CITGO Racing Team Going for "Three-Peat" Wallace, Duno looking for third straight at Homestead March 3, 2005 . . . In the competitive Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, winning one race is a tremendous accomplishment.
CITGO Racing Team Going for "Three-Peat"
Wallace, Duno looking for third straight at Homestead
March 3, 2005 . . . In the competitive Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, winning one race is a tremendous accomplishment. Winning twice can make a season very successful. To have an opportunity to win three races in a row at the same track is almost unbelievable. But, that's the goal of the #2 CITGO Racing Team as they prepare for the Grand Prix of Miami at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Last season, Andy Wallace and Milka Duno swept the Rolex Series events at the Florida track, winning both in dramatic fashion. Wallace took advantage of a spin by the two leaders with ten laps remaining in the Grand Prix of Miami to score the first victory for the CITGO Racing Team. The win was the first for the DP03 Crawford and the initial win for Wallace and Duno as teammates. The win enabled Duno to become the first female driver to ever take the overall win in a Rolex Series race and the first woman to win a major North American sports car race.
Then, in September, Wallace made a daring pass of leader Max Angelelli with five laps remaining to win the Miami 250 and give the first-year Howard- Boss Motorsports Team a "sweep" of the Rolex races at Homestead. Now, the talented duo enter the Grand Prix of Miami with an opportunity for their third consecutive victory at the track.
"Last year's victory was really welcome," Wallace noted. "It was especially nice for Howard-Boss Motorsports, CITGO, and Crawford after they put their faith in me and Milka (Duno) for the season."
"When we started the race last year, I never really thought about any additional effects of winning the race," Duno stated. "It was only after the race, with people telling me about the effects, that I began to realize the significance of the win for CITGO, the team, and me as a woman driver. My first reaction was a tremendous sense of gratitude for the opportunity to compete that CITGO provides, the ability to be very competitive, the hard work and dedication that the team provides, and the wonderful opportunity that I have to drive with one of the best drivers in the world - Andy Wallace." Plus, racing at Homestead has special meaning for Miami resident Duno.
"I think every driver looks forward to racing in their hometown or home track, and I'm no different," Duno said. "With races spread all across North America, a race in my hometown gives me the chance to invite my friends. It makes it a special race when you can have friends there to cheer you on."
"I really like the Homestead track," Wallace added. "It's a challenging track. Turn one is fast and bumpy, and the last turn is taken at more than 170 mph when your car is right. You need an aerodynamically efficient race car to be fast there, plus a car that can stop and accelerate well at Homestead's various slower turns. The CITGO Pontiac Crawford DP03 is excellent in these areas, so I'm really looking forward to the race. It always produces a close battle, and this year's race will be even tighter with the excellent field Grand Am has pulled together for the 2005 Rolex Series."
"We were extremely competitive at Daytona (Rolex 24)," Wallace continued. "We all want to do even better for the rest of the year, but realize that 2005 is shaping up as perhaps the most competitive sports car racing year in recent history. Since the Rolex 24, we have been working very hard on our package. We want to win, and will be doing everything we know to achieve our goal."
"Winning three consecutive races at the same circuit would be fantastic for CITGO, Howard-Boss Motorsports, and both me and Andy," Duno added. "With two wins here (Homestead) last year, it seems that we have developed a good idea of planning strategy for this race. With a little luck and good planning, this year hopefully will have a good result." Duno's optimism is obviously shared by her teammate.
"I've never won three in a row before at the same track," Wallace concluded. "But, I'm about ready to do it now!"
The Grand Prix of Miami will begin at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 5th with live television coverage on Speed Channel.
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 Petr