In qualifying for his first race in almost two months, Tom Nastasi, co-driver of the No. 4 Mustang FR500C, returns to Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series competition this weekend at Virginia International Raceway. Nastasi returned with a quick car and...
In qualifying for his first race in almost two months, Tom Nastasi, co-driver of the No. 4 Mustang FR500C, returns to Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series competition this weekend at Virginia International Raceway. Nastasi returned with a quick car and was the top-qualifying Mustang in fourth place.
Tom Nastasi - No. 5 USG Sheetrock Mustang FR500C (Qualified 4th)
YOU'VE BEEN AWAY FROM THE TRACK FOR ALMOST TWO MONTHS WITHOUT RACING AT MILLER THREE WEEKS AGO. YOU'VE BEEN IN THE TOP 10 ALL WEEKEND IN PRACTICE AND WERE FOURTH IN QUALIFYING. DOES IT FEEL GOOD TO BE BACK AT THE TRACK? "Absolutely. We've got a really strong car this weekend and have been fast in each practice session. Our cars have always been strong here and this is the fastest that we've ever gone here. I don't usually worry about this place because the cars we bring here are strong, and it isn't really a track where the extra weight on the car hurts us. It's a much more level playing field here at this track than some of the others that we've raced at."
WITH A SIX-HOUR RACE, DO YOU HAVE ANY WORRIES ABOUT THE CAR? "Not at all. This is a great car and I know we've got a car that can win here. I don't think that we're at a disadvantage at all this weekend, and think that we actually have an advantage on the straightaways with the power that our Mustang is putting out. It should be a fun race."
Scott Maxwell, co-driver of the No. 55 Mustang FR500C, qualified ninth for Sunday's Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series season finale. After staying around second and third place for practice sessions, his team tried changing some things on his setup, but will return to their original set up for the race.
Scott Maxwell - No. 55 Supercuts Mustang FR500C (Qualified 9th)
"We changed some stuff going out for qualifying and it didn't work. We went from being second in practice to ninth in qualifying. We changed the sway bar and the springs and both went bad. We were second most of the weekend, so I thought that I would take a chance because I didn't think I could be them with the way the setup was, and we went too far. We were second or third and now we're ninth, so that will teach me."
HOW IS IT GETTING AROUND THIS TRACK? "Because of the weight we carry, we've got to break a good amount of time before the other cars need to. The first turn is where we lose some ground, but we're able to make that up in the second half of the track. The first half of the lap is pretty hard, but the second part is where our cars are really good."
SO THERE ARE OTHER PLACES WHERE YOU CAN MAKE UP TIME. "Yes." IS IT DIFFICULT TO HOLD YOUR POSITION IN THE CORNERS WHERE YOU MIGHT NOT BE AS STRONG? "Yeah, it's just picking your spots where you want to pass. If you want to keep a guy behind you, it's not too hard to do. The best place to pass is later in the lap, which is where our cars are strong. We'll just change our car back to how it was earlier and I think we'll be set for the race."
After finishing ninth last night's ARCA Re/MAX Series at Talladega Superspeedway, Colin Braun joins the No. 59 Rehagen Racing team this weekend at Virginia International Raceway to compete with co-drivers Dean Martin and Jack Roush Jr. in Sunday's Grand-Am Koni Challenge GS Series finale. Braun talks about getting behind the wheel of a racing Mustang for the first time and returning to VIR.
Colin Braun - No. 59 Rehagen Racing Mustang GT - (Qualified 18th)
ON HIS FIRST DAY RACING IN A MUSTANG IN THE GRAND-AM KONI CHALLENGE SERIES GS CLASS. "I certainly had fun driving that car yesterday. Everybody did a really good job and the Roush guys did a good job. We had really good power from Jack and all his guys. Wish we could have done a little better than what we did. We certainly had a shot at it but Frank didn't end up going with us there at the end. Coming here, this car is a blast to drive. I've never driven a Mustang and I haven't driven an H-patterned gear box car in about a year-and-a-half, so getting in there and figuring that out was fun. Obviously the last time that I was here was in a Daytona Prototype car and I think we were something like 25 seconds faster than what these GS cars run, so it's quite a bit different to drive. Coming and driving this Mustang though is a lot of fun. I just went out there and took it easy. I think we've got a good comfortable race car and I think we'll be pretty quick in the race. I'm sure there are guys that know how to get a lot more out of the car in one lap than I do with all the experience, but I think throughout a stint, we can be pretty consistent and be smart and patient out there. I know Jack [Roush Jr.] and Dean [Martin] have done a great job this year driving their car so I'm definitely looking forward to going out there and driving with those guys and getting a good result."
WERE YOU ABLE TO FIGURE OUT THE SPOTS ON THE TRACK WHERE THE CAR IS THE STRONGEST AND WOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE UP TIME IF NEEDED? "Well certainly for me driving this car, I'm not really used to a series where there is such a disparity in the car. We can all run similar lap times between the manufacturers, obviously the Mustang and Roush power is really strong on the straightaways and not so good on the corners. It takes a little bit of getting used to, to be able to drive by a Porsche or a BMW and then having them drive back by under the brakes. You've really got to watch what's going on and I think being a six hour race, we've got to pay attention to not getting stuck in a battle with a Porsche where we're going by him in the straightaways and then back by in the corners or having either one of use make a mistake. I think we've just got to keep the Roush Mustang up in the front."
AS FAR AS THE CAR OR YOUR STRATEGY, WHAT ARE THEY TELLING YOU TO KEEP AN EYE ON? WILL BRAKES OR FUEL BE AN ISSUE? "I think those are things the team has really worked hard on here. I think we've got a really good brakes package that should last for the entire race. I don't think we're really too worried about the brakes, we obviously want to be aware of the fact that if you can be easy on them, then be easy on them but if we've got to get on them in the race I don't think it's going to be a problem. I know we've got some brake guys in the pits calling strategy and really good guys doing the pit stops, so the part of the race on the pits should be good. Haven't done a road race with a jack before, so that should be fun."
Bret Seafuse, co-driver of the No. 37 Mustang FR500C, qualified 29th for Sunday's Koni Challenge Series GS race at Virginia International Raceway. Seafuse and teammate James Gue have had good practice sessions leading into qualifying, but a broken fuel pump was what took the team down the speed charts. Seafuse and Gue are currently third in the points and will look to clinch that spot in tomorrow's race.
Bret Seafuse - No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Mustang FR500C (Qualified 29th)
WHAT HAPPENED? "Our fuel pump went bad. We were running with half the fuel pressure and half the horsepower. I'm kind of disappointed, but if something has to go wrong, no is the time." AT LEAST IT'S A FIXABLE PROBLEM TO HAVE. "Yes. It's something that can be fixed, but it will take about an hour or two to do. You can't do it during the race so this is a good time. I'm kind of disappointed in qualifying, but we've got six hours to make it better."
YOU WERE FASTER IN THIS MORNING'S PRACTICE THAN YOU WERE AT THE END OF THE DAY YESTERDAY. "This morning was really good for us, and James put those times down on old tires. Our Mustang is really good. We just have to get all of the kinks out now and we should be ready for the race."
-credit: ford racing