Brian Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., finished 14th in Sunday's BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race on the 2.25-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway road course. Simo started third in the No. 88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta and took the lead on lap 18 of the rain-shortened 33-lap race. Unseasonal rain interrupted the race, causing Simo to spin in the car set up for dry conditions. He pitted for rain tires, but lost a wheel as he exited the pits. The combination of factors left him 14th.

Simo edged closer to driver championship leader Paul Gentilozzi of Lansing, Mich. Gentilozzi has 248 points to Simo's 232, with one race remaining in San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 5. A maximum of 34 points are available for the final race.

"Obviously, the race didn't go the way we wanted," Simo said. "We had a good start and took the lead, which is good for the championship point, but the rain made the track a challenge for everyone. We were a little agressive on the setup, which was great for the first part of the race. But when it started to rain, the car was a real handful. I spun a couple of times and we lost a wheel when we stopped for rain tires, so that was it. The good news is that we gained some points on Paul. We're still in the development phase of this program, so it's pretty impressive that we're contending for the championship in our first year together as a team. We'll go get 'em in San Diego." k