Dyson, Brix Seventh in VIR 400
Duo earns first top-ten finish in final event
Alton, VA (October 9, 2005) . Chris Dyson and Harrison Brix co-drove the #06 Thetford / Norcold / Sirius Pontiac Crawford to a seventh-place finish in the VIR 400 on Sunday afternoon. It was the first top-ten finish of the season for the #06 car in their five-race schedule with Howard-Boss Motorsports for the 2005 Grand American Rolex Series season.
The weekend at Virginia International Raceway began with a promoters test day on Thursday, October 6th. Dyson and Brix took full advantage of this opportunity to "fine tune" their Pontiac Crawford for the upcoming VIR 400. Little did anyone know at the time that the practice on Thursday would be the most time on the course prior to the race. Inclement weather with fog and heavy rain kept practice to a minimum on Friday and Saturday for the Rolex Series cars.
The weather conditions were so bad that qualifying was cancelled on Saturday afternoon and the starting grid for the VIR 400 set by the Grand Am rulebook. Using that formula, the #06 Pontiac Crawford started 20th on the grid for the 2 hour 45 minute sprint.
Chris Dyson started the #06 Pontiac Crawford and was forced to make a trip through pit road when the race went to green. The crew made an adjustment to the car while on the starting grid, thus the drive-through penalty. However, Dyson was able to overcome the early setback with excellent pit strategy and a determined effort on the course.
When the caution waved on 15 for a stalled car on the track, Dyson pitted for fuel only and rejoined the event. Then, as the leaders began to make their initial pit stops on lap thirty, Dyson was able to move into the top five in the running order.
Dyson kept the #06 Pontiac Crawford in the top ten until he pitted on lap 47 for fuel, tires, and a driver change. Harrison Brix took over the controls and was able to maintain a top-ten position in the race. However, Brix had no radio contact with the crew and was unable to communicate with Crew Chief Peter Weston for the remainder of the event. Through three very trying restarts after cautions, Brix managed to keep the #06 Pontiac Crawford in the top ten and finished in the seventh position.
"We've had four races with tough luck prior to this weekend, so it was good to finally get a decent finish," Dyson commented. "The conditions were tough on the course with all the rain, and I believe staying on the track was huge today. The crew doing a great job on pit road was also a big factor in keeping us in contention."
The VIR 400 was the fifth and final race of the season for Dyson, Brix and the #06 Pontiac Crawford from the Howard-Boss Motorsports stable. And, although tough racing luck kept the results from meeting expectations, the determined team effort and knowledge learned during these five races will be strong "building blocks" for the future.