GALLES SCORES FIRST TRANS-AM WIN ON THE STREETS OF LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 1996) -- Jamie Galles, driving the ICI/Glidden Chevrolet Camaro, scored his first career Trans-Am win at the OPTIMA Batteries Trans-Am Classic,...
GALLES SCORES FIRST TRANS-AM WIN ON THE STREETS OF LONG BEACH
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 14, 1996) -- Jamie Galles, driving the ICI/Glidden Chevrolet Camaro, scored his first career Trans-Am win at the OPTIMA Batteries Trans-Am Classic, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Scott Sharp, in the Rain-X Oil Energizer Camaro, finished second and Dorsey Schroeder, in the Raybestos Ford Mustang Cobra, finished third.
Galles, of Albuquerque, N.M., started the 58-lap, 92.22-mile race in seventh and steadily progressed toward the front as mechanical problems plagued the early race leaders.
"The car was really there today," said Galles. "I ran pretty much as hard as I could for the entire race. I knew Tommy (Kendall) was on softer tires (Kendall started on the softer Goodyear 210 tires on the front of his car to Galles' 430 tires) and I thought I could let the race come back to me -- and it did."
The race's early battle was between Schroeder, Paul Gentilozzi, in the HighwayMaster Camaro and Kendall, in the All Sport Body Quencher Mustang Cobra. Gentilozzi passed Schroeder for the lead on lap 10 but suffered a broken suspension component three laps later, giving the lead back to Schroeder.
After holding off second-place Kendall for eight laps, Schroeder was passed as the cars went through turn six, putting fastest-qualifier Kendall at the front of a six-car pack consisting of Kendall, Schroeder, Galles, Sharp, Johnny O'Connell, in the Gloy Racing Mustang Cobra and Brian Simo, in the Valvoline Mustang Cobra.
Kendall was dominant until the late going while Schroeder continued to fall back, pitting on lap 44 for one tire during one of the race's three full course cautions as Galles moved up into second and Sharp advanced to third. When the field went green five laps later, Galles was pressing hard on Kendall, who fell to Galles' charge on lap 55 as the duo dove into turn one. Kendall continued in second until a broken motor stopped him on the main straight on the final lap, in sight of the finish stand, ending his day in seventh.
A late-race caution for a multi-car incident assured Galles his first series' victory as the field took the checkered flag under caution. The win was also Chevrolet's first at Long Beach, while the second-place effort by Sharp was the two-time Trans-Am Champion's first podium finish since 1993.
"It was a tough race," said Sharp. "We've been struggling and we haven't had the time to do the testing and development that is needed at this level of racing. I had to be really smooth, and hope my car faded less than the other cars as the race went on."
Galles earned the DynoMax Turn On The Power Award for his race-winning effort, while O'Connell earned the Rising Star of the Race Award for his fifth-place finish, coming in his Trans-Am debut. Mark Pielsticker, in the Performance Plus Camaro, earned the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger Award after advancing 11 positions to finish 12th.
With the win, Galles moves into the lead in the Drivers' Championship point standings with 75, followed by Schroeder 71; Kendall, 69; Ron Fellows, 66 (Fellows suffered mechanical difficulties and dropped out of the race after three laps, finishing 22nd after starting third); and Sharp, 65.
After three races, Chevrolet leads the Manufacturers' Championship point standings 25 to 21 over rival Ford.
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Results from Sunday's 58-lap, 92.22-mile OPTIMA Batteries Tarns-Am Classic at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, with finishing position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out. 1, (7), Jamie Galles, Albuquerque, N.M., Chevy Camaro, 58. 2, (9), Scott Sharp, Danville, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 58. 3, (4), Dorsey Schroeder, Osage Beach, Mo., Ford Mustang, 58. 4, (12), Brian Simo, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang, 58. 5, (8), Johnny O'Connell, Chandler, Ariz., Ford Mustang, 58. 6, (11), Greg Pickett, Alamo, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 58. 7, (1), Tom Kendall, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Ford Mustang, 57, Mech. 8, (20), R.J. Valentine, Hingham, Mass., Chevy Camaro, 57. 9, (14), Jon Gooding, Longwood, Fla., Ford Mustang, 57. 10, (16), Steve Hodge, Hillsboro, Ore., Chevy Camaro, 57. 11, (13), Dale Phelon, San Juan Puerto Rico, , Ford Mustang, 55, Crash. 12, (23), Mark Pielsticker, Oakland, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 55. 13, (10), Bill Saunders, Dallas, Texas, Chevy Camaro, 53. 14, (26), Jim Maguire, Glendale, Ariz., Chevy Camaro, 52. 15, (15), Dino Crescentini, Brentwood, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 49, Trans.. 16, (22), Bob Ruman, Munroe Falls, Ohio, Chevy Camaro, 42, Mech. 17, (5), Tony Ave, Indianapolis, Ind., Ford Mustang, 36, Mech. 18, (24), John W. Miller IV, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevy Camaro, 31, Ignition. 19, (18), Mike Berg, Downey, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 23, Mech. 20, (2), Paul Gentilozzi, Lansing, Mich., Chevy Camaro, 14, Susp. 21, (21), Peter Shea, Irvine, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 4, Crash. 22, (3), Ron Fellows, Toronto, Canada, Chevy Camaro, 3, Engine. 23, (6), Boris Said.III, Carlsbad, Calif., Ford Mustang, 3, Crash. 24, (19), Michael Lewis, San Diego, Calif., Ford Mustang, 1, Crash. 25, (25), Tom Beattie, Fullerton, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 0, Mech. 26, (17), Ray Kong, San Jose, Calif., Chevy Camaro, 0, D.N.S.. Time of race: 1 hours, 9 minutes, 53.765 seconds. Average speed: 79.163 miles-per-hour Margin of victory: 1.1959 seconds (under caution) Lap leaders: laps 1-8, Ave; laps 9-11, Schroeder; laps 12-13, Gentilozzi; laps 14-20, Schroeder; laps 21-54, Kendall; laps 55-58, Galles. Fastest race lap: Tom Kendall, 1:02.427 (91.691 mph)