Brix and Borcheller Finish 15th Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park In FTN/Doran Racing DORAN JE4 Ford LEEDS, Ala., July 30 - Contact on lap 12 forced the Feeds the Need/Doran Racing DORAN JE4 Ford to play catch-up for the bulk of Sunday's Porsche...
Brix and Borcheller Finish 15th Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park In FTN/Doran Racing DORAN JE4 Ford
LEEDS, Ala., July 30 - Contact on lap 12 forced the Feeds the Need/Doran Racing DORAN JE4 Ford to play catch-up for the bulk of Sunday's Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant Rolex Series race at Barber Motorsports Park. Drivers Harrison Brix of San Jose, Calif. and Terry Borcheller of Vero Beach, Fla., along with the rest of the Lebanon, Ohio-based team, preserved to bring the No. 77 home in 15th place in the 42-car field and provide more exposure for the Kodak EasyShare System, Amp'd Mobile and SIRIUS with the live SPEED TV coverage.
Brix qualified 20th but he actually started 19th when one car withdrew before the race. He moved up another spot right away when Randy Ruhlman went off course on lap one in front of him, sending a large clump of mud onto the No. 77's windshield before it fell off. That put Brix between NASCAR star Bobby Labonte and Craig Stanton by the end of lap one, and when the race finally got going he settled into a good rhythm as he tried to stay out of trouble and record fast and consistent laps.
The contact occurred 24 minutes into the race when apparently Labonte didn't see Brix in Turn Nine of the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course. Brix spun but was able to restart the car and make it back to the pits for fresh Hoosiers and fuel, but the car's clutch had been damaged and the entry was now back in 36th place, two laps down.
A yellow flew on lap 18 when two cars stopped on the course. Many of the other competitors pitted and Brix was able to regain one lap by lap 20 and move up to 30th spot. He pitted himself on lap 21 for fuel only, but he remained only one lap down thanks to team owner Kevin Doran's smart pit strategy.
When the green flew again on lap 22 Brix was in 19th spot, one lap down, with JC France in 18th position. Both inched ahead in the standings, and by lap 31 France was in 17th and Brix was in 18th and they were the only drivers one lap down.
Brix said the car was very good in traffic at that point, but then the wind started to pick up and the skies grew dark. The team had a strategy in mind if a thunderstorm should occur, but it never rained. Brix stayed in the car and was in 17th place, sandwiched between Oswaldo Negri and France in the standings, about an hour and a half into the two-hour-and-45-minute race.
With two hours gone he had moved into 15th place, running between Darren Law and Boris Said. He was getting tired by that point but he was still recording very consistent laps that were as fast as many of the cars in the top 10 at that point. By lap 77 his fastest lap of the race so far was the 1:24.978 he posted on lap 67.
The fuel light then demanded attention so the team brought Brix in on lap 80 under green while he was in 15th place. Since there was still no rain despite Mother Nature's threats, the car took on four fresh Hoosier slicks and fuel and Borcheller took over at that point.
The entry slipped to 17th after the stop and was two laps down at that point, but then Boris Said crashed between Turns Five and Six on lap 82, and with 15 minutes remaining in the race Borcheller was up to 16th spot. Haywood and B.J. Zacharius tangled on lap 88 to move Borcheller up to 15th and that's where he finished, the only driver on that lap.
Borcheller set the car's fastest lap of the race on lap 94 of the 97-lap race with a time of 1:24.257 (79.22 mph).
Krohn Racing's Colin Braun and Jorg Bergmeister won.
The next Rolex Series race is Aug. 10-11 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Driver quotes follow:
Harrison Brix: "It was a long time to be in the car.
"I think that Bobby [Labonte] didn't see me. He shoved me over the curb and sent us both into the grass. It was Turn Nine I think. That broke our clutch, so I had to start in fourth gear every time we pitted.
"Our car was better in the race than it had been in practice.
"The contact with Bobby was the only contact I had, but there were too many close calls to count.
"It's another 15th-place finish that should have been an eighth; that's how I look at it."
Terry Borcheller: "Well, I saw a great race. My 18 minutes or so in it were great.
"We had some contact at the beginning that put us behind, but Harrison did a good job keeping us in front of the leaders so we didn't go down another lap. We had a strategy planned for rain. We burned Harrison to the ground but it never rained, so he's a tired puppy."