Monterey, California - It appeared as if luck had finally turned Sunday and a podium finish was within reach for the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona at the "Road and Track 250" at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. The Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype...
Monterey, California - It appeared as if luck had finally turned Sunday and a podium finish was within reach for the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona at the "Road and Track 250" at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. The Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype guided by Team Manager and Co-owner, Troy Flis, was running a strong second at the half-way mark of the three hour event. The race ended under a full course yellow with the Spirit of Daytona finishing a disappointing 19th.
"We took the gamble and hoped for another yellow flag condition to make our pit stop and driver change; but the strategy just didn't go our way," said Flis. "We were planning a one stop race but it just didn't pan out." Following a necessary green flag pit stop and with eight laps to go, the nose flew off the Spirit forcing another unexpected stop for a replacement.
Stephan Gregoire qualified 11th with a time of 1:25.995. The position was the highest qualifying Crawford chassis. Within the first hour, Gregoire had worked his way up from 11th to 5th place. "The car was great," said Gregiore. "It's perfectly balanced. This is the best the car has been so far."
During the costly green flag stop, the Spirit, now in the competent hands of Co-Owner, Doug Goad, dropped from fourth to fifteenth and was never able to fully recover. Several untimely yellow flags hindered the battle back to the front.
"I feel bad for the team and the guys. They worked so hard to give Doug and Stephan a great car and they did," declared Troy Flis. "We just need to turn the corner. I thought it was going too happen this weekend." In the 2004 season, the Spirit of Daytona garnered four top ten finishes and hopes to surpass that record this year.
Spirit of Daytona is a professional race team headquartered in the Daytona Beach area. The team has been competing in the Grand American Series since its inception. In addition to being a stiff competitor in the Grand Am Rolex Series, the "Spirit of Daytona" is active in the community supporting safe driving education for teens in cooperation with the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce Arrive Alive Campaign.
The next event the Spirit of Daytona will be May 19-21st, at Mont- Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, for the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Treblant. The 6 Heures will be telecast live on Speed at 11:00 a.m. on May 21st.