SCC: Utah: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing/Fresh from Florida Drivers Hope to Extend Points Lead at Miller TOOELE, Utah -- With only a month to repair two very damaged BMW M3s, Automatic Racing is on the road again, this time to Miller Motorsports Park, where Jep...

Automatic Racing/Fresh from Florida Drivers Hope to Extend Points Lead at Miller

TOOELE, Utah -- With only a month to repair two very damaged BMW M3s, Automatic Racing is on the road again, this time to Miller Motorsports Park, where Jep Thornton and Jeff Segal hope to extend their points lead in the KONI Challenge driver points.

A rough race at Trois-Rivieres last month resulted in a heavily damaged No. 09 Automatic/Fresh from Florida BMW, which Thornton and Segal were able to take to an eighth-place finish nonetheless.

The Automatic Racing crew has been working overtime, on weekends and during holidays to get both the No. 09 and the No. 99, which was also damaged at Trois-Rivieres, ready to race again.

Thornton is anxious to get back on track to run the rebuilt car through its paces. "Fortunately we have a test day there to set the car up," he said. "Miller will be all about finishing in the top 10, maintaining the consistency that we have had all year. I was able to spend some time driving the track earlier this summer and very much enjoyed it, so we expect to do well there."

Segal is also optimistic about the race in Utah, saying, "I think we'll be fine at Miller. Our car worked really well there last year. We had some setup issues and still got fourth. The Mustangs will be good there, too, but I'm more confident in our chances at Miller than I was at Trois-Rivieres."

David Russell and Tom Long are in a similar situation in the No. 99 Automatic/Fresh from Florida BMW M3. The car has not yet been tested since repairs were made, and at Miller they will have to give the car a shakedown the day before the race.

"Miller is a challenging track, but it's fun once you get the hang of it," said Long. "The BMWs should be good there. There were no cautions at Miller last year and that's good for us because the M3s are good on fuel mileage and tires. The race could come down to pit stops, and the Fresh from Florida crew is one of the best."

Tim George, Jr. and Conrad Grunewald will share the No. 91 Automatic BMW, and the No. 90 will be piloted by Jon Miller and Serge Glazunov. Both teams posted good results at Trois-Rivieres. George and Grunewald earned their fourth top-ten of the year, finishing seventh. Miller and Glazunov also had a successful race, driving to a finish of 11th.

The KONI Challenge race at Miller Motorsports Park begins at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14.

-credit: ar

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tom Long , Jep Thornton , Jeff Segal , Conrad Grunewald , Jon Miller , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing