Fontana: CITGO Racing/Duno race report

Duno Takes Checkered to Complete a Great 1st Season for CITGO Racing October 31, 2004 -- Having seen any chance of improving on 3rd and 5th overall in the driver's championship slip away after a fist lap collision, CITGO Racing's Milka Duno and...

Duno Takes Checkered to Complete a Great 1st Season for CITGO Racing

October 31, 2004 -- Having seen any chance of improving on 3rd and 5th overall in the driver's championship slip away after a fist lap collision, CITGO Racing's Milka Duno and Andy Wallace at least managed to help Pontiac to win the 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Engine Manufacturers Championship at the season-finale today at California Speedway.

In lap one, just as the bunched-up field left the oval and entered the infield the #7 Daytona Prototype spun and made contact with multiple cars bringing out the first caution and causing Milka to maneuver off the asphalt and onto the grass in order to avoid contact -- which she did. The #2 Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype lost grip on the grass causing Milka to spin and struggling for traction as she tried to rejoin. Milka managed to get going once again; with the field now under yellow as the #9 Daytona Prototype was still blocking the circuit. Anticipating very few yellows, the team elected to change drivers under the yellow to see what Andy could do and hope for problems with other cars ahead. Milka was asked to stay on standby in the pits, ready to rejoin at a moment's notice.

Andy charged hard as he's done all season and brought the car up to as high as 5th overall and with ten laps remaining offered the honor of race-finish to his teammate. Milka got in the car, rejoining in ninth position, a place she held strongly until the checkered flag on the 89th lap.

"I was very upset over the incident right at the start of the race right at the first turn onto the infield course," said Milka. "Without even one lap completed a Daytona Prototype up ahead of me spun which caused almost the whole Daytona Prototype field to spin or slow to avoid contact -- including me. This brought out the first caution, and while I had avoided any contact whatsoever and was able to bring the car in with no damage team strategy must be adhered too. While I was very upset and really frustrated and did not want to leave the race after one lap I understood that it would be the best for our team."

"Andy took the car out and really advanced our position and I was pleased to get back in the car to run through to the finish. It's been an incredible season for me and I've learned so much with Andy and the Howard-Boss Motorsports crew -- they have been awesome all year. Many thanks as well to my sponsor CITGO. I was so happy that many people from CITGO came to our last race to show their support and I believe we delivered a very good result this year for CITGO Racing's first year in the Rolex Sports Car Series," added Milka.

"Our last race of the year ended up to be a real challenge. But just as they have all season the team rose to the challenge and we were able to deliver a top-ten result," said Andy. "We did a lot of really good work with the crew this year -- work that paid off -- and many, many thanks to them and also for the incredible support of CITGO."

The 2004 Rolex Sports Car Series race here in Fontana ended a very successful season for the CITGO Racing Howard-Boss Motorsports team. In addition to engine partner Pontiac's Championship win, a 2nd place finish for Chassis partner, Crawford, was earned in the Daytona Prototype Chassis Manufacturers Standings, a 3rd place finish for their team, Howard-Boss Motorsports, in the Daytona Prototype Team Point Standings. Andy finished the season 3rd in the Daytona Prototype Driver Point Standings and Milka finished 5th.

CITGO, based in Houston, Texas, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com.

Milka is currently featured in Pontiac's largest ever Spanish language advertising campaign launching an all-new sports sedan -- the Pontiac G6. Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets the Bonneville, GTO, Grand Prix, Grand Am, G6, Vibe and Sunfire. In 2003, Pontiac sold more than 475,000 vehicles, ranking third among GM divisions in total sales. 2004/2005 will see Pontiac launch an exciting new range of vehicles including the Montana SV6, G6 coupe, G6 convertible and the Solstice roadster. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found at www.pontiac.com. Information in Spanish can be found at www.pontiac.com/sp.

-hc-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno