SCC: Daytona: Ford Racing race report

The No. 55 Hyper Sport Mustang FR500C finished second in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Friday at Daytona International Speedway. After starting 24th, Joe Foster, Jeff Courtney and Scott Maxwell worked their way up through the field in the ...

The No. 55 Hyper Sport Mustang FR500C finished second in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Friday at Daytona International Speedway. After starting 24th, Joe Foster, Jeff Courtney and Scott Maxwell worked their way up through the field in the series' season opener and were able to finish second for the second year in a row.

JOE FOSTER -- 55 -- Hyper Sport Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 2nd)

HYPER SPORT HAS BEEN AROUND NOW FOR A FEW YEARS, AND ARE A TEAM THAT IS CONSISTENTLY AT THE TOP AND CHALLENGING FOR WINS. "Well the team has come together in so many ways and the second and middle stint obviously began with a lot of yellow, which was boring for everybody and then we tried to do a restart and then there was another yellow. The car is good in traffic; the Ford Mustang is a good car in traffic. It's not secret that is has good torque and this is the kind of race track that would suit that. I'd be lying if I was looking forward to Lime Rock in a Mustang. But definitely our strange beginning to the stint, it ended up lasting an hour and 20 something and we had a long green run for the last two-thirds of it. We kind of got strung out there and actually had a chance to race and get up front and back into the top three. That put us in a good position to go ahead and put Scott in for his sprint to the finish."

DID YOU GUYS GET FOUR FRESH TIRES ON YOUR LAST PIT STOP? "Yes, we did."

SCOTT MAXWELL -- 55 -- Hyper Sport Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 2nd)

YOU SUDDENLY POPPED UP AT THE END OF THE RACE. TALK ABOUT YOUR DRIVE THERE AT THE END. "Actually, the car was working very well. And I'm really grateful to Hyper Sport because two days ago, 48 hours ago I wasn't even driving. We decided to go with three drivers for this race just to bank some points and for the rest of the year so we had a bit of a different strategy. Jeff and Joe do not only a great job not only keeping it at the front, but the car was like new when I got in it. It was like a 35-minute sprint for me at the end. I made a lot of mistakes actually; just trying too hard and there's a couple of guys that are annoyed with me out there. Anyways, the car was good, the Mustang was strong and we just didn't have enough time or the legs to catch the Porsche. It was a good start for us for two years in a row to be second here so maybe next year we'll come back and try to win it. It was a good start for the Hyper Sport Mustang."

IF THERE WASN'T THE LAST CAUTION AND YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RACE THOSE LAST THREE LAPS OR IF IT HAD HAPPENED JUST A FEW MINUTES EARLIER AND YOU HAD BEEN ON CRAIG'S TALE, WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CATCH HIM? "You know I honestly wasn't close enough to give you an honest answer. Our car was strong, but Craig was far enough down the road that I couldn't tell really if he was pushing hard or not. I would have liked the chance but he was too far down the road."

YOU WERE INVOLED IN AN INCIDENT LATE. WHAT HAPPENED THERE? "I think it was the second flying lap and they warned me that the brakes were a bit glazed, and I went down into one and I was full blown on the brakes and couldn't stop and I thought I was actually going off for a nice little crash and I think I clipped one of the Volkswagens on my way in, I think it was a Volkswagen, -- one of the little cars I hit on the way in. Anyways I stopped about three feet shy of the wall and kept going."

JEFF COURTNEY -- 55 -- Hyper Sport Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 2nd)

YOU QUALIFIED AND STARTED 24TH, BUT WAS YOUR JOB TO KEEP IT OUT OF TROUBLE IN A THREE HOUR RACE. TALK ABOUT YOUR STINT AND BEING CLOSE TO SOME OF THE TROUBLE IN THAT PART OF THE FIELD. "Yeah, we were very disappointed in our qualifying, but I think there were a lot of teams that were just hit the rain wrong and whatever. But thanks to Joe and Patrick for giving me the opportunity for one, but it was a lot of close calls early in the race, but for the most part staying out of trouble, I thought we did a decent job of bringing it in where we needed to to get these guys in. It was good to hang with a fast crew like that."

James Gue, co-driver of the No. 37 JBS Motorsports Mustang FR500C finished 18th after starting fifth in Friday's Fresh >From Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Gue co-drove the season opener with Bret Seafuse, but engine trouble hurt the team's effort in the race.

JAMES GUE -- 37 -- JBS Motorsports Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 18th)

THE TEAM STARTED FIFTH AND SAT AROUND SEVENTH FOR MOST OF THE RACE. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF YOUR FINAL STINT? "We had a great pit strategy. I think we got up to sixth for the restart with about 25 minutes to go, but we've been struggling all week. We blew and engine right before the race around the last practice and that really hurt us. We put a new engine in and it was just terrible and we were a lot slower than we were in practice. We didn't have the car, at best we would have been eighth or ninth. On the restart we got together and just grazed one of the ST cars as it went by on the inside and knocked our tires and we got a flat and had to come in."

SO TRAFFIC WAS AN ISSUE WITH 97 CARS ON THE TRACK? "With that many cars, traffic is always an issue especially with the ST class behind the GS class. There is a speed discrepancy and I think there was a lot of silly driving out there. But when you try to put that many cars on the track at once and half are faster, it's not going to be easy for anyone out there. And yellows breed yellows, so once you got one, there were more to follow. It's Daytona and it's a lot of luck that you need and things just didn't go our way today. Not a good start to the year, but we'll wait the couple months that we have until the next race and get to work."

Terry Borcheller and Scott Turner finished third in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series season opener at Daytona. After starting eighth, the driving duo were fixtures at the top of the field for most of the race in the No. 3 Blackforest Motorsports Mustang.

TERRY BORCHELLER -- 3 -- Blackforest Motorsports Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 3rd)

YOU GUYS WERE ON QUITE A TEAR THIS WEEK WITH BEING AT THE TOP IN PRACTICE SESSIONS AND FINISHING THIRD. NOT A BAD WAY TO OPEN THE SEASON. "Well, the testing that we did was pivotal for us because we did a lot of experimenting and found out a lot of things that didn't work. I actually learned a lot of things today that is going to help us go forward. I'm not sure how many Scott is planning on running this year, but this race will help us to make the car go faster and forward and that's what we need to be on the top step of the podium. It was a great race today, Scott qualified really well and went out really early before the rain in qualifying and I think that's probably the best qualifying effort he's put together with the team and to give us a good race. He was out ahead of all the junk and he was able to maintain position today. We had really good fuel mileage today too and I know a lot of the other teams didn't."

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE SEASON? "Well, Scott owns the car and I'm not sure how many races he is going to run. This maybe will be an incentive to put together a program. I'm actually looking for a ride and I'd love to run the whole year and put together finishes like this every race. Maybe this will inspire him to go to the next one."

HOW WAS TRAFFIC FOR YOU IN YOUR POSITION? "We actually had quite a bit of green flag running. There were a handful of yellows, but there was a long of green flag and that was really beneficial to us. Yellows are typical for this race and I actually like the traffic, but the Mustang is pretty good in traffic."

After qualifying 11th for the race, Jack Roush Jr. and Dean Martin drove their No. 59 Mustang FR500C to a 10th place finish at Daytona. The driving duo moved their way up to the front of the field, enjoying many laps with the lead, but a lap pit stop mistake cost the team time and positions.

JACK ROUSH JR. -- 59 -- Rehagen Racing Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 10th)

TODAY WAS YOUR FIRST RACE HERE AT DAYTONA. WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO LEAD HERE AS A TEAM? "It was great. The first stint was definitely a war. I was glad that there weren't more accidents. I was afraid that people would be overly aggressive but people kept their heads on pretty well."

DID THE YELLOWS AFFECT YOUR STINT? "When I was in the car there was a yellow on the first lap and I was like, okay, it's begun, but luckily I think that was the only one that I was in. I pitted just a few laps before the second yellow."

YOU GUYS CAME HERE AND TESTED WELL AND YOU WERE QUICK IN TESTING AND QUALIFIED GOOD UNDER RAINY CONDITIONS, BESIDES THE MISS IN THE PITS, IS THIS A SUCCESSFUL START FOR THE SEASON? "Absolutely. Obviously we need to address the mix-up in the pits but everything else is going really well, but we've got some time before the next race to work on that and get ready."

DEAN MARTIN -- 59 -- Rehagen Racing Mustang FR500C-- (Finished 10th)

QUICK IN TESTING AND QUICK DURING PRACTICE AND THE RACE. "Yes. Actually, we didn't even realize that something had happened with the engine yesterday while Jack was out qualifying, but since the conditions weren't all that great and everyone was slow, we didn't really realize it. But we looked at the data and we had the motor go something. After the morning practice, the data showed that the motor was laying down at the top end. We swapped the motor before the race and put the hood on it and sent it straight out to the grid. Jack started and ran around fourth and fifth and inherited the lead and we hung out a couple extra laps and we came in at the perfect time at full course caution and the guys picked up some positions in the pits and we led and went up again. We didn't take tires on the first stop and our teammate in the No. 60, Hugh Plumb did get tires and I saw him coming in at about sixth on the restart and then saw him up to third and I knew he had tires so I didn't battle him and then we were working together and we hung tight. That's what we're going to do. I was trying to size him up and looking at where he was strong and where he was weak and I thought we had him. If the race had been a half an hour shorter, it would have ended well. But we gave it away."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Maxwell , Terry Borcheller , James Gue , Hugh Plumb , Bret Seafuse , Scott Turner , Dean Martin , Jeff Courtney , Joe Foster , Jack Roush Jr.
Teams Rehagen Racing