TOP TEN FINISH AT HOMESTEAD FOR TEN MOTORSPORTS CHARLOTTE, NC -- 10 March 2005 -- Due to a bizarre qualifying session that produced a single timed lap, the Ten Motorsports team started the 250-mile Grand Prix of Miami eighth on the grid.
TOP TEN FINISH AT HOMESTEAD FOR TEN MOTORSPORTS
CHARLOTTE, NC -- 10 March 2005 -- Due to a bizarre qualifying session that produced a single timed lap, the Ten Motorsports team started the 250-mile Grand Prix of Miami eighth on the grid. Drivers Memo Gidley and Michael McDowell pushed the number 19 Daytona Prototype hard throughout, keeping the team in contention and finishing 10th for the team's first top ten of the series.
Gidley's nifty driving and heavy foot propelled the Make-a-Wish/U.S. Air Force Reserve DP rapidly through the pack to contend with the fastest cars on the track. Only six laps after a squeaky clean pit stop and driver change on lap 50, Michael McDowell moved the number 19 DP to eighth place, and eventually up to fourth when the yellow came out on lap 69.
Looking to get an edge on the lead pack, McDowell guided the Riley-BMW into the pits for a refuel and two new outside tires. The seemingly benign risk under caution resulted in losing a lap on the leaders having not caught a wave through under yellow. Had the gamble worked, McDowell would likely have been in position to use the new rubber to gain on the leader and vie for first. Unfortunately the deficit of being a lap off the pace proved to be too difficult to overcome and McDowell was unable to challenge for a top five finish. He continued, however, to lay fast laps and held on for the team's first top ten finish.
"Going into the race, I was a little concerned with how the tires would hold up as the raced progressed, but I was very pleased with how they held up, and we were able to pick up a lot of positions heading into our driver change. The crew did great, our pit stops were very fast, and Michael was running really well. In racing you've got to take chances, so we pitted on yellow that ultimately put us out of contention. In order to set foot on the podium in any series you have to take chances, but they don't always work, that's how it goes."
"Memo did a great job. He got us up in the top five, and even second at one point. We rolled the dice and pitted early. Unfortunately it didn't work, and we ended up a lap down. The series is so competitive that it's tough to get back a lap. We were able to get back up to tenth, but cautions held us up which made it more difficult to make up time. Each race is building our confidence and we're really looking forward to Fontana. With a little luck, and a strong race from start to finish, we can definitely contend for a podium finish."