hasn’t seen the results the team had hoped for this year.

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Spirit of Daytona Racing enters Round 11 of the 12-race GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as the defending race winner and the team would like nothing more than to repeat with a return to trip to victory lane on Sunday with drivers Ricky Taylor and Richard Westbrook in the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.com Corvette DP.

#90 Spirit Of Daytona Corvette DP: Richard Westbrook, Ricky Taylor
#90 Spirit Of Daytona Corvette DP: Richard Westbrook, Ricky Taylor

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

The Florida-based team, who finished a season-best third earlier this year at Barber Motorsports Park, has proudly carried the VISITFLORIDA colors on the No. 90 machine through the 2013 season and targets the team’s second podium finish of the year this weekend.

While Spirit of Daytona Racing hasn’t seen the results the team had hoped for this year, the organization has persevered and carried positivity into each race outing when some unfortunate bad racing luck caught the team out in several races early in the year.

After a gearbox issue at Road America and a stuck throttle early in the race at Kansas, Spirit of Daytona Racing has utilized the three-week break in race action to re-group and prepare for a strong run at the 2.238-mile road course as GRAND-AM stages the penultimate round of the 2013 championship at Laguna Seca.

“Well, this was not the season that we were thinking we would have, but you know with how competitive GRAND-AM is, we knew that every race was going to be a battle,” said team owner Troy Flis. “So I’m proud of my guys and how everyone keeps stepping up.

I think coming out here to a track where we were able to execute so well last year has us all optimistic for the race. Richard and Ricky are both very good here, so we’ll just try to get the monkey off our back a little bit on Sunday!”

Sunday’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival event will mark Spirit of Daytona Racing’s fifth appearance at the track. Last year’s victory at Laguna Seca with Westbrook and co-driver Antonio Garcia came after Westbrook claimed the pole and the pair led 41 laps on the way to the win. The result marked the team’s third victory of the year.

Taylor, who joined Spirit of Daytona Racing this year for the full 2013 season, has three previous starts at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca already under his belt. He scored his best result in 2011 when he finished third after starting on the pole while driving for SunTrust Racing.

The two-day race weekend format will see Spirit of Daytona Racing look to get up to speed quickly as GRAND-AM holds two practices on Saturday ahead of qualifying which is set to begin at 5:45 PM local time.

The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival will go green on Sunday at 2:00 PM (PST) with live coverage carried by FOX Sports 1 at 5:00 PM (ET).

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About this article
Series GRANDAM
Article type Preview
Tags corvette dp, garcia, grandam, laguna seca, monterey, taylor, westbrook