Stu Hayner puts Revolution Motorsports on the podium; "The Professor" and young Bobby Sak create a roar on the shore!
CLEVELAND - July 13, 2002 - Showing a never look back attitude, Stu Hayner defeated unlikely odds to bring his #02 Trenton Forging / Revolution Motorsports Corvette home third in the Trans Am on the Tarmac here at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland.
The exclamation point on the team's weekend performance was the unbelievable drive by Bobby Sak in the #10 Revolution Motorsports / Missingkids.com Corvette. Bobby, who ran as high as second in the race, had the whole paddock talking after his outstanding run. Sak was stoic in his mental preparation and his refusal to fold under pressure. Taking on the likes of veterans, Mike Lewis, Johnny Miller and even looking down the jaws of Paul Gentilozzi, Sak was unflappable.
Hayner's weekend began on a bit of a sour note when his steering failed in the only practice session. The schedule called for one round of morning practice and then Friday afternoon qualifying. Hayner was left to qualify in the slower group and having run less than two laps on the temporary track.
"The crew gave me a great car right off the trailer," said Stu in his post race interview. "Obviously we started with a bit of a handicap after Friday morning's incident in practice. However, once we got that squared away, we were right there. I'm not sure I could have caught Boris [Said] or Butch [Lietzinger]... unless they made a mistake. I've raced with these guys a long time.... they don't make mistakes." He laughed.
Starting in the 7th, Hayner drove a solid pace and let the race come to him. A pair of yellow flags kept the leaders close and allowed the battle to be settled on the track. Hayner kept is steady charge and gradually moved up.
In the late stages of the race, he successfully kept the likes of Johnny Miller and Paul Gentilozzi behind him while catching the lead cars.
"I came up on my teammate [Bobby Sak] and he made sure I had the room to go by," said Stu. "The #3 car [Paul Gentilozzi] must have anticipated the move. He started banging on both of us. Bobby did an awesome job of not backing down. Then Gentilozzi made several attempts to 'move' me and at one point almost spun me. That stuff is getting old though....we just out drove him."
Bobby Sak started the race 12th. At the drop of the green flag, he was on the gas and on the move. Track announcers were suddenly lost for words and continually confused Sak's #10 car with teammate, Stu Hayner's #02 car. Bobby helped clear the confusion.. after the first yellow, he was running in second.
"That was a blast," said Bobby after the race. "My car was so good.... I knew this was an opportunity to establish myself in the Trans-Am series. I was intent on not rolling over or being intimidated. My car was good and I was hitting my marks. I always believe in giving faster cars the opportunity to go, but today, I was the faster car. I plan to race these guys for a long time. I needed to let them know that they'll have to race me. I raced them clean and judging from comments I've received in the paddock, I think I earned some respect. It was a great day," he added. "I'm really happy for Stu and thrilled for the team. Shane [Duhaime] and the guys gave us awesome cars. And to run with Stu like that... it was great to be out there working together and making a difference."
Team owner, Don Sak, was ecstatic. "I'm so proud of these guy's. They've worked so hard for this. They've never complained or let their frustrations get the better of them. In addition, to see Stu and Bobby out there... wow, what a great show. It was fun to watch. I love seeing how well Bobby and Stu work together. I'm happy for Stu and can't begin to express how proud I am of Bobby. He handled himself so well. This is great."
Revolution Motorsports and the Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup move on to Washington DC for the Cadillac Grand Prix, July 19 -20. The race will be held at RFK Stadium and will air live at 2:30pm EST on CBS