Third-straight Top Five Finish Phoenix, AZ - 04/12/2004 - Will Turner and Don Salama earned the pole position and finished in second place in Saturday's Grand Am Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Tim Pappas and Dino Crescentini ...
Third-straight Top Five Finish
Phoenix, AZ - 04/12/2004 - Will Turner and Don Salama earned the pole position and finished in second place in Saturday's Grand Am Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Tim Pappas and Dino Crescentini joined them in the top ten with a sixth place finish. Salama and Turner now have the overall lead in the ST-class Championship. Turner Motorsport drivers are now leading Championships in two series (Bill Auberlen leads the SPEED Touring Car series after one round).
Don Salama set the team up for a good start by grabbing the pole position on Friday afternoon. He kept the Turner Motorsport BMW at the front of the field for much of the race and handed the 330i over to Will Turner on lap 65.
Don Salama: "This was a great car and my Grand Am Cup experience at this track added to our success. The pole position is great, our first of the season, and another second-place moves us up in the standings. Really the only way the Mazda team was going to catch us was with that abbreviated pit stop."
Will Turner got in the seat on lap 65 and took on four new tires and more fuel. He resumed the race in first place but was passed on his out lap by the Mazda. He stayed in second through the remainder of the race.
Will Turner: "Our BMW was solid through the whole race and we could have had a win here. The Mazda RX-8 pitted and only took two tires while we elected to change all 4. And that's where the race was. Our BMWs have been reliable and consistent this year, in addition to being fast, and that's why we're leading the Championship right now."
The #97 Turner Motorsport BMW scored another top ten finish with Tim Pappas and Dino Crescentini behind the wheel. The car was repaired after a crash in the last round at Homestead Raceway in Florida and Pappas qualified the car just outside the top ten in eleventh. The car got better as the race continued and he was able advance in to the top ten when it was time to let Crescentini take over on lap 62. Crescentini joined the Grand Am Cup team this weekend to cover for the ailing Steve Pfeffer.
The SPEED Channel will have the broadcast of the Phoenix race on Sunday, April 18, 2004 at 1 PM Easter. The next Grand Am Cup event is May 21-23 in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec.