Birmingham: Krohn Racing race report

Krohn Racing made another visit to victory circle Sunday, July 22nd, at the Porsche 250 race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. In a battle to the finish, the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson...

Krohn Racing made another visit to victory circle Sunday, July 22nd, at the Porsche 250 race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. In a battle to the finish, the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson finished second, just behind five-time winners Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac Riley. Jonsson led 27 of the 99 laps before he turned over the wheel to teammate Braun. Braun emerged second after the pit stop under caution and held that position for the balance of the race while breathing down the neck of Gurney for the final half of the race. Running on fumes at the finish, Braun was unable to challenge Gurney in the final couple of laps while driving on fuel reserves.

The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of team owner/driver Tracy Krohn and Max Papis had a good start but suffered a setback early in the race, on lap 6, when the No. 11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley of Patrick Carpentier spun and Krohn was unable to avoid contact. A pit stop for a new nose, tires and fuel put the car down two laps. During two of the race's three cautions, the No. 76 car was fortunate to be selected as the "lucky dog" and gained back their two laps to ultimately finish on the lead lap. Krohn's 47-lap stint helped him win the Trueman Award for the top-finishing Sportsman of the race. During Papis' stint, he brought the car up from 14th to 6th before finally settling for 9th position at the checkered.

The No. 01 Ganassi team continues to lead the 2007 Daytona Prototype Team points' championship (unofficially) with 298 points. The No. 99 Gainsco Racing team moved into second with 285 points and the No. 10 SunTrust team bumped down to third with 282 points. The No. 75 Krohn Racing team continues to maintain fourth place with 269 points.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

"The start was pretty unusual. I got a real good run down toward Turn 5 and almost everybody was hanging inside and I just went outside and picked up about five positions on the start. Then I tooled around a little while and unfortunately (Patrick) Carpentier spun the car out and I didn't have any place to go and I hit him. I had to come back in and change the front nose on the car and we lost two laps. I got one back immediately during the yellow because the next quickest car, the Carpentier car, was penalized and I got the "lucky dog" position. We got another yellow and again got the "lucky dog" lap. So that really helped us today. We were very fortunate. It was very hot inside the car today. We needed all the fluids we'd been drinking all week. I felt like I ran really well today. I was running pretty quick in comparison to the leaders. I was very pleased with the performance of the car today. We turned it over to Max and Max just smoked and got it up through the field and also had the help of a yellow. He brought it all the way up to sixth and then I don't know what happened on the last lap. He dropped a wheel or something and we lost a few places there. It was a good run though.

I was extremely pleased with Colin and Nic. The Gainsco car has been good all year. Today we proved we could race with them. By God, next race we're going to beat them!"

Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

"Today the 76 car proved that we are a team with no "I". Everyone did the best they could. Tracy had an awesome start. It was unfortunate he got tangled right at the beginning and went two laps down but we never gave up. (Race Engineer) Jeff Braun was an awesome guy on the radio and I want to thank him because he really motivated me. I really felt like he was in the passenger seat with me. He was a great motivator. We had a great strategy and we went from the back to the front. Thanks to all the guys, they did an awesome job even when we had the nose damage and went two laps down -- they never gave up. I was very pleased. I was here for one goal -- to get the Trueman Award for Tracy. He got a 50-point lead on everyone else and we finished in the Top 10, so it was a great race. Today, for me, was the most fun race of the season. Today was a testament that teamwork pays off. Pushing hard and never giving up pays off.

With two laps to go, when I was pushing really hard and went to reserve (setting on the fuel), I put two wheels off in the grass and it slowed my car down and that cost me a couple of positions. It was still an awesome race and we drove the wheels off of the car. Bringing it in the Top 10 was a great team effort -- especially two cars in the Top 10. The most important thing is we achieved the two things we came here for -- finishing on the podium with one car and getting the Trueman Award for Tracy, so I'm happy."

Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

"Basically, I think the Krohn Racing guys did a great job this weekend. We started out quick right from the beginning of the week. It was great driving with Nic. He did a really great job the whole time. I'm kind of disappointed for the guys that we couldn't pull off a win here. I thought this was a place we had a really great shot at it. Unfortunately, I guess I didn't do a good enough job saving fuel and we nearly ran out with three laps to go. If we would have had enough fuel the last few laps, I think we would have had a shot at winning. From my view, it looked like Alex (Gurney) was struggling the last ten laps. If we could have had that shot, I think it would have been fun. Oh well, that's part of racing. At least this was a good race where we could go and run with the No. 99 car. That was the best part of the weekend, I think.

Next we're going to Montreal so hopefully we can get the first win for the Krohn Racing guys there. It's really exciting for me because we've been working and working and we've been close, then faraway, then close, then faraway and hopefully we can get it (a victory) there."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

"I was a little disappointed after qualifying because we'd been the quickest car all week and we qualified third. I know we had a good car. In the race, after the first yellow, we came out in second and we had a good battle going. I did basically what I was asked to do, which was give the car to Colin in the lead. Unfortunately the 99 guys did a driver change the first stop so they were much quicker on the their second stop and we lost the track position. I think if we could have done our driver change on the first stop as well, I don't think Gurney had enough to get back on Colin because they were very, very equally matched out there. I think Colin had a little bit more but we ran out of fuel just at the end. All of the Krohn guys have done a fantastic job. I'm very happy to be able to help deliver second place at the Barber track. Driving with Colin was fantastic. He's a very talented young man and he's going off to NASCAR next year and we wish him much luck and I'm sure he'll do very well. He did very well today also. He stayed very clean, very fast and consistent so hopefully if we continue on this way we'll pull out a win or two before the season is over. I think we have the equipment, we have the team, and we just need that little extra luck. If we can have a couple of extra laps of fuel, hopefully we can pull off a win at Montreal."

The next race, Round 11 of 14, will be at Montreal's famed Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on August 3, 2007. The race will be televised tape delay on SPEED TV on Friday night, August 3 at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Krohn Racing