MEMO GIDLEY, MICHAEL MCDOWELL AND GUY COSMO SECURE TOP-10 STARTING POSITION FOR DISCOUNT TIRE SUNCHASER 9-HOUR
TOOELE, UTAH (September 1, 2006) Qualifying for the Grand American Rolex Series season ending event, the Discount Tire Sunchaser 9-Hour race, took place earlier today and Memo Gidley behind the wheel of the No.19 Playboy/Uniden/Palms - sponsored machine secured a top-10 starting position. The 9-hour race, scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. tomorrow, will be challenge for the Daytona Prototype machines. The race will begin around noon with temperatures in the low 80's and as the race progresses the temperatures could reach well into the 90's. The temperatures will not be the only challenge; the race will begin in daylight and end in darkness. The Miller Motorsports Park's desert like setting and the fact the facility doesn't have lights will be a real challenge come tomorrow evening as the drivers use their skills to feel their way around the 24-turn, 4.486-mile track in search of the checkered flag.
Memo Gidley will start tomorrow's contest from row five and will be given the challenge of staying out of trouble during the first stint as the race begins to sort itself out. "I'm happy with the way the car has been working in practice," said Memo Gidley. "The Playboy/Uniden/Palms car has been consistent and fast all week but I thought we would get a better qualifying result. It's a long race and I know that Michael (McDowell), Guy (Cosmo) and myself will do whatever it takes to get the car up front at the end."
Michael McDowell returns to the seat of the No.19 machine after sitting out the last Grand American event at Infineon Raceway because of an opportunity to race in one of NASCAR's feeder series, ARCA. "It's good to be back behind the wheel of the No.19 car," said Michael McDowell. "Memo did a great job qualifying the car; we just need to figure out where the speed is. We've had a few electronic issues this week and I just don't think the car is running at its full potential."
Guy Cosmo, who competed for Finlay Motorsports last weekend, will be the third driver sharing the car with Gidley and McDowell during the season ending 9-hour race. "We've made a lot of strides from last weekend," said Guy Cosmo. "We've gotten the 19 car back to the pace where it's accustomed to running. I think we've got a great combination of drivers behind the wheel so we're just going to keep it clean and fast."
-credit: finlay motorsports