Fontana Race to Decide Championship for Hometown Hero Stanton FONTANA, Calif., October 27, 2004 -- This weekend's Grand American season finale at California Speedway in Fontana is a major weekend for Craig Stanton no matter how you define it....
Fontana Race to Decide Championship for Hometown Hero Stanton
FONTANA, Calif., October 27, 2004 -- This weekend's Grand American season finale at California Speedway in Fontana is a major weekend for Craig Stanton no matter how you define it. The Long Beach resident and native Southern Californian will be racing for his first professional sports car racing title in the final Grand-Am Cup race of the season, the Lexus Grand American 250. In the process, he will be going after his seventh Grand-Am Cup victory of the season and his second SGS class victory in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. He will be doing all of this in front of his family and friends on his birthday.
Grand-Am Cup Notes- Stanton has dominated the Grand-Am Cup season entering Saturday's three-hour season finale. He led the point standings through the sixth round of the season where a previous obligation forced him to miss the Mid-Ohio round. With a slim lead over Terry Borcheller (Gainesville, Ga.) a broken water line dropped Stanton's TheRaceSite.com Racing Porsche 996 to second in the standings at the following race in Miami. Since, he has gone on to win each of the remaining races with multi-series teammate David Murry of Cumming, Ga. for a total of six wins in eight starts. Entering the tenth-round, the 27-time tri-athlete trails Borcheller by four markers. To regain the point lead and take the Grand-Am Cup title, Stanton must finish at least two sports ahead of Borcheller. In the past two races, Stanton and Borcheller have finished 1-2. In the first three races of the season the two teamed together in TheRaceSite.com Porsche before Borcheller left to join another team. Since, the Murry/ Stanton combination has won three more times while Borcheller has yet to better second. The oval portions of the 2.8-mile, 21-turn road course will benefit the large V8 of Borcheller. However, the tight and technical infield portion of the track will benefit the superior brakes and handling of the Porsche 996 chassis.
Rolex Series Notes- The popular driver will close-out the Rolex Series season on Sunday, Stanton's birthday, behind the wheel of the No. 86 G&W Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. For the third time this season, Stanton will team with Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Tex.). The duo worked together through the rain at the last event at Barber Motorsports Park to finish fourth. Since joining the G&W squad, Stanton has helped bring Van Wijk her greatest racing success in her young career. Combing that success with Stanton's laps around the Fontana road course- only one hour from his Long Beach home- the final Rolex Series race of the season promises to be an excellent opportunity for Stanton to return to victory lane. Earlier in the season, Stanton and Murry won a SGS class Rolex Series pole position at Phoenix International Raceway and the Homestead-Miami Speedway race.
The Lexus Grand American 250 will be shown on a tape-delay basis at 5pm (ET), Nov. 7 on SPEED. The Rolex Series Lexus Grand American 400k at California Speedway can be seen live on SPEED with a 4 pm (ET) green flag on Oct. 31.
(about Grand-Am Cup): "We're going to run as hard as we can in the race. We can't hold back and hope that Terry has a bad weekend. David and I are going to give this everything that we can. I'm really excited about this championship and have a good feeling about it. It's going to be a great race and I have been looking forward to it all year."
(about California Speedway): "It's good to be on my hometown track. I don't run here very often but I like the track. David really likes this track too and it is a good track for Porsche. Some of the other manufacturers might have some more power but there are some really heavy braking zones and Terry's car isn't going to like that. There are some fast sections and the higher horsepower cars are going to shine there. But there are some really tight transitions; there is probably 20 seconds of really tight turns that Terry's car is going to have a hard time getting around quickly. We're going to shine there. That is all second and third gear so the aerodynamics won't play a big part. That will allow us to trim the car out on the front straightaway to try and stay closer to them at full throttle. I think David and I better on tires than everyone else is so that will give us more options making stops. Strategy is going to be everything here. The fans are going to be able to see most of the track and get into the garage area so it will be a great weekend for Southern California race fans."
(about the championship): "The championship is coming down to the wire which I am excited about. TheRaceSite.com team is pulling out all the stops and wants this championship really bad. I am sure all the competitors are doing the same. I've known all season that it was going to come down to this. We have to finish at least two spots in front of Terry even if we win so we can't hold back at all. We have to do what we have to do to win this championship."
(about the Rolex Series): "I'm looking forward to working with G&W and Mae for the third race in a row. I believe Mae had the best race of her career at Barber. I was excited in Virginia to get the SunTrust Most Improved Award and I think we got that at Barber as well. We are working very well together. Mae has never been to California but I'll be able to get her up to speed there pretty quickly."
For more on Craig Stanton please visit www.craigstanton.com. Log-on to www.gandwmotorsports.com to learn more about G&W Motorsports. For additional information on TheRaceSite.com Racing team, please visit www.theracesiteracing.com.