SCC: Daytona: Automatic Racing qualifying notes

Automatic Racing qualifies 7th for Daytona 250. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- Automatic Racing qualified seventh for the opening round of the Grand-Am Cup season at Daytona International Raceway after Jep Thornton turned the team's fastest lap ever...

Automatic Racing qualifies 7th for Daytona 250.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- Automatic Racing qualified seventh for the opening round of the Grand-Am Cup season at Daytona International Raceway after Jep Thornton turned the team's fastest lap ever around the 3.56-mile road course.

Thornton drove the No. 09 Automatic Racing BMW M3 during the 15-minute qualifying session for Grand Sports class entries. He set a fast time of 1:07.629, over one second faster than the team's previous best at Daytona, mid-way through the session.

Thornton will share the car with David Russell during the 250-mile Grand-Am Cup race on Friday, January 30.

"It was a great effort for us. It's the fastest I've ever gone on this track by a second, so I'm real happy about it," said Thornton. "But there's some fast guys around here with a field this big. We got seventh, which is fine, a top ten on this track. We're real happy about it, and ready to go for tomorrow.

"Our goal is top five tomorrow. Last year we had a goal of top five and we got a podium, a second place. I think a lot of it's going to be the strategy, but we know this track real well. John Terry is a great strategist and he knows what the car can do and what we want to do."

"It was a pretty good day for us," added Russell. "I'm really happy. Automatic has gone a second faster here than we've ever gone before. Considering the competition we have here this weekend, which is probably the best we've ever had for Grand-Am Cup. We've got (Terry) Borcheller, (Randy) Pobst, (Jean-Francois) Dumoulin, a variety of really great guys. For Jep to post a time that's half a second off Craig Stanton in the Porsche, I think is a tribute to the preparation that the team has done in the shop between testing and now, and a tribute to Jep's driving."

Automatic Racing competed in the Grand Sports II class last year. With the formation of the new Grand Sports class, the team is now competing for overall wins. Automatic Racing hopes that their bright yellow car will be at the front of the field when the checkered flag flies on Friday.

The Daytona 250 gets underway at 2:30 pm EST. Fans can find news, results and quotes from Thornton and Russell at www.AutomaticRacing.com.

Automatic Racing is sponsored by Automatic Commercial Aircraft, LandAir, BBS, Engine Music Studios, Redline Oil and Moton Shocks.

-ar-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Craig Stanton , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing