Tom Gloy Racing one-two in Canada.
TROIS-RIVIERES, QUEBEC, CANADA (August 4, 2002) - Tom Gloy Racing with drivers Butch Leitzinger and Randy Ruhlman finished first and second today racing in the streets of eastern Canada. Leitzinger, the Tommy Bahama Chevrolet Corvette, driver won his third race in his rookie season in the seventh round of the 2002 BFGoodrich Trans-Am Series. Ruhlman, driving the Preformed Line Products/Coyote Closure Chevrolet Corvette, was right behind Leitzinger at the finish line, proudly joining his teammate on the podium.
"The crew did a fantastic pit stop," said winner Leitzinger. "The Tommy Bahama car was so hooked up; the longer it ran the faster it became. We want to keep winning and if we do, the drivers' championship will take care of itself. We gained a big chunk on the championship today; with five races to go we have to stay up front."
"The Tom Gloy crew did a great job today," said Ruhlman. "They have been great all year. We've had some little bugs and small problems but they have hung in there. We kept going together. Today is for the team. It was a fun race. I got a good run on the third place car and just stayed on it. There was lapped traffic and I had to be careful. The PLP car stayed right where it needed to be and we went forward getting it on the podium."
The race was held in the northern Canadian town of Trois-Rivieres, which has hosted racing for over 30 years. The Trans-Am series has not raced there since 1999. The Tom Gloy drivers have a lot of experience there with Ruhlman competing in many Trans-Am races and Leitzinger driving World Sports cars, there as well. Team owner Gloy worked with the drivers and crew, over the three day race weekend, remembering being the winning driver there in 1984. Leitzinger started second on the 10-turn street circuit behind the point's leader. He drove consistently and patiently making sure to save the car for the 66 lap event. Hot and failing brakes were a common problem throughout the entire field.
Ruhlman started eighth but it was disastrous from the beginning. The PLP/Chevrolet driver was forced to pit on lap three with a cut tire; Ruhlman went to the end of the racing field running in 18th. His vast driving experience with 121 Trans-Am starts paid off as he moved expertly through the field. While running second, on lap 21 the yellow Tommy Bahama machine pitted. Relaxed and calm, Tom Gloy Racing quickly refueled the car and Leitzinger raced out of the pits, beating the leader out of the pits. The Pennsylvanian native held the lead for the remainder of the race, driving brilliantly thorough the twisting Canadian streets. Meanwhile, Ruhlman had moved up to sixth by lap 21, staying with the lead pack and picking his way through lapped traffic. On lap 50 with 16 to go, he started battling with the third place car with a lapped car between them. He, waited for the right moment and on lap 61 bodily made his move taking over the third place runner. Ruhlman, like Leitzinger, saved his car and equipment for the end, knowing he had to have it solidly under him to cross the finish line. With three laps to go, while running third, the car ahead of Ruhlman failed and the Ohio native flew across the line right behind his teammate.
For the seven races of the season, Tom Gloy Racing has three wins, seven top-five finishes and eleven top-ten finishes. Today's win puts Leitzinger solidly second in the drivers' standings, only 14 points out of the lead. Ruhlman's second place finish moves him from seventh to fifth in the drivers' standings, 16 points out of fourth place.
In addition to winning the race, Leitzinger won the BFGoodrich Tires "Take Control" Award for leading the most laps in today's race; he led 42 of the 66 race laps and for his efforts received a free set of BFGoodrich g-ForceTM T/A radials.
After a weekend off, the series continues with racing at the legendary hills of Wisconsin. Round eight will be held at Road America, known as the "Four Mile Challenge." The race will be held on August 17 and will air live on SPEED Channel, on August 18, 12:00 p.m. ET, tape delay; check local listings. For more information on Trans-Am Series go to: www.trans-amseries.com/index.html
Established in August 1992, Tommy Bahama is a successful lifestyle company that celebrates island living with upscale collections of men's and women's casual sportswear, swimwear, footwear and accessories as well as a complete home furnishings collection. The company has eighteen Tommy Bahama retail emporiums across the country, including six locations that include Tommy Bahama's Tropical Café. The Tommy Bahama collections are also available at some of the country's finest retailers including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and high profile resort locations around the world. www.TommyBahama.com
Preformed Line Products® (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. PLP products include the Coyote Closure® and Guy Grip® fasteners used in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries. Worldwide manufacturing facilities include the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa and Australia. Coyote Closure is a family of fiber optic closure systems designed for superior reliability in aerial, underground and building applications for use in the telecommunications and cable industries. For more information on PLP, go to www.preformed.com; for Randy Ruhlman, go to www.ruhlmanmotorsports.com.