Mid-Ohio: Tony Ave race report

Ave advances to fifth in BF Goodrich points chase. LEXINGTON, OHIO If you can't win the race, you can at least make up some ground in the points race. That was Tony Ave's back-up strategy as he felt a podium finish in the Trans-Am Buckeye 100...

Ave advances to fifth in BF Goodrich points chase.

LEXINGTON, OHIO If you can't win the race, you can at least make up some ground in the points race. That was Tony Ave's back-up strategy as he felt a podium finish in the Trans-Am Buckeye 100 slip away.

"I was thinking about the points race while I was driving around out there, and I think I made up some ground. The only problem is, the guys in front of us in the points keep gapping us. So we need to have those guys have problems and we need to win races," he said. At the conclusion of the race, Ave was listed in fifth place in the championship points battle.

Ave started the race in eighth position, and raced his way up to fourth before finishing sixth in the #53 LAC Motorsports Trilithic Panoz Esperante. "We passed a couple of guys right away on the start. At first, we were better than everybody in line except Butch Leitzinger, (eventual winner), who (appeared to be) running away a little," said Ave.

Once again, the LAC Motorsports pit strategy helped Ave gain important positions during the race.

"The other guys were a little better down the straightaway, so we pitted and when we came back out I tried to run as hard as I could. We just couldn't win the drag race down the front straightaway. When you try to do that, you just ruin the brakes and the tires, so sixth place is as good as we could have expected. As usual, my guys got me in and out probably faster than anybody else did," he added.

A late race restart was cause for a little concern when Ave found himself bunched up in some traffic. "When the restart came, I thought we were in trouble because I was sliding all over before that, but I managed to keep a couple of guys behind me and that was the most fun of the race."

Ave faces the rest of the Trans-Am field in two weeks on the 2.106 mile, 10-turn circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on July 13. The race will be broadcast on CBS.

-lacm-

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Tony Ave