North Canton: USFilter Planet Earth Motorsports Settle For 3rd & 7th

North Canton, OH - Qualifying saw the ...

North Canton, OH - Qualifying saw the #41 USFilter Planet Earth Motorsports Comptech Sport Acura Integra GS-R take the pole in the C2K Class, their second pole of the season. The last time they took the pole was at Phoenix International Raceway when the 1999 Motorola Cup Touring Class Champion Will Nonnamaker captured the pole. At Mid-Ohio this weekend, it was Will's younger brother Wayne who claimed the pole by under two tenths of a second.

"The competition in this class is very strong. I got a real good draft from a Sports Touring BMW Z3 Coupe, and the Comptech Sport Acura Integra GS-R was able to get the pole," said the younger Nonnamaker. "We are excited about the upcoming race. This is our home track, and it would be nice to be able to get the win in front of all of our family and friends."

During the race, the sister car to #41, the #42 Acura Integra GS-R was being driven by Dick Starita when the car lost a wheel going through turn one. Starita was unhurt but slightly sore. It was disappointing for the veteran driver who celebrated his birthday on the previous day. For the Mid-Ohio event, Starita was reunited with his 1999 co-driver John Wymore. Wymore didn't get a chance to get in the car during the race, but will be with the team when they go to Road America on July 8th.

Late in the race the #41 USFilter Comptech Sport Acura Integra GS-R was in the hands of Will Nonnamaker. Nonnamaker had driven the car from seventh to first, and was holding the lead when an overzealous lapped car ran Nonnamaker off the road at the end of the back straightaway. "We had a good run going, when some backmarkers hit us going into the turn at the end of the back straightaway," said finishing driver Will Nonnamaker. "I would like to congratulate HART and Fenton Motorsports on a race well run. They did a good job today."

The #43 USFilter GOJO had worked its way up to second in the closing stages of the race. Team owner Joe Nonnamaker started the Corvette from a sixth place starting position. Nonnamaker handed the car over to longtime teammate Bill Pate to finish the car. The Corvette was running in second with just fifteen minutes to go. Third was not close enough to challenge the Corvette, and first was within striking distance for the veteran Pate. Suddenly the car lost power. The team was classified in seventh place, and was disappointed at the end to a great day. "The USFilter GOJO Corvette ran great today," said Joe Nonnamaker. "The car handles very well, and we were excited that we have made enough improvements to be able to be running second, challenging for the win. It is a long season, and we are only half way through. We are doing everything we can to help Chevrolet capture the Manufacturers Championship. Right now we trail Dodge 63-61, so we have our work cut out for us the remainder of the season."

The next race for the USFilter Planet Earth Motorsports crew is July 8th at Road America.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Will Nonnamaker , Joe Nonnamaker , Bill Pate
Teams HART