Watkins Glen II: Chris Gleason race report

Gleason and His Teammates Finish Fourth in GT at Watkins Glen Friday Night WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Aug. 13 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. and his teammates, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass., finished fourth in the...

Gleason and His Teammates Finish Fourth in GT at Watkins Glen Friday Night

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y., Aug. 13 - Chris Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. and his teammates, Ian James of Kissimmee, Fla. and R.J. Valentine of Hingham, Mass., finished fourth in the GT class in the Sahlen's 200 Rolex series race at Watkins Glen International Friday night.

Two factory BMWs proved to be too strong for the team for this race, which was televised on SPEED and served as a support event for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race. But in a tough race which was contested on a dry track, a damp track and in a torrential downpour, it was still a good finish for The Racers Group Porsche GT3 RS #66 sponsored by the Gleason Group, F1 Boston, Monster Cable and Adobe Road Winery.

Qualifications were rained out so the field was set by team points, so Gleason started second in class. As it turned out he didn't get to drive very long, however. Since the entry has three drivers and the race was relatively short at two hours, the team needed to make its pit stops for driver changes under yellow-flag conditions whenever they occurred.

Unfortunately for Gleason, who loves both this track and to race in the rain, his stint ended up being very short, as he turned the Porsche over to Valentine under the first full-course yellow just nine minutes into the race.

Valentine drove for about a half-hour before he pitted on lap 31, and James brought the car home in fourth.

"We have three drivers and it's a two-hour race; we had to make our pit stops when we could to do the driver changes, and that's why I only did five or six laps or something like that," Gleason explained. "We're a team and this time I had to fall on my sword; R.J. had to do the same thing at the last race. But we're all a team and we're all trying to get points; that's our goal."

Gleason was also concerned about the owner of The Racers Group, Kevin Buckler, who was involved in a nasty multi-car accident in turn 11 under heavy rain while behind the wheel of the #67 Racers Group Porsche.

Buckler was transported to Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, N.Y. for X-rays. Series officials said he was awake and alert, but was complaining of pain on the right side of his neck, his right shoulder and his right leg.

The next Rolex series race is at Florida's Homestead-Miami Speedway Sept. 10-12.

For more information see: www.gleasonagency.com, www.theracersgroup.com, www.grandamerican.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ian James , Chris Gleason , R.J. Valentine