Houston Trans-Am Series Race Story, Results and Points

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HOUSTON, Texas (September 25) - Paul Gentilozzi scored his 15th career BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series victory on the streets of Houston, Texas, posting a 5.394-second margin over Leighton Reese, with G.J. Mennen, of Austin, Texas, finishing...

HOUSTON, Texas (September 25) - Paul Gentilozzi scored his 15th career BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series victory on the streets of Houston, Texas, posting a 5.394-second margin over Leighton Reese, with G.J. Mennen, of Austin, Texas, finishing third. Gentilozzi, who started his No. 1 Johnson Controls/HomeLink Ford Mustang Cobra from the pole, had to hold off a hard charging Johnny Miller IV from the drop of the green flag, but when Miller’s No. 64 Automationdirect.com Chevrolet Corvette broke its rear end on lap 45, Gentilozzi would not again be seriously challenged as he cruised to his fifth win of the season. “We were determined today,” said Gentilozzi. “With just three races remaining (including Houston) and a slim points lead, we looked at these last races as a new season. I was running a pretty even pace throughout, but at the end my brakes were fading, and as I came off the track I had a flat tire–another lap or so and Leighton (Reese) would have finished first.” Reese, in the No. 66 Banner Engineering/Phillips 66 Pontiac Grand Prix, started the 62-lap, 94.67-mile race eighth and steadily improved his position as the race was slowed by two full course cautions, neither resulting in injury. With five laps remaining, Reese, running in third, trailed the No. 88 Tommy Bahama Mustang Cobra of Chris Neville, and after exchanging positions several times on lap 57, Reese made the decisive move on lap 59 as the duo came down the back straight and into turn five on the 10-turn, 1.527-mile Texaco Grand Prix of Houston street circuit, claiming the runner-up spot for good as Neville overshot the corner and drove into the runoff, recovering to finish fourth. “I had eye contact with Chris (Neville) going down the straight, and it’s tough to race ahead of you when you’re also racing in your mirror,” said Reese. “I went deep into turn five and he (Neville) just went in deeper–a bit too deep. We had a good car all day that stayed under us–I was really trying to be patient today and not wear the car down. I knew the race would come to us.” While Reese and Neville battled for second, G.J. Mennen, in the No. 4 Smith Eye Wear Mustang Cobra, and Brian Simo, in the No. 2 Valvoline Mustang Cobra, contested for fourth as Simo struggled with a car that lost its power steering on lap 23. With six laps remaining, Simo briefly dropped into the pits, advancing Mennen to fourth, and when Neville missed turn five Mennen was able to claim the final podium position, while Simo ended his day fifth. “Today was definitely a battle more with traffic than in passing for position,” said Mennen. “The heat really played a factor both on drivers and the cars, but if you were prepared for the conditions it wasn’t too bad.”

HOUSTON, Texas - Results from Saturday's 62-lap, 94.674-mile BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race at the Texaco Grand Prix of Houston, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).

1. (1), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Ford Mustang Cobra, 62. 2. (8), Leighton Reese, Minnetonka, Minn., Pontiac Grand Prix, 62. 3. (6), G.J. Mennen, Austin, Texas, Ford Mustang Cobra, 62. 4. (3), Chris Neville, Scottsdale, Ariz., Ford Mustang Cobra, 62. 5. (4), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 62. 6. (9), Bob Ruman, Munroe Falls, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro, 61. 7. (15), Randy Ruhlman, Greensboro, N.C., Ford Mustang Cobra, 61. 8. (16), Peter Shea, Irvine, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 61. 9. (5), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 60. 10. (14), Simon Gregg, Jacksonville, Fla., Chevrolet Camaro, 60. 11. (24), James Briody, Cherry Hill, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 60. 12. (13), Tomy Drissi, Hollywood, Calif., Ford Mustang Cobra, 59. 13. (23), C. David Seuss, Charlestown, Mass., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 59. 14. (12), Don Sak, West Bloomfield, Mich., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 59. 15. (27), Joe Freda, Auburn, Ala., Chevrolet Camaro, 58. 16. (18), Gary Johnson, Knoxville, Tenn., Ford Mustang Cobra, 57, Mech. 17. (28), Ed Hinchliff, Ypsilanti, Mich., Ford Mustang Cobra, 55. 18. (26), Andre Toennis, Houston, Texas, Chevrolet Camaro, 54, Spun. 19. (21), Jerry Simmons, Ancaster Ontario, Chevrolet Camaro, 50. 20. (2), Johnny W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet Corvette, 45, Mech. 21. (22), Frank Cioppettini, Far Hills, N.J., Chevrolet Camaro, 45f, Mech. 22. (11), Lou Gigliotti, Garland, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette, 44, Crash. 23. (25), Glenn Andrew, Farmersburg, Ind., Pontiac Grand Prix, 41. 24. (17), Kerry Alexander, Indianapolis, Ind., Chevrolet Camaro, 40. 25. (10), Steve Pelke, Lansing, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 28, Crash. 26. (19), Tom Coleman, Asheville, N.C., Chevrolet Camaro, 26, Mech. 27. (20), Claudio Burtin, Cartersville, Ga., Ford Mustang Cobra, 12, Mech. 28. (7), Max Lagod, Barrington, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro, 7, Mech.

Time of race: 1 hour, 32 minutes, 44.757 seconds. Average speed: 61.247 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 5.394 seconds Fastest race lap: Paul Gentilozzi, 1:12.780 (75.531 mph) Lap leaders: Laps 1-62, Paul Gentilozzi Cautions: Two for 18 laps.

BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Point Standings - 11 Race total

BFGoodrich Tires Cup Drivers’ Championship Pos., Driver, Car, Purse, Points 1, Paul Gentilozzi, Ford Mustang Cobra, $144,950, 277 2, Brian Simo, Ford Mustang Cobra, $137,400, 264 3, Chris Neville, Ford Mustang Cobra, $98,500, 238 4, Michael Lewis, Ford Mustang Cobra, $80,450, 232 5, Johnny Miller IV, Chevrolet Corvette, $85,050, 226 6, Randy Ruhlman, Ford Mustang Cobra, $56,650, 193 7, Leighton Reese, Pontiac/Chevrolet, $59,800, 182 8, Simon Gregg, Chevrolet Camaro, $37,900, 160 9, Tomy Drissi (R), Ford Mustang Cobra, $30,500, 156 10, Bob Ruman, Chevrolet Camaro, $42,800, 150 11, G.J. Mennen (R), Ford Mustang Cobra, $41,500, 142 12, Steve Pelke (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $23,700, 126 13, James Briody, Chevrolet Camaro, $22,400, 121 14, Tom Coleman (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $23,800, 110 15, Lou Gigliotti, Chevrolet Corvette, $32,000, 106 16, Max Lagod, Chevrolet Camaro, $28,600, 91 17, Don Sak, Oldsmobile/Ford, $19,600, 80 18, C. David Suess, Oldsmobile Cutlass $14,400, 70 19, Dorsey Schroeder, Ford Mustang Cobra, $23,500, 70 20, Frank Ciopettini, Chevrolet Camaro, $15,200, 66 21, Kerry Alexander (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $12,000, 57 22, Claudio Burtin, Ford Mustang Cobra, $10,000, 52 23, Jerry Simmons, Chevrolet Camaro, $8,400, 45 24, Craig Shafer, Chevrolet Camaro, $8,100, 44 25, Peter Shea, Ford Mustang Cobra, $8,900, 37 26, Glenn Andrew, Pontiac Grand Prix, $6,600, 32 27, Tony Ave, Chevrolet Camaro, $5,100, 30 28, Gary Johnson (R), Mustang Cobra, $5,100, 28 29, Dick Greer, Chevrolet Corvette, $5,700, 25 30, Stu Hayner, Chevrolet/Ford, $6,100, 25 31, Ed Hinchliff, Ford Mustang Cobra, $4,000, 22 32, Bruce Barkelew, Ford Mustang Cobra, $4,300, 21 33, Bill Gray, Chevrolet Camaro, $4,600, 19 34, Don Meluzio, Chevrolet Camaro, $4,700, 18 35, Charles Webster (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $3,600, 18 36, Kenny Bupp (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $3,400, 18 37, Mike Davis (R), Ford Mustang Cobra, $2,800, 16 38, Joe Freda (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $3,300, 13 39, Jerry Kinn (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $2,700, 13 40, Dan Furey, Chevrolet Corvette, $4,400, 13 41, Paul Alderman, Ford Mustang Cobra, $2,800, 12 42, Henry Gaudens (R), Chevrolet Corvette, $2,400, 12 43, Ted Sullivan (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $2,400, 12 44, Mike Farmer, Ford Mustang Cobra, $1,700, 11 45, Chet Williams (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $2,300, 11 46, Jon Leavy, Chevrolet Camaro, $1,600, 10 47, Mike Gagliardo (R), Chevrolet Corvette, $3,400, 10 48, Brian DeVries, Ford Mustang Cobra, $2,280, 9 49, Andre Toennis (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $1,400, 8 50, Michael Cohen, Chevrolet Camaro, $1,400, 8 51, Frank Sanchez (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $1,400, 8 52, Rael (R), Chevrolet Camaro, $1,300, 7 53, Craig T. Nelson (R), Chevrolet Corvette, $1,900, 5 54, Brad Smith (R), Ford Mustang Cobra, $1,100, 4 55, Jeff Simunaci (R), Chev. Monte Carlo, $1,100, 3 56, Rick Dittman, Chevrolet Camaro, $2,600, 1

Manufacturers’ Point Standings Pos., Manufacturer, Points 1, Ford, 99 2, Chevrolet, 45 3, Pontiac, 17 4, Oldsmobile, 0

Source: SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing

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Series SCCA , TRANSAM