Daytona II: Synergy Racing race report

Synergy Racing Scores Pair of Top-10 Finishes at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2006) -- Synergy Racing picked up a pair of top-10 finishes in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night. Leh Keen, of...

Synergy Racing Scores Pair of Top-10 Finishes at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2006) -- Synergy Racing picked up a pair of top-10 finishes in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night. Leh Keen, of Dublin, Ga., and David Murry, of Atlanta, Ga., took seventh in the GT class in the No. 80 SHOES FOR CREWS Porsche, while teammates Steve Johnson, of Bristol, Va., and Robert Nearn, of London, England, finished just behind them in eighth in the No. 81 Comfort Systems USA Porsche.

Comfort Systems USA Porsche rallies back from early spin On the first lap of the race, Nearn was at the wheel of the Comfort Systems USA Porsche when it was hit from behind by another GT car, resulting in a spin that dropped the No. 81 from 10th to 18th place.

"I think it was a Mazda that got into me in turn six," explained Nearn. "It spun me around, but the car was OK and I got back going. Shortly after that, we had a full course caution and it bunched up the field. So, I brought it in to top off fuel and let the guys have a look at the car."

Nearn returned to the track and began working his way up through the GT field. He got some help on the leaderboard as other GT entries pealed off for pit stops and Nearn was able to keep the No. 81 Porsche on track thanks to the fuel top-off early in the race. The Englishman had the Comfort Systems USA Porsche in second place when he brought it into the pits to hand control over to Johnson.

The green-flag pit stop put Johnson back in ninth when he returned the car to the racetrack, and he was able to move the No. 81 Porsche up to eighth before the checkered flag dropped. With 10 races now complete, Thursday night's race gave Nearn and Johnson their eighth top-10 finish of the season.

"We finished as good as we could tonight," Johnson said. "We were having a few issues with the car today during practice that we couldn't get completely worked out because (the series) cut practice short and cancelled qualifying (because of communications problems with track safety crews).

"We are testing in a few weeks and then it's on to Birmingham," he continued. "I think we are onto something. We've found areas to improve, we just didn't have enough track time to work on them today."

SHOES FOR CREWS

Porsche rebounds to seventh after unexpected early pit stop. Murry started the No. 80 SHOES FOR CREWS Porsche in fifth place, due to the starting grid being set by points. He maintained the No. 80 in the top eight through the first 28 laps of the race until an unexpected loose bumper threw a wrench in the team's pit strategy.

"It's just one of those things. The rear bumper started coming loose, and Grand-Am said we had to bring the car in to take it off," said Murry. "It was a few laps shy of our pit window, so it threw off our pit strategy."

Keen took the wheel of the SHOES FOR CREW Porsche during the early pit stop and slipped to 10th upon returning the car to the track. He rallied back, running as high as fourth place in the GT class, but the early pit stop meant the SHOES FOR CREWS Porsche would not have enough fuel to make it to the checkered flag. With only eight laps left in the race, Keen brought the No. 80 onto pit lane to get a splash of fuel. The stop dropped him to seventh, where he remained to take the checkered flag.

"There weren't a lot of cautions in this race, so we didn't have a way to make up for that early pit stop," said Keen.

"Now we are on to Barber, a track that David is very familiar with. He practically sleeps on that track, so that will be helpful when go to set up the SHOES FOR CREWS Porsche at the next race," continued Keen, whose co-driver Murry is a driving instructor for the Porsche Driving Experience at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

The Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant, round 11 of the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, will be held at Barber Motorsports Park, July 28-30.

-synergyracing.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Robert Nearn , Steve Johnson , Lehman Keen