SCC: Homestead: Continental Tire race report

Roush Jr. Brings Dad 400th Win with Continental Tire Victory at Homestead Homestead, FL (March 9, 2010) - Racing is often described as being a family sport, and that was well demonstrated on Saturday afternoon as Jack Roush Jr. won the Miami...

Roush Jr. Brings Dad 400th Win with Continental Tire Victory at Homestead

Homestead, FL (March 9, 2010) - Racing is often described as being a family sport, and that was well demonstrated on Saturday afternoon as Jack Roush Jr. won the Miami 200 to bring his famous father Jack Sr. the 400th race victory for Roush Racing in round two of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship on Saturday at Homestead Miami Speedway.

Continental Tire recently became title sponsor and official tire for the popular endurance road-racing series, and the Homestead Miami Speedway event marked the second race weekend for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge drivers and teams to utilize the Continental ExtremeContact DR tire.

Last year, the two Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge classes staged separate races at Homestead Miami Speedway, as the Street Tuner (ST) and Grand Sport (GS) both provided a thrilling outcome with close finishes. But running a combined-class event on Saturday didn't change that excitement level one bit, as the 2.5-hour race produced five different leaders and just four caution periods.

For the second year running, the Street Tuner (ST) class saw the Honda Civic Si of Compass360 Racing doing battle with the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 for the class win. Once again, the two entries exchanged the lead on the last lap, but the outcome was reversed from last year after the Freedom Autosport MX-5 of Tom Long and Derek Whittis emerged with the race win on Saturday.

Sharing a Ford Mustang FR500C with Billy Johnson, Roush overcame a post-qualifying tech infraction that forced him to start from the back of the pack to move to the point and score a Grand Sports (GS) Class victory by less than three seconds after 2.5 hours of flat-out racing.

"It was a real exciting race for us," Roush Jr. said. "I can't be more proud of my team and all the work they've done. It was a real privilege to be part of history with the Roush Racing group. I'm looking forward to many more races. Typically the car will have a push or be loose, but when both are happening its clear it's an overall grip issue, and that happened during my stint so managing the steering through the banking on the oval became critical. I pushed the limits of that, and I just tried to ride the edge of what the Continental Tires could do and we came out as winners, so I am very excited!"

With 69 cars sharing the 2.3-mile road course on Homestead Miami's notoriously abrasive racing surface, the Continental ExtremeContact DR tires were put to the test, but came through as the race provided a last-lap thriller for the fans.

"It was an exciting battle," said Long of his move to take the lead. "It was like dejà vu from last year, but this time, our Mazda came out on top. The MX-5 handled well in the infield, and the parity in the class made for a great race and I still had all the traction I needed underneath me with the Continental Tires right up to the last lap."

It wasn't just the last lap that was exciting for the fans on hand, as the race also included some dramatic moments between the green and checkered flags.

Daytona round winners Rum Bum Racing were looking to be well on their way to extending a dream start to the season as Matt Plumb ran well ahead of the field. But as he came up to slow-moving traffic, contact dislodged the hood of his machine, robbing him of all his forward vision when the hood slammed into his windscreen. A long slow trip around the track for the unsighted driver came to a dramatic finish as Plumb slammed into the pit wall, ending the day for the BMW M3 and dashing Rum Bum's shot at a perfect record.

Second-place finishers in the ST class, Lawson Aschenbach and David Thilenius, now lead the standings by seven (67-60) over fourth-place finishers Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann in the No. 81 Performance Friction/RAYS Engineering BMW 328i.

Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub left the track with a seven-point advantage (64-57) over Terry Borcheller and Andrew Hendricks in the GS standings.

-source: continental tire

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Terry Borcheller , Lawson Aschenbach , Charles Espenlaub , Tom Long , Matt Plumb , Seth Thomas , Billy Johnson , Charles Putman , Andrew Hendricks , Bill Heumann , Jack Roush Jr.
Teams Compass360 Racing , Rum Bum Racing , Freedom Autosport