UNLUCKY LATE LAPS DROP WAGNER AND JOHANSSON TO 13TH IN DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2005) -- After a southern storm produced monsoon-like conditions prior to the start of the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Cort...
UNLUCKY LATE LAPS DROP WAGNER AND JOHANSSON TO 13TH IN DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2005) -- After a southern storm produced monsoon-like conditions prior to the start of the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Cort Wagner and Stefan Johansson put their no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley through its paces but could only muster a 13th place result after a late-race hiccup slowed the 500hp Daytona Prototype just five laps from the stripe. Following Wagner's career-best qualifying effort of second earlier in the single-day Grand American event, Johansson took over the reigns on Lap 23 of the 70-lap race and was running as high as seventh with 10 to go.
But just as the New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team was considering the reality of a double top-10 result with the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley sister car in sixth, Johansson began to fall off the pace and could do nothing but steer clear of traffic as he slipped six spots at the conclusion of Round 7 of the Rolex Sports Car Series season. The cause of the apparent failure in the car will be determined when the team unloads back at its Indianapolis-based headquarters later this weekend.
Wagner, who was most outspoken following the race, summed up the team's run on the 3.56-mile DIS infield road course.
"Our strategy was possibly a bit off, but our guys did what was right and we played the hand we were dealt tonight," said Wagner, who with Johansson held their ground in the points, maintaining the team's fourth place ranking. "Honestly, it's hard to tell how it would have worked out because so many of the race laps were run under caution. With the series growing in popularity and the number of entries increasing, you obviously are going to deal with more lapped traffic. And I know Stefan had his fair share in front of him late in the race. We did what we could, but Stefan had a slight off toward the end that I think ultimately slowed us down a bit. We'll pack it up tonight and go after that first win again at Barber."
Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett finished 6th in the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley.