Rob and Ray Huffmaster took their first ever Street Tuner (ST) class top-ten finish during the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Grand-Am Cup race. The Huffmasters brought the top finishing Mazda RX-8 in at 9th place during the US Sports Car Invitational...
Rob and Ray Huffmaster took their first ever Street Tuner (ST) class top-ten finish during the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Grand-Am Cup race. The Huffmasters brought the top finishing Mazda RX-8 in at 9th place during the US Sports Car Invitational held on May 6th. The father-son duo pilot the SpeedSource No. 65 Mazda in Grand-Am Cup competition.
The race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was only the third time Ray and Rob spent time in the car together as co-drivers. Competing with SpeedSource for the 2006 season, the Huffmasters combine a long family history of excellence in motorsports. Ray and his nineteen-year-old son Rob are now tied for 8th in the ST class driver point standings and also team points.
Ray started the race for the SpeedSource No. 65 car and handed the wheel over to Rob mid-way through the competition. Excited with his team's performance and ability to head to the front of the pack, Ray spoke about the team's successful stints.
"We started in 13th but I think we got the car up as far as 7th at one point. Rob took over for me during the last hour and a half. In addition, the race went well for the team. Scott Schlesinger and Ken Dobson in the SpeedSource No. 68 car were up as far as 2nd place during the race. They were really tearing it up," stated Ray.
Rob Huffmaster was also pleased with the results from the weekend's race.
"It's awesome and I couldn't be running with a better team. It's great to be with Mazda and SpeedSource is the best possible team to be with. It was a good race and practice went well. My dad ran a good stint and when he gave the car to me it was running great. When I got in the car I was getting caught up in traffic but once that cleared up we started working our way to the front. I got up to 9th at the end," Rob said.
Traffic was a problem for Rob who was hit several times throughout the race but he remained cautious and under control. This paid off for the young driver as he was able to finish the race with only a few marks on the No. 65 car. The amount of contact going on during the race led to several cautions and created challenges in calculating pit stops. Rob and his SpeedSource crew were aware and focused on making sure No. 65 car had enough fuel to get to the finish line.
"The goal was to keep the car clean, and finish. I wanted to make it on one pit stop. We tried to pit late so we could get by on one stop. In order to accomplish that, we had to do some serious fuel conserving on the cautions," stated Rob
Rob's driving was commended by his father who also gave credit to the No. 65 crew chief, Marty Kintzi.
"We ended up pitting at the ideal time. With the amount of full course cautions in the back half of the race our actual fuel strategy worked perfect for us. We were just slightly stumbling at the end. Rob did a great job and he had a really nice battle in the last half hour of the race. He got into a pack of ST class cars and worked his way through up to 9th. Marty did a great job in our pit stop calculation strategies," Ray concluded.