VIR: AJR/Emory Motorsports qualifying report

Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Finishes Second in Qualifying Race at VIR Takes Over Lead in the Team Championship Alton, Virginia m- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished second today in the qualifying race to set the field...

Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Finishes Second in Qualifying Race at VIR

Takes Over Lead in the Team Championship

Alton, Virginia m- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished second today in the qualifying race to set the field for tomorrow's Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway. The finish of the Alex Job Racing prepared Porsche Crawford vaulted the Ruby Tuesday Team into the Daytona Prototype team championship lead. The finish has also brought the drivers within four points of the overall lead in the Daytona Prototype driver's championship going into Sunday's two-hour-and-forty-five-minute main event. In a steady rain, Mike Rockenfeller started from second position for the 30-minute qualifying race based upon team points as the practice session that was slated to set the field witnessed substantial precipitation. Rockenfeller had a good start and took over the point when the leading 01 car experienced problems. Rockenfeller led until the penultimate lap when a dirty windshield and radio problems had the young German thinking it was the checker. As a result the number 19 car passed for the lead and the win.

The second place finish combined with the problems of the series leading 01 car have Rockenfeller and teammate Long just four points out of the overall Grand American Daytona Prototype points lead in only the teams fourth race. Budget problems forced the team to miss the Mexico City event.

Rockenfeller exited the number 23 car disappointed. "The start was pretty good, there was a lot of water still standing on the track but everyone behaved. The 01 car had their problems and I was able to lead more than half of the race. Towards the end the number 11 car went off in turn one and came back on the track in front of me dropping mud all over the track and onto my windshield. The wiper wasn't working so great and neither was the radio. The combination had me thinking it was the last lap when there was one more to go. I've seen this happen to other drivers and you ask yourself how that can happen, now I know."

Patrick Long likes the way the weekend is going. "Mike had some tough luck in the qualifying race, but he was able to run at the front in tough conditions and we have been really good in the dry, which it is supposed to be tomorrow. Once again I will get to start on the front row, keeping our streak alive of having the car never start worse than second."

"It is great to lead the team championship, even though we missed Mexico City," said Alex Job. "It was tough for Mike, he ran a good race and when something like communication gremlins come into play that is tough. The team is disappointed, but we made up valuable ground in the team and driver points today. We have proven our speed in the dry at VIR and we are looking forward to racing under sunny skies tomorrow.J"

Round five of the Grand Am series at Virginia International Raceway will take the green flag on Sunday, April 23rd at 1:00 p.m. EST and will be televised live on Speed Channel.

-ajr/em-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Patrick Long , Mike Rockenfeller , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing