SCC: Birmingham: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Ready to Bring Fruit and Vegetable Fury to Alabama LEEDS, Ala. -- After three consecutive podium finishes, Automatic Racing is ready for a win heading into this weekend's KONI Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park. A new...

Automatic Racing Ready to Bring Fruit and Vegetable Fury to Alabama

LEEDS, Ala. -- After three consecutive podium finishes, Automatic Racing is ready for a win heading into this weekend's KONI Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park. A new track record during the previous round at Watkins Glen and the points lead for drivers Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal has the team ready to dominate with the Fresh from Florida BMW M3s.

Thornton and Segal took over the Grand Sport driver points lead following a solid second-place finish at Watkins Glen in the No. 09 Automatic/Fresh from Florida BMW M3.

"It is true that I will not utter the 'C' word," said Thornton of the points race. "I am not that superstitious, but this season is so not over. The teams we are competing with are all strong and capable of outstanding performances over these last four races. For us it is a matter of taking care of business and being consistent."

If last year's round at Barber is any indication, Thornton and Segal could be on the podium again. Segal was third in 2006's rain-shortened race. "We've always had a fast car so it's going to be a matter of not making any mistakes this weekend. The team is really coming together," said Segal.

Tom Long and David Russell are also hoping to continue their momentum after earning sixth at Watkins Glen and fifth at Mid-Ohio prior to that in the No. 99 Automatic/Fresh from Florida BMW.

"I'm excited about the race this weekend," said Long. "Barber is the kind of good handling track that the BMWs are notoriously good at. I think we have a good shot there this weekend. We have a lot great momentum leading up to this weekend."

Jon Miller and Serge Glazunov will be aiming for their first top-five finish this weekend. They have been consistently fast in the Weeden Consultants sponsored No. 90 Automatic BMW M3, and Miller raced in KONI Challenge at Barber last year. "The track is fun and the facilities are great," Miller said. "It's a place I always look forward to racing at, and Serge and I are starting to get into a rhythm. It's proven to be a good partnership so far."

Another partnership that has proven successful is that of Tim George, Jr. and Conrad Grunewald in the No. 91 Automatic BMW. Four of the past six races have resulted in top-ten finishes for the pair.

George is also driving in the GT class of the Rolex Series this weekend. "It's going to be a long weekend, and it's lucky I've been doing endurance training," he said. "I haven't driven at Barber in the rain, and it looks like we may get storms this weekend, so it could be interesting. It's a smooth, fun track and I like the technicality of the layout."

-credit: ar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tom Long , Jeff Segal , Conrad Grunewald , Jon Miller , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing