A 7th and 17th overall for Multimatic/Miller Racing at Sebring
The Multimatic Motorsports/Miller Racing team, based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, came home from their second race of the season in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) at Florida's historic Sebring International Raceway with decidedly mixed results.
On the positive side of the ledger, the No. 15 Ford Mustang Boss 302R of Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford finished seventh after qualifying 11th, mirroring their finish in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on January 24. However, both drivers thought the result could and should have been better.
The sister No. 158 of Ian James and Billy Johnson saw their fortunes go the other way, after a strong third-place qualifying effort was spoiled by clutch trouble in the race's early laps, which relegated them to a 17th-place finish.
After two races, Maxwell and Buford are tied for seventh in the CTSCC driver championship standings, with James and Johnson tied for ninth place. Similarly, in the teams championship, the No. 15 is ranked seventh and the No. 158 ninth.
"Overall, it was a disappointing day for the Multimatic/Miller Ford Mustangs," said Maxwell. "We just don't have the raw speed right now to compete up front, so it is frustrating. Jade drove a faultless opening stint and it looked like we were heading for a top-five finish, but I got caught up in the pile-up at the final restart. So, seventh again. On the upside, the team was excellent; great pit stops and another solid points finish which will come in handy later in the year, when we should be challenging for wins rather than top-10 finishes."
"I am greatly looking forward to moving on to Laguna Seca with a solid position in the point standings," said Buford. "I would like to say thanks to the entire Multimatic/Miller team for executing a perfect race, and all the hard work over the week. Hopefully, our day will come soon."
"It was just an unlucky day for the No. 158," said James. "Billy held on to third early, but started to drop back as he began to lose the clutch. It got progressively worse, and when he pitted at the 45-minute mark the clutch was gone completely. It was a day of unfulfilled potential; we were good enough to be on the podium until the clutch problem surfaced. On the other hand, it was great to have Cheri Miller back with us this weekend. Now it's on to Laguna Seca, and we'll be back stronger and better."
"It was a bittersweet weekend," said Johnson. "While we don't have the outright speed of some of our competitors, our new car was excellent and we had great pit stops. All of the pieces of the puzzle are there for a good finish and, with the bad luck out of the way and hopefully a few concessions to even the playing field, the Multimatic/Miller 158 team has what it takes to contend for wins. It was great to have Cheri and Harli Miller at the track supporting the new team."
The next outing for the Multimatic Motorsports/Miller Racing squad will be at California's iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the weekend of May 2-3. The picturesque, 2.23-mile circuit nestled in the coastal hills just north of Monterey has hosted the best in American road racing since 1957 and is renowned for its famous Corkscrew corner.