Mid-Ohio - Ohio-based teams spotlight

OHIO-BASED GRAND AMERICAN TEAMS LOOK FORWARD TO MID-OHIO HOMECOMING DUBLIN, Ohio (June 23, 2006) - The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend,...


DUBLIN, Ohio (June 23, 2006) - The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend, bringing with it several teams and drivers headquartered in the Buckeye State, for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank.

Tackling the 13-turn, 2.25-mile course June 23-25 will be four teams from Ohio, including Michael Shank Racing, Southard Motorsports, Feeds The Need/Doran Racing, and Team Sahlen.

Reynoldsburg-based Michael Shank Racing, currently eighth in the Daytona Prototype point standings, has had an impressive run this season their third year in the series' top class. Team owner Mike Shank expects the team's success to continue with the No. 6 Playboy Racing/Mears Lexus Riley and drivers Mike Borkowski and Antoine Bessette and the No. 60 Flight Options/Net App Lexus Riley with drivers Oswaldo Negri Jr. and Mark Patterson.

"Racing at Mid-Ohio is always special for the team," said Shank. "This is where we got our start, and being so close to our shop in Reynoldsburg, it's absolutely our home event. We are really excited about running on the new surface, and every time we go up there it seems like they have improved something else. We haven't had the best of luck there the last two years, but hopefully we can turn that around."

Powell, Ohio-based Southard Motorsports is also looking to showcase its talents this weekend. Although eighteenth in Daytona Prototype point standings, the team had successful runs at both Phoenix and Long Beach and hope for continued success at Mid-Ohio.

"Mid Ohio has been my home track since I first started racing in the early 1970's. To now own a team and come here is something special," said team owner Steve Southard. "When you know all the people involved in running a weekend like this, it makes you want to do your best."

Southard Motorsports operates the No. 3 Truechoice/PAP-Parts.com BMW-Riley, driven by Shane Lewis, who splits his time between racing and instructing at The Mid-Ohio School.

"Ohio has become my second home. The race team is based only a short drive from the track and all the crew are like family. My fellow instructors at The Mid-Ohio School are some of the best anywhere and the facility is world class. To be able to come here and drive a Daytona Prototype in the most competitive road racing series -- it just doesn't get any better than this."

Another team looking forward to racing at Mid-Ohio is Lebanon's Feeds The Need/Doran Racing which operates the No. 77 Kodak/Amp'd Mobile/Sirius Ford Doran for 2003 Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller and co-driver Harrison Brix. Lebanon is also home to Doran Designs, one of seven approved Daytona Prototype chassis manufacturers. The Rolex Series GT class also has a presence in the Buckeye State with the Canton-based Team Sahlen who will field a Porsche GT3 Cup car.

A number of Ohio drivers also will take part in support series races throughout the weekend. Competing in the Grand-Am Cup race are BJ Zacharias of Cincinnati, Will Nonnamaker of North Canton, Wayne Nonnamaker of North Canton, Joe Nonnamaker of North Canton, Ray Mason of Columbus, John Schmitt of Sunbury, The Mid-Ohio School's own Dave Roush of Shelby, Mike Galeti of Olmstead, and Lee Niffenegger of Delaware. The SCCA Pro Racing Sirius Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup Series will stage two rounds with Erik Stearns of Van Buren. Also competing in two rounds of the BMW CCA Club Race are Glenn Lucas of Hillsboro, Richard Grieser of Holland, Robert Klooz of Medina, Len Mueller of Cincinnati, Sammy Haroon of Cincinnati, and John Lochner of Dayton.

The EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank will be the second event on Mid-Ohio's eight-race 2006 schedule. Still to come are the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (July 28-30), Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire (August 4-6), Vintage Grand-Prix at Mid-Ohio (August 18-20), National Auto Sport Association Championships (September 15-17), AMA Road Race Grand Championships & AMA Motocross Manufacturers Cup (September 22-24) and the AMA Superbike Shootout (September 30-October 1). Tickets for all events are available by calling 1-800-MID-OHIO or visiting www.midohio.com.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a permanent road racing circuit with two primary configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15-turn, and a 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit in Lexington, Ohio. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional riders and drivers.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, TrueSports, Incorporated is a privately held motorsports entertainment enterprise. The company owns and operates Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, and promotes a wide variety of motor racing, driver instruction, corporate, and family entertainment events throughout the year.


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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Shane Lewis , Will Nonnamaker , Joe Nonnamaker , Ray Mason , John Schmitt , Mike Borkowski , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Antoine Bessette , Lee Niffenegger , Steve Southard , Mark Patterson , Harrison Brix , Michael Shank
Teams Doran Racing , Team Sahlen , Michael Shank Racing