Road America: Randy Ruhlman preview

Trans-Am driver Randy Ruhlman takes to the track at Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Aug 21) -- Fresh from his third place finish at Trois Rivieres, Canada, driver Randy Ruhlman is taking to the track at Road America this weekend for Round 8...

Trans-Am driver Randy Ruhlman takes to the track at Road America

Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (Aug 21) -- Fresh from his third place finish at Trois Rivieres, Canada, driver Randy Ruhlman is taking to the track at Road America this weekend for Round 8 of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires® Cup. The weekend began Thursday with a Test Day, and will be followed Friday by two practice sessions, and on Saturday with qualifying and a pre-race practice. The 101.2-mile race is scheduled for Sunday August 24th at 10:45 CDT.

The cars took to the 4.05-mile, 14 turn track Thursday for a three session test day. While most of the cars in the field have extensive experience at this track, Ruhlman, the 2002 "Most Improved Driver of the Year", showed that his Derhaag Motorsports Performed Line Products/Coyote Closure Chevrolet Corvette is again a front runner. Ruhlman was among the fastest cars in the first session on Thursday and was the fastest Corvette, just behind the top running Jaguars.

Ruhlman, who finished sixth here last year, says of the track, "It is a long, wide open track, where you can carry a lot of speed. The car feels absolutely great. Actually, I wish the car felt a bit worse, since we are not really sure what we want to do to get up to the top Jags. We are almost nine miles an hour faster in the corners than this car was last year, but we need to get the miles per hour up on the straights."

"It is also incredibly hot and very humid today. It is supposed to cool down significantly tomorrow and for the weekend. We will just have to see how we feel about the car tomorrow. So far, I am encouraged, though, by the way the car is handling in this heat. I really think that once we get the straightaway speed up, we are going to have something to show those Jaguars out here. And that is what we will be working on tomorrow."

Sunday's Trans-Am race will be shown on SPEED Channel on a tape delay. Coverage begins at 12:30 EDT.

Ruhlman's Chevrolet Corvette is fielded this year by the Minneapolis-based, Derhaag Motorsports team, led by former Trans-Am driver Jim Derhaag. Jim Derhaag himself made 150 starts as a driver in the Trans-Am Series before his successful move to full time ownership in 1998. The team has fielded many successful drivers, including top Trans-Am drivers Justin Bell, Kenny Wilden, Tony Ave, Dorsey Schroeder, Chris Neville and Darin Brassfield.

Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include the COYOTE Closure and GUY-GRIP Dead-End used in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries. Manufacturing facilities are located worldwide in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, England, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Japan.

-rm-

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Series TRANSAM