Craig Stanton Hopes for Home track Advantage at California Speedway LONG BEACH, Calif., March 29, 2005 -- Long Beach-resident Craig Stanton is eagerly anticipating his return to California Speedway in Sunday's Grand American 400. Stanton, who ...
Craig Stanton Hopes for Home track Advantage at California Speedway
LONG BEACH, Calif., March 29, 2005 -- Long Beach-resident Craig Stanton is eagerly anticipating his return to California Speedway in Sunday's Grand American 400. Stanton, who clinched the 2004 Grand-Am Cup Driver Championship at the Fontana-area track last season, will be making his second appearance of 2005 in the No. 80 Synergy Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry at the April 3rd Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series event. The California-native considers the facility his home track and has hundreds of miles racing, testing and instructing on the 2.82-mile road course. In the 2004 Rolex Series season-finale held there last October 31st, Stanton joined with Synergy Racing teammate Mai Van Wijk (Houston, Tex.) to take a top-ten finish in GT class. This weekend, the Glyco Max Performance Drink driver will be joined by longtime teammate David Murry (Cumming, Ga.) in the No. 80 Porsche.
Stanton and Murry teamed together at the most recent Rolex Series round at Homestead-Miami Speedway to finish fourth. It was Stanton's second fourth-place finish in as many Rolex Series races having opened the season in the Rolex 24 At Daytona driving the Baldwin-Tafel Racing Porsche.
Among the California Speedway's unique challenges is the balance of high, straight-line speed with slower, high-downforce cornering. The 13-turn track includes the front straightaway and turns one and two of the famed California Speedway oval giving it some of the highest top-end speeds on the Rolex Series schedule. The remainder of the course coils through the 130 acre infield putting a premium on handling and braking. The combination makes for one of the most difficult courses to find the correct setup on the Porsche 911-based race car. Stanton's understanding of the mechanicals of the car, the fact that he has driven dozens of different Porsches over the last several years and his familiarity with the course gives him, at the very least, a special edge of confidence over the remaining 22 GT class cars in the 44-car field.
Thursday marks the first on-track day for Stanton and the Synergy team at the California Speedway. Official practice begins on Friday with qualifying scheduled for Saturday, April 2nd. The green flag will fall on the two hour, 45-minute or 400 kilometer race at 4 pm (ET), 1 pm local, on Sunday, April 3rd. The multi-class sports car event can be seen live on SPEED at 4 pm (ET), Sunday. Live timing and scoring as well as audio of practice, qualifying and the race can be found at www.GrandAmerican.com .
About racing at California Speedway: "I'm always excited when we can bring the show to my hometown. With my friends and family there are a lot of people in town that follow my progress. They always love to come out and watch the Grand American Rolex Series' race. The Synergy team has been doing a lot of homework so we have a really good setup for this race. I'm looking forward to be back with the team again and running with David and Mai. Our first race at Homestead went even better than we hoped so that gives us all a lot of confidence going into this race at Fontana."
About his chances in Sunday's race: "David and I know our way around California Speedway really well. I have done a lot of testing here with teams and with tire manufacturers. So I am really comfortable here with my racecraft and with the car setup. You never know what will happen in racing but we have the pieces it'll take to put on a good show here and get a good result."
About returning to the track that he won his first sports car championship: "This track always brings back memories because of the last race we had with the RaceSite.com Porsche here last year. It was such an exciting finish to such a long season. It was a hard fought race. We had to kind of bludgeon it through; it wasn't one of those easy races. It was a great example of teamwork and I'll never forget it. It gives me a lot of confidence coming into this race because you know, last time you were here, you had to work so hard to do everything just perfect and it paid off. It reminds you that you can do it again."
For more on Craig Stanton please visit www.CraigStanton.com. To learn more about Glyco Max at www.GlycoMax.com. Information on Synergy Racing can be found at www.SynergyRacing.com.