SCC: Mid-Ohio race report

Devon Powell and Doug Goad took their third win in five races to push GM into the manufacturer lead in the Super Grand Sports class. Powell Motorsports are not always the fastest of the GM contenders, but have used great pit strategy, smart ...

Devon Powell and Doug Goad took their third win in five races to push GM into the manufacturer lead in the Super Grand Sports class.

Powell Motorsports are not always the fastest of the GM contenders, but have used great pit strategy, smart consistent driving, and strong car preparation to have earned team drivers Doug Goad and rising star Devon Powell the most wins in Cup series racing in the last four years (12).

At just over an hour into the race, fourth place starting Devon Powell finally took over the top spot. He held that lead spot until he needed to duck into the pits for fuel and a driver change at over two hours into the race.

Doug Goad then took over for Powell, and exited the pits in third place, 30 seconds behind the leading #35 Corvette. Ten minutes into his stint, Goad passed the second place Porsche of points leaders Dino Steiner and Ian James. With just forty five minutes remaining in the race, and 23 seconds separating himself from John Heinricy in the leading #35 Phoenix American Corvette, Goad knew the pressure was on to put the hammer down. But is was not necessary as Heinricy had to pit with a pickup problem forcing him to accept a fifth place finish after the crew remedied the problem.

Goad cruised to the victory. Following home Goad was the #15 Motorsport Technologies Porsche Twin Turbo.

Despite the problems that Phoenix American Motorsports had with their #35 Corvette, their #32 Corvette finished a lap down in third place. Tony Bartone started the third place finishing #32 Corvette, and Jeff Altenburg finished the Corvette after he started the #35 Corvette.

In Grand Sports, Speedsource led a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium by Porsche. Slyvain Tremblay and David Haskell shared the winning #70 Porsche as they took a nearly one lap win over the second place finishing #19 of Jean-Francois Dumoulin and Robert Julien. Julien lost his points lead in the Driver's Championship to Haskell in the hotly contested Grand Sports Driver Championship.

"Fast" Freddy Baker took home the SCCA National Run Offs T1 Championship at Mid Ohio last year. This year Baker, who hails from nearby Bedford Ohio, returned to Mid Ohio for a professional race in the Grand Am Cup series, and took a third place finish along with his co-driver Michael Levitas. The team struggled through a transmission replacement after a third place qualifying effort on Saturday.

Sports Touring saw BMW take home its first win of the season with the #72 Team Spartanburg Racing effort taking home the win with their BMW Z3 Coupe being driven by Steve Pfeffer and Jim Hamblin.

Late in the race, the #72 TSR BMW Z3 was running low on fuel, and it was questionable whether the car could hold onto its lead. "The car was cutting out on the corners in those final laps because we were out of fuel," team owner Mark Hughes, of Spartanburg, S.C., said. "When that white flag came out, I was just praying we would make it."

The #64 MAI/www.tirerack.com/Pro-Cam/RedLine Oil Acura Integra Type R from the King Motorsports effort was closing rapidly on the slowing BMW, and it looked like Acura might take its fifth win this season in the class. By the end of the race, Bob Endicott, in the #64 Integra, had closed to within a tantalizingly close 3.378 seconds on the final lap, but was not able to take the victory.

Villaconn International took home third and fourth to give BMW a 1-3-4 finish. In the third place finishing #34 Chambersburg Waste Paper BMW Z3 Coupe was Matt Connolly and Jeff Trask. Coming in fourth was the #36 HMS Motorsport/HRSprings BMW Z3 Coupe being driven by Bransen Patch and series new comer Davy Cook.

In C2K, the Planet Earth Motorsports effort took home a 1-3-4 finish at their home track. At the start of the race, the pole sitting #42 Comptech Sport Planet Earth Motorsports Acura Integra GS-R of Mike Fitzgerald took the lead for the first hour of the race. For the first several laps, Fitzgerald was followed by his teammate, the #41 Comptech Sport Integra of Wayne Nonnamaker. An electrical glitch dropped the #41 Integra back from the top three in class after several laps unfortunately.

At the caution period, the #42 Comptech Sport Integra and the #69 HART Civic both pitted for regular service and a driver's change. Under the yellow though, the #42 Integra was lucky enough to be in front of the overall leader, and therefore was waved by the pace car under caution to be on a lap of his own in the C2K Class. Will Nonnamaker, who was finishing the #42 Integra, knew that all he had to do now was just bring the car home to the end of the race.

As the #42 Integra was cruising to the victory, the action was still intense behind him. The #69 HART Civic had been taken over by Pete Halsmer and was running second until late race damage occurred with a run-in between Halsmer and a Mustang. This left the door open for John Schmitt and Kevin Adams to take second place it he #00 HART Civic.

Wayne Nonnamaker had handed over the controls of the #41 Comptech Sport Integra to Mike Fitzgerald, who had gotten almost no rest from starting the #42 Integra, but was able to bring the Integra home to a third place finish.

Coming in fourth was the #43 Drink FLA OJ / Don Velcio CPA Integra GS-R from the USFilter Planet Earth Motorsports stables as well. Don Velcio and Roy "Gator" Mitchell handled the driving chores in the Integra.

"It was an exciting race for the USFilter Planet Earth Motorsports team," said winning driver Will Nonnamaker. "We got a lap on the field by the yellow being timed just right for us. After that, I just took it easy and tried to stay out of trouble. "Iron Man" Mike [Fitzgerald] did a great job for us today. He started this car, and got in the #41 car and finished it in third. Whenever you have an asset like Mike on your team you have to use him, and we got our full use out of Mike today."

The next race for the Grand Am Cup series is a three hour enduro at Mosport on June 21 - 24.

www.TheRaceSite.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tony Bartone , John Heinricy , Wayne Nonnamaker , Will Nonnamaker , Dino Steiner , Devon Powell , Doug Goad , David Haskell , Davy Cook , Steve Pfeffer , Jean-Francois Dumoulin , Robert Julien , Bransen Patch , Jim Hamblin , Matt Connolly , Bob Endicott , Mark Hughes
Teams Phoenix Racing , HART