Daytona 24: Ford Racing Saturday notes

Scott Maxwell, driver the No. 88 Focus Daytona Prototype, entered the pits on laps 46 for the team's second pit stop of the day. The pit stop occurred earlier than scheduled as a broken throttle spring was diagnosed as the cause of an earlier ...

Scott Maxwell, driver the No. 88 Focus Daytona Prototype, entered the pits on laps 46 for the team's second pit stop of the day. The pit stop occurred earlier than scheduled as a broken throttle spring was diagnosed as the cause of an earlier throttle problem. After an extended stay in the pits, Dave Empringham took over driving duties.

SCOTT MAXWELL-88- Multimatic Motorsports Focus:

"It was going fine and then something happened with the throttle and we had to come in early to solve that problem. They're trying to unstick the throttle right now."

IS TIRE WEAR AN ISSUE? "The tires are losing their grip 25 to 30 minutes in a run. We're going to a harder compound and hopefully that will work."

DO YOU FEEL THE CAR IS COMPETITIVE WITH THE LEADER? "It would be easy to chase him, but I know right now that our car doesn't have enough rear grip to chase him down. It's not worth it this early in the race. If we can work on it throughout the race, and hopefully be ready to give them something if we're close to them on the last pit stop."

Scott Maxwell, driver the No. 88 Focus Daytona Prototype, completed his second shift of the race with a lap 211 pit stop. During Maxwell's double stint behind the wheel of the Ford, the Multimatic Motorsports entry climbed back into the top 10, and after the routine pit stop where David Empringham took over driving duties, the DP Focus returned to the track in 12th place.

SCOTT MAXWELL-88- Multimatic Motorsports Focus:

"It's going really well. The tires are lasting a lot longer with this cool weather and the engine is running well. We have to keep going hard all through the night and hope we move up a few spots in the morning."

YOU NARROWLY AVOIDED THE ACCIDENT WITH THE NOS. 21 AND 67 CARS. WHAT DID YOU SEE? "The wreck in (Turn) 1, I just came around and there was dust and a couple cars in the middle so I just took to the grass; that's the only clear path I saw. I was sorta lucky, I just got away from it. I don't know what happened."

YOU HAD AN EXTENDED PIT STOP WHEN YOU TOOK OVER FOR DAVID BRABHAM. "I'm not sure what happened there. I guess David (Brabham) left it in gear, so when I started it it must have turned the wheels while we were still on the jacks. It didn't do any damage; it just blew some oil on the engine and created some smoke."

YOU MADE THE CALL TO COME IN THE PITS. IS IT UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE CAR? "It's very hot, but I'm just having problems with my back now. The car is a lot easier to drive at night than it is during the day, but it's still very hot."

DAVID BRABHAM- Multimatic Motorsports Focus:

"Other than the setback that we had with the throttle return spring, the car has been running pretty good, really. It's fairly fast, and it's been reliable since that time. We've fought back now back into the top 10 and caught a couple of laps good strategy from the team. So far, we're a bit behind, but we're catching."

YOU DROVE YOUR LAST SHIFT DURING THE DAY. HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE CONDITIONS TO BE DIFFERENT AT NIGHT? "It's bit easier on the tire and it's a bit easier on the driver because it's a bit cooler. It was quite warm in the car when I was out there, and for Scotty and Dave. The biggest issue I think for us, it will save the rear tire a little bit. I think we've changed to a harder compound and that's helped a bit."

YOU'RE THE SEASONED VETERAN IN THIS EVENT. HAVE YOU SEEN ANY SURPRISES SO FAR THIS RACE? "No, not really. It's the same old deal. You've just got to be spending all of your time on the track and not in the pits. Any time you spend in the pits is a negative and even more so this year with the field being so tight; there are a lot of people coming in and out. I feel sorry for the 58 car. It was running pretty strong and then it had the engine go. It kinda helps us, but it's a shame to see them go out like that."

LARRY HOLT, Team Manager-88-Multimatic Motorsports Focus:

"I'm really happy with the car. Right now, it's running like a train. We had a really an unfortunate situation there a few hours in; we had a throttle spring break and just because how deep that it is in there, it took 14 minutes to fix. Which right now, the way everyone is battling is a significant amount of time, so losing 14 minutes really hurt us, and put us seven laps down to the leaders. We haven't been able to get all of that back yet, but we're picking away at it now. We're only five laps back now. Other than that and a minor incident with a little oil fire, the car is running like a train. We've done eight hours and from a car perspective - a throttle spring is a bit out of our control - I couldn't be happier; it's running like a train."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IN THE OVERNIGHT HOURS? "I hope it keeps doing the same. The three drivers are all running within a half-second of each other; they're all doing a really excellent job. If it keeps running like this at this pace for the rest of the night, I would expect that we're going to do quite well. You can't predict what's going to happen because it's always some gremlin that eats you, but if it runs at this pace, I would fully expect to be in the top five by morning time and then we're going to have to get racy. Right now we're not racy. We're just running a pace. Most of the time right now, we're the fastest car on the track at the pace that will look after the car."

David Empringham, driver the No. 88 Focus Daytona Prototype, closed the gap to the leaders by two laps during his 44-lap stint before exiting the car for driver David Brabham. Empringham had raced his way to fifth place, five laps behind the race leader, when he made his pit stop on lap 254.

DAVID EMPRINGHAM-88- Multimatic Motorsports Focus:

YOU DON'T APPEAR TO BE TIRED. "I drove for two fuel stops, but it was more like a stint and a half."

YOU MAY HAVE DRIVEN FOR ONLY A STINT AND A HALF, BUT YOU MADE UP TWO LAPS TO THE LEADERS. "That was the result of strategy and a little bit of luck with the way the caution fell. The car is working well. The motor is pulling well again, so it's just bang, bang, bang. It's really nice to drive to right now. I think the cooler temperatures are helping, but the exhaust fumes are making me nauseous. The car is working better in the cold and we're getting more power."

DO YOU EXPECT TO USE A DOUBLE-STINT STRATEGY THE REST OF THE RACE? "I think we'll do two stints if there are no refills under yellow. If you're in you're stint and you do a refill under caution then you'll only do one-and-a-half stints, like I just did."

-ford-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Brabham , Scott Maxwell , David Empringham , Dave Empringham
Teams Multimatic Motorsports