Watkins Glen II: Guy Cosmo race report

Guy Cosmo All Attitude At The Glen The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve returned to Watkins Glen International for the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen on Friday night. Using pit strategy, ...

Guy Cosmo All Attitude At The Glen

The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve returned to Watkins Glen International for the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen on Friday night. Using pit strategy, serendipitous timing and shear determination, Guy Cosmo took the #09 Spirit of Daytona Pontiac Crawford sponsored by AMD to the front of the 26 car field.

Cosmo started the race from the 20th grid position. Team-manager/owner Troy Flis and team engineer Peter Keane made the decision early on to pit short for fuel. When mid-way through Cosmo's stint a caution flag fell, everyone in front of the 09 car pitted for fuel and tires. Playing right into their strategy, Cosmo kept the AMD/MarineMax Prototype on track.

"I saw the pace car in front of me," grinned an ecstatic Cosmo, "and right then, I knew it was show time. I'm a New Yorker, I'm in New York and I'm going to take Spirit of Daytona and AMD to the front. There was no other thought in my mind. We knew early on that this opportunity might present itself and here it was."

On lap 37 Cosmo was leading the race.

"As hard as the team had worked all weekend, we didn't get it right and we knew we weren't going to be the fastest car out there," said Guy. "This was a great opportunity to reward everyone for all their hard work."

"My first thought was to get a jump at the restart and drive like there was no tomorrow," recalled Cosmo. "When the lights went off on the pace car I slowed the field in an effort to have the advantage. It worked perfectly. I got through turn one clean, but the Gainsco car was closing in as we headed up the esses. I managed to hold him off, though he was ultimately called in to serve a penalty for an earlier pit lane violation."

Cosmo remained in the lead for six laps until ultimately relenting to a set of fading Hoosier tires.

"After I saw the Gainsco car head to pit lane, I knew I'd soon have a mirror full of Scott Pruett in the CompUSA car," Guy continued. "I knew the pressure was on, but I had committed to leading this thing. Running as hard as I was I knew eventually the tires would go off, and we'd have to stop for fuel at some point as well, so... this was our time and I intended to give the team and the folks from AMD and MarineMax a night to remember. Scott raced me clean and that's exactly what I expected. We were probably 2 seconds per lap slower, but I kept my line and made every corner count. We gave it everything the 09 car had, for as long as it would hang on for, and I can't wait to do it again."

After running over 60 laps, Cosmo felt the car stumble indicating he was out fuel. A caution came out just as he dropped to the pit entrance to stop for fuel and tires.

Cosmo turned the car over to NASCAR Champion, Bobby Labonte, on lap 64. Before the track turned green, Labonte jumped into the Prototype and caught the pace car. Bobby was muscling his way back into the top-10 when suddenly a front suspension piece broke taking him out of the race. Though Bobby was unharmed, the front of the car suffered severe damage.

The race ended five laps later and Spirit of Daytona finished 17th.

"Cosmo did great leading the pack during the race," said Labonte. "It was exciting to see him on the scoreboard and on the TV in first place. With race finishes like this you can only look forward to bouncing back. I wish we could have had a better finish for our sponsors AMD and MarineMax but this makes you hungry for the next race."

Guy Cosmo's extensive background with open-wheel formula cars and sports prototypes has earned him a reputation as one of the most successful and versatile young racing drivers in North America. The 2005 American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year ranks among the top- level road racers in the world. He has earned overall racing titles and major successes in many disciplines including karting, Formula Ford, Formula 2000, Star Mazda, Toyota Atlantic, Grand American and American Le Mans. You can learn more about Guy Cosmo at www.guycosmo.com.

-credit: www.guycosmo.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Scott Pruett , Guy Cosmo