SCC: VIR: Ford teams race report

The No. 59 Rehagen Racing Mustang FR500C team finished fourth at Virginia International Raceway, and was the top-finishing Mustang team of the race. Dean Martin, Jack Roush Jr. and Colin Braun, traded seat time in the six-hour Koni Challenge...

The No. 59 Rehagen Racing Mustang FR500C team finished fourth at Virginia International Raceway, and was the top-finishing Mustang team of the race. Dean Martin, Jack Roush Jr. and Colin Braun, traded seat time in the six-hour Koni Challenge Series season finale, and were able to finish fourth after starting 18th.

Dean Martin -- No. 59 Rehagen Racing Mustang GT (Finished 4th)

TOP FINISHING MUSTANG ON THE WEEKEND. "We had a 10 second penalty in the race, but otherwise it was a good finish. Everything went pretty well. It kind of went as planned. We kind of went in with a war plan and we stuck to it and didn't really stray from it. I was actually planning on having Colin get back into the car, because it looked like he was a little bit quicker, but he had already spent a lot of time in the car and I think that he was tired, so I finished the race. I'm pretty whipped though; I didn't have my cool suit for about the last hour of the race, so it got really hot in there and I was getting tired. The car was starting to make some noises, so I slowed down a little bit. We had about a 30 second lead, so we were just trying to keep our position until the end."

A GOOD FINISHING WEEKEND FOR A TEAM THAT IS NOW SEEN AS A CONTENDER WEEK IN AND WEEK OUT BY OTHER TEAMS. "Absolutely, I think that we're now a threat and a team to pay attention to. To be honest with you, we always expect to be contending for at least the top Mustang. I'd like to say that we contend for the win, but that's not always possible. I don't think that there's much of any track out here that is a Mustang track. The rules are heavily favored not in our direction, but we strive to be the best Mustang team. We measure ourselves against the guys we're chasing like Hyper Sport. I think between them and our team, we're usually the fastest in the pits and on the track. The JBS teams have also raised their game too this year. On average, we've been a little bit better than some of the other teams, which has allowed us to gain positions on the track."

THE MUSTANGS AS A WHOLE HAVE IMPROVED THIS YEAR. "That is the thing, there are a lot of good Mustangs teams. JBS has really stepped up this season. I think we might have slipped a little bit compared to last year, but the last couple of races we've really gotten back into our rhythm."

JBS Motorsports posted two top-10 finishes in the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series finale at Virginia International Raceway. Competing for third in the points, the No. 37 Mustang FR500C finished fifth in the race and fourth overall in the points Bret Seafuse and James Gue battled against early race damage, but were able to move up through the field after starting 29th.

Bret Seafuse -- No. 37 Trumansburg Shursave Mustang FR500C (Finished 5TH)

YESTERDAY YOU SAID YOU WERE DISAPPOINTED WITH QUALIFYING, BUT TO COME BACK WITH A FIFTH PLACE FINISH IS A GOOD END TO THE SEASON. "We were certainly happy with a top-five finish, but I don't know if you know this but about 15 minutes into the race, me and another car had some contact and it almost took us out. We had to fight back pretty hard and do some toe adjustments on pit lane, so the car certainly wasn't what we thought it was going to be after that contact. We'd like to be really happy with a fifth-place finish, certainly it was better than what it looked like 15 minutes into the race. We really wanted third in the points. It was still a good day, but it's too bad that it's the last one."

ON THE JBS SEASON. "This certainly shows that we can keep fighting back. The team has done a great job and figuring out what was wrong and making some adjustments and making the car a lot better than it was after that first little incident."

James Gue -- No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Mustang FR500C (Finished 5th)

AS A WHOLE, THE JBS MOTORSPORTS SEEM TO HAVE RAISED THE BAR AND TOP FINISHES SEEM TO BE EXPECTED FROM BOTH CARS. "I think this year we definitely showed everyone that we're a team that is capable of wining the championship. If we hadn't had made a few mistakes here and there, we would have had a solid second in the championship and an outside shot of winning the championship. Considering where we come from and the resources that we have behind the team, I think the team has done a great job this season. It is a little bit frustrating finishing fourth in the championship, but with the last race of the year and considering how it was at the beginning with the contact that we had, we were able to get a good finish out of the day."

Joe Foster, Scott Maxwell and Charles Espenlaub, finished eighth at Virginia International Raceway in Sunday's Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series season finale. After an early penalty and a change of brake pads, the No. 55 Mustang FR500C helped Foster claim the second position in the championship point standings.

Joe Foster -- No. 55 Supercuts Mustang FR500C (Finished 8th)

A BITTERSWEET END TO THE SEASON WITH FINISHING SECOND IN THE POINT STANDINGS. "We've had a very good year, big picture-wise. We're excited about that and the good things that have happened for our race team this year. Obviously if any one of two or three little things wouldn't have happened, we would have won the championship. We had good luck this year too, not just bad luck. It's been a very good season for the team. This is the first year that we've been able to put together a whole year sponsorship-wise and driver-wise. It's a great opportunity to have Scott [Maxwell] with the team, he's made me raise my game this season. I think for the second half of the season, we were the best driver pairing as a group and so that was a huge bonus for us to have Scott with the team. He's definitely the best teammate that I've ever had, behind Rick Skelton of course (laughing). The level of competition in the series has gotten to the point to where it's just balls to the wall all the time. So that's what we did this year and we won some and we lost some and we hope to come back next year. We're working on the sponsorship side of things and should know in the next couple weeks what our destiny is."

RICK SKELTON SAID THAT YOUR TEAM IS ALREADY HUNGRY FOR NEXT SEASON. "It's funny how your paradigm changes, because if you look at last year and if we would have had a top-five finish, we would have been really excited. Now leaving the track with a fifth-place finish, we're disappointed. So you've got to kind of keep perspective going that if that is our new paradigm, that's pretty good. We finished eighth and we made a gamble to win the championship and the gamble was basically to go hard all the time and plan on a brake pad change, and hopefully get it under yellow, which we did not. It is what it is. It was a gamble for the win and it didn't work out. We were second in the championship in which we've been racing with Seafuse [Bret] and Gue [James] and they're good guys and a lot of fun to race with."

Scott Maxwell -- No. 55 Supercuts Mustang FR500C (Finished 8th)

OVERALL AS A TEAM AND SEASON IT SEEMS THAT THE TEAM HAS STEPPED IT'S GAME UP THIS SEASON. "Absolutely. Today basically sums up the season. We've come a long way and today for the first part of the race, it looked like we were going to be on the podium and things just worked against us. We had some gearbox issues, but overall it's been a great year with finishing second. It is a little bittersweet because we can sort of taste the championship. Without a little bit of bad luck that we've had, things might have been different. The team over the course of the year has done a phenomenal job. The second half of the season, we've sort of been snake-bitten, literally almost all six of the last races. We have to go hard and move forward and next year I think we could be one of the favorites whereas this year, Hyper Sport were still somewhat of an unknown.

IT SEEMS THAT THE TEAM HAS A NEW BASE TO START FROM AS FAR AS BEING SATISFIED WITH FINISHES. "The expectations are higher and the bar has been raised. We've learned a lot and we've made mistakes, but we won't make them again. Next year we'll be stronger and go for the championship."

The JBS Motorsports driving duo of Todd Snyder and Mark Ackley put together a ninth place finish in Sunday's season finale at Virginia International Raceway. The No. 137 Mustang FR500C team was contenders for most of the race.

Mark Ackley -- No. 137 Trumansburg ShurSave Mustang FR500C (Finished 9th)

"We had some issues there right at the end. We had not much brakes left. I couldn't hold off Scott for eighth, and I tried to out-brake him and I couldn't. I just tried to hold him off and couldn't. There can't be much left in the brakes. I'm really happy with today's finish. The car was good and it had a lot of power, we just didn't have any grip. Everybody in the Mustangs were fighting that with no grip coming out of the corners, and it's hard to watch the BMWs and the Porsches put it down and go through the corners. Once we were out of the corner we were fine, but other than that, we were good."

THIS SEASON YOU HAD A LOT OF TOP FINISHES AND WERE THERE AT THE END IN ALMOST EVERY RACE. "I rely upon Todd to do all the setup up and get the car to where it really needs to be. It's going to make such more difference to him than to me, I'll just get in and drive whatever he tells me to drive and do the best I can and to minimize all the negatives. This wasn't bad for a six-hour race, and I think that we had a really good year. Other than a few races, I think we had great finishes this year. Besides three big wrecks and a blown motor that really hurt us, we had a great season."

ON THE SEASON. "This season the team has improved and finishing 15th isn't something that we're happy about anymore. We know that the team is capable of doing more and finishing higher and we're excited about this season."

Todd Snyder -- No. 137 Trumansburg ShurSave Mustang FR500C (Finished 9th)

"I don't think that we really had any issues, even at the end, just a long brake pedal. We were prepared to change brakes if necessary and the team was checking on that and it looked like we were going to make it. The brakes did end up costing us some time, but a six hour race, there were people that were acting like it was three-hour race in the third hour. I don't think that the finished that well. Our goal was just to keep it on the track and to keep moving. I think we did that. We needed a little bit more luck at the end, but we were good. We had the car working pretty good, it didn't really seem that it was good as early in the weekend though. We were struggling being loose around, but we just kept turning laps and turning laps. JBS, I think that these guys have improved a lot over last year with a single car. Two cars this season was a new thing for them. We had a really good day and a really good season. One thing to point out is the team, especially in the pits. I think that the only time that we were slow was when our driver changes were slow."

The No. 54 Hyper Sport Mustang FR500C finished Sunday's Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series finale in 25th place. The team experienced an early penalty for running over an air hose of pit road, and clutch issues early in the race. The team bounced back and finished the race on pace with the leaders.

Patrick Dempsey -- No. 54 Supercuts Mustang FR500C (Finished 25th)

THE TEAM HAD SOME PENALTY ISSUES AND SOME CLUTCH ISSUES, BUT ONCE THOSE THINGS WERE FIXED, YOU WERE RUNNING NOSE TO TAIL WITH THE 55. "I Think we had a good race, we were consistent and have been running very well. We had some good finishes this season and not too far outside of the top 10. We were really running on pace and got some good results. I Think we had a good car today and if we wouldn't have had bad luck towards the beginning, we would have had a higher finish than what we did. We came back and we didn't give up and we just got it together and went back out on the track."

AS A TEAM OWNER AND DRIVER, THE GROUP AS A WHOLE SEEMS TO HAVE STEPPED ITS GAME UP THIS SEASON. "We know that we can do it now, now we just have to do it on a consistent basis. That's something that we didn't do this season and cost us the championship. Second in the championship is great and I'm really, really thrilled for joe and scottie. Certainly for joe, because I think that he's a driver that deserves a lot of support and hasn't had it in the past and I'm happy to have been here to help him come up and be up there all year. I Think the chemistry of the team is building and I think that we're all working really well together. I Think that there are some things that we can do to balance the team and to support the team a little more so we're not under what we could be doing. We need to step up a little bit with what we do as team owners to provide the team with a little bit more support. I'm really thrilled though compared to where we were a year ago and through the entire season, I think we're a lot further ahead of the game than we expected at this time. I'm excited."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Joey Foster , Colin Braun , Scott Maxwell , James Gue , Charles Espenlaub , Bret Seafuse , Rick Skelton , Mark Ackley , Todd Snyder , Dean Martin , Patrick Dempsey , Jack Roush Jr.
Teams Rehagen Racing