SunTrust Team Finishes on the Podium in Incredible Race Comeback at Mid-Ohio Lexington, Ohio (August 27, 2005) It was an incredible comeback story for the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley race team tonight as they finished the EMCO Gears ...
SunTrust Team Finishes on the Podium in Incredible Race Comeback at Mid-Ohio
Lexington, Ohio (August 27, 2005) It was an incredible comeback story for the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley race team tonight as they finished the EMCO Gears Road Racing Classic in third-place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and continued their Grand American Daytona Prototype points lead.
The SunTrust team worked all through the night to rebuild the race car after it caught fire yesterday during qualifying, due to a ruptured fuel line. They had to start today?s race from the 19th position because of their engine change, which according to Grand American rules states you start at the back of your class. And the drama ensued from there.
The tenacity and focus of the SunTrust team members, mixed with exceptional driving by Max The Ax Angelelli and Wayne Taylor, and a little racing luck, helped put this team on the podium tonight, the ninth of 14 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series races this season.
"This was so of incredible," said an elated Wayne Taylor. "I mean if there's any team that could rather there is only one team that could do this, and that's all these guys. And as for Max, there are not enough words to describe what he does."
"They did a fantastic job," added Max Angelelli. "I didn't do much. Our goal was finishing in front of the 01 and we finished just behind them. I didn't do anything special. They (the SunTrust crew members) did something special repairing the car and allowing us to race with a car that is better and faster than yesterday. What can I say? Here's to the guys. They did a really unbelievable job."
"This was really a huge team effort," said Bill Riley, who was going on over 40 hours without sleeping, along with his entire crew. It's really more of a team than anything because I don't really feel like I had a lot involved in it because the crew guys just took over doing what we needed to do. I didn't really have to do anything because they knew what to do and they fixed the car. Wayne kept it out of trouble and Max took it from a bad track position because of the small accident that we had. Max slowly baled it back up. A lot of the success goes to the real team effort this weekend."
Five cautions for 26 of the 94 laps helped facilitate six different race leaders in the two hour and forty-five minute race. The first caution came out on the third lap. SunTrust car owner/driver Wayne Taylor had brought the car up to 13th place before pitting under the third caution session, on lap 17. He had been rear-ended while avoiding a multi-car accident at Turn 8. Max the Ax Angelelli took over driving duties and did what he does best cut his way up through the field. By lap 44, he had risen into the Top Ten.
A pit stop on lap 44 for tires and fuel, again under caution, ensured the SunTrust team could finish the race with enough fuel, even under green racing conditions. Max again worked his way back up from the 13th position to fifth overall by Lap 66. He clocked the fastest lap of the race on lap 67 with a time of 1:21.525 at 76.581 average miles per hour around the 2.258-mile Ohio circuit. On lap 81 the SunTrust Pontiac Riley overtook the No. 54 Kodak Pontiac Doran of Terry Borcheller for the fourth position. Then on lap 91, Max The Ax passed the No. 02 New Century/Ganassi Lexus Riley for third place.
The third-place finish gave the SunTrust team 30 points towards the 2005 championship, as they continue to lead with 312 to 293 points (19 points) over the No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi Lexus Riley team of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz.
The countdown continues for the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series championship as four races remain, with the next being at Phoenix International Raceway on September 10th.