Birmingham, AL -- The rain in Alabama has come and gone over the last several weeks. The forecast for the Saturday Grand Am Cup Grand Sports II race called for scattered showers. The entire two and a half hour Grand Sports II race ran with no ...
Birmingham, AL -- The rain in Alabama has come and gone over the last several weeks. The forecast for the Saturday Grand Am Cup Grand Sports II race called for scattered showers. The entire two and a half hour Grand Sports II race ran with no precipitation, but as the Planet Earth Motorsports team pulled into victory circle a downpour tried to dampen the celebration.
The #41 SpeedSource Porsche 911 from the Planet Earth Motorsports stables was qualified in fourth place by Joe Nonnamaker. At the start Nonnamaker had moved into third place but on lap twelve the entire race almost ended for the team. Going into turn five, a slow hairpin turn, Joe Nonnamaker was hit by the #45 Firebird. After hitting Joe the #45 collided with another car at the next turn and was immobilized. The stranded #45 brought out the yellow flag.
The #41 made it back to the pits and the team installed fresh rubber and Wayne Nonnamaker in the car for the sprint to the end. Joe Nonnamaker talks of the incident: "When I got hit, I thought we were done because it was a hard hit. The Fikse wheels were fantastic. They took a hard, hard hit. The Hoosier tire has a huge chunk out of the side of the tire, but it held air. We were really lucky. I even ran long enough to catch up before we pitted. We're lucky to be here today."
The race only experienced one more yellow flag as the cars were slowed for a GSI Porsche that wrecked at turn four. When the track went back to green flag racing the battle came down to one between five time Champion Terry Borcheller and two time Champion Wayne Nonnamaker.
"We were pretty certain that the #54 BMW had to pit again before the end of the race," commented Wayne Nonnamaker. "I was doing all I could to keep with Terry but they had a very quick car at this track. When he pitted we knew we would have enough of a lead to hold him off as long as it didn't go yellow again, which was according perfectly to our plan. Unfortunately for Terry his tranny broke on pit exit and we never got to complete our battle."
On their way to the win the #41 set the fastest lap of the race in the GSII class by 36 thousandths of a second over the Borcheller machine.
The next race for the Grand Am Cup will take place on June 8th at California Speedway. For the first time since Homestead the Grand Sports and Sports Touring classes will be combined for one race.
The races from Barber Motorsports Park will be televised on May 31st from 1-3 PM on Speed TV.