CONTACT: SCCA PRO RACING (303) 694-7223 KENDALL TAKES ROAD AMERICA TRANS-AM
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 17, 1996) -- Tom Kendall, driving the #11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, claimed his fourth victory of 1996 after taking the win at the Road America Trans-Am Classic, part of the Texaco/Havoline 200 weekend.
Kendall started the 25-lap, 100.0-mile race fifth after posting his sixth fastest- qualifying effort of the season, but was up to second, behind his Boris Said, in the #14 Lion's Pride Mustang Cobra, by lap two. From there, Kendall closely pursued Said, making his move for the lead as the duo dove into turn five on lap 12.
Once in the lead, Kendall held off Said for a 0.538-second margin of victory, using his Roush Racing teammate as a buffer to keep third-place finisher and points leader Dorsey Schroeder in check
"I've been a little under the weather so this really feels good," said Kendall. "We really needed to do this, because the pressure is on for the championship. The first thanks has to go to my teammate Boris. To have a car that you feel is capable of winning the race and not have a chance to show it is tough. A lot of people in sport give lip service to what it means to be a teammate, but his actions speak louder than any of those words could. I'd like to dedicate this win to a good friend of mine that was killed a few weeks ago, Jeff Krosnoff. This is the first race I've won since that accident, and he was riding with me today."
Schroeder, in the #12 Raybestos Mustang Cobra, clinched Ford's scored the second-straight 1-2-3 sweep, giving the manufacturer an 11-point lead in the point standings, 96 to 85 over Chevrolet.
"We didn't race much--you don't get a lot of cautions around this race track usually," said Schroeder. "We were setup to do a long run, and we never got a chance to do a long run. We only got to run half a race on milage. My hat is off to Tom and Boris. I'm losing big points to a good guy--It's tough when you are two against one. We are all friends, but we're doing a job, and it's every man for himself, more or less."
Finishing fourth was Brian Simo, in the #22 Valvoline Mustang Cobra, followed by Ron Fellows, in the #3 Sunoco/AER Manufacturing Chevrolet Camaro, the highest-placing Chevrolet driver.
The race was slowed for three full-course cautions for a total of eight laps, slowing Kendall's average winning speed to 77.68 mph. The most serious incident came when Dale Phelon, in the #66 Carlin Combustion Mustang Cobra, went into the tire wall at turn 13 on the 14-turn, 4.0-mile circuit, suffering minor injuries.
Finishing a career-high sixth and earning the Raybestos Rising Star of the Race Award was Max Lagod, driving the #83 Hypermax Engineering Camaro. Leighton Reese, in the #06 Phillips 66 Pontiac Grand Prix, finished ninth from his 24th-place start to earn the OPTIMA Batteries Quick Charger of the Race Award, while Kendall earned the DynoMax Turn On the Power Award for his race-winning effort.
After 12 of 14 races complete, Schroeder, with 324 points, tops Kendall, with 322, by just two points in the Drivers' Championship. Simo is third with 230, followed by Jamie Galles, 226; Scott Sharp, 223; Fellows, 221; Greg Pickett, 215; Bill Saunders, 202; Said, 199; and Paul Gentilozzi, 189.
The Trans-Am wraps up the year with two street races, with the Dallas Grand Prix, Presented by Exxon SuperFlo next up, September 1. The season concludes at the Reno Grand Prix at the Reno Hilton, Presented by MegaBucks, September 22.