Watkins Glen International
Spirit of Daytona Suffers Mechanical Woes at Watkins Glen
Gearbox forces team out of Six-Hour endurance race.
It’s been a frustrating first half of the season for Spirit of Daytona, a team that has run well at every race this season only to have mechanical issues plague the team to a season-best finish of 8th. The latest episode came Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen as the team qualified on the front row for the fourth consecutive race and led the opening lap, but later settled into fourth position before bowing out of the race with just over one hour remaining because of a gearbox issue. The No. 90 Chevrolet-powered Coyote finished 8th.
“We just can’t get this off our backs. It’s so frustrating, but the car was fast again today,” said team owner/manager Troy Flis. “We had an issue with the windshield early on, but we came back and had a fourth-place car all day. We just need to finish a race, we can’t keep breaking two-thirds into a race like this.”
After six races, Spirit of Daytona has led 93 laps on the season. After qualifying second and leading the first lap of the race, driver Antonio Garcia reported a fogged winshield and was forced to make a green flag pitstop to fix the issue. Despite losing a lap, the team fought back to the lead lap and settled into the fourth-position for much of the race. Co-driver Paul Edwards sees the potential and knows that a good finish will come very shortly.
“Sooner or later we’re going to put it all together,” he said. “We were on the front row again and running well, we’ve just got to clean everything up.”
From here Spirit of Daytona heads to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for the Road America 250 where the team will look to score its first podium of the season.
“I think we’ve had a very good package at every track and run well everywhere so far,” said Garcia. “We’re where we need to be right now, we’ve just got to have the finishes to go with it.”