Fighting Fifth at Miller for Canney and Plumb (21September, 2008)-- Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb returned to top five form in the No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard Ford Mustang FR500C at Miller Motorsports Park on Sunday as the duo avoided the bad...
Fighting Fifth at Miller for Canney and Plumb
(21September, 2008)-- Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb returned to top five form in the No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard Ford Mustang FR500C at Miller Motorsports Park on Sunday as the duo avoided the bad racing luck that has plagued them in the last two Grand-Am KONI Challenge race outings. The fifth place finish marked the fifth top-ten race result for Canney and Plumb in their first full season competing together.
The SunRichGourmet.com event at Miller was the first visit to the 4.486-mile track for Canney, who enrolled in the Performance Driving School at the track earlier in the week to acquaint himself with all 23 corners on the circuit from behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang FR500S, the milder sibling pony car to the FR500C that he races in the KONI Challenge.
That preparation paid off as Canney started from 16th on the grid and was fighting for a spot in the top ten at the middle point of the race before turning over to co-driver Plumb.
His move up was made difficult on both the start and a subsequent re-start when a competitor appeared to work a brake-check at the green flag, and then the sister team car pulled the same move on a restart, costing Canney precious momentum at key moments. But in the end he got the last laugh.
"The car ran well and I had an exciting race with a group of seven cars for a while, then again with the two BGB Porsches, so I had a lot of fun mixing it up," said Canney. "The car was a little loose, but that was how we wanted it. Hugh did a great job during his stint and it was a lot of fun watching the three team Mustangs racing each other (finishing 3rd, 5th and 7th) there at the end."
Plumb was indeed in the thick of a big Ford battle as he fought to take fifth at the checkered flag, as there were five Mustangs in the top 10. Plumb was hoping to return to the Miller podium, but after a strong showing was pleased to take fifth.
"Even though the car was a bit of a handful, Mike did a great job to have the car that far up before I got in it," said Plumb. "It was a pretty tough group of guys there in the final few laps but I was happy to move up to fifth by the end. There are some guys fighting for the championship so you had to be mindful of that, but I think I got everything out of the car that I could. Now we are heading to VIR, and I'm really looking forward to getting to tour Sunset Hills Winery before the race weekend. Mike has experience at VIR, and hopefully we can finish the year off with another top five or even better."
The No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard machine will be back in action in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge season-finale 6-hour enduro at VIR on October 5th.