Fall-Line runs as high as 2nd in Grand-Am Cup Finale Alton, VA- Fall-Line Motorsports went into the final race of the season with cautious optimism after a sub par performance at the previous race (Miller Motorsports Park, Sept, 1). "With a new...
Fall-Line runs as high as 2nd in Grand-Am Cup Finale
Alton, VA- Fall-Line Motorsports went into the final race of the season with cautious optimism after a sub par performance at the previous race (Miller Motorsports Park, Sept, 1). "With a new engine program, and the usual level of preparation our cars receive, we had reason to be confident going into this 6 hour long race" commented Mark Boden, team principle, and co-driver.
After being the fastest car in the final practice, Nick Ham qualified the #28 car in 12th position with a lap time of 2:05.403, and Mark Boden qualified the #182 car in 26th position with a lap time of 2:09.182. Mark said that "Starting the 182 car was a strategy we took to ensure that a potential first lap wreck at the front wouldn't have us going home early" The car started and ran 16 laps before Mark pulled it in and retired it in perfect condition. "we wanted to concentrate on the #28 car and once we were sure that there were no issues, we retired the 182 and put our entire effort into the #28"
Nick started the 28 car from the 12th position, and ran strong, turning a 2:06.182, the 6th fastest lap in the race, on his 3rd lap. The pace was strong for the first few laps, and then settled into more of an endurance pace with the leaders running 2:08's and 2:09's. Nick had the car up to 10th when he pitted for fuel after about 1:10 of running. Steve Jenkins got into the car and rejoined the race in 15th position, after only a few laps, a full course caution came out, and the strategy was to pit for a topper of fuel to extend the amount of time in the stint for Steve. "There was a Porsche in the tire barrier off the esses, and I could tell from the car, it was going to be a long caution, they kept me out until I was caught up with the pace car, and then pitted me for about 20 seconds of fuel, that was enough to keep me out for quite a while, and only cost us 2 positions" commented Steve. The restart had Steve in 17th position, but good consistent laps in the 2:08 and 2:09's had him moving steadily up the order. At close to the 3 hour mark, Steve was running in 2nd position, he had been trading positions with the number 38 BGB Porsche for a while when the car bobbled for fuel, and he pitted from 3rd place, for fuel, tires, and a driver change with Mark Boden.
Mark re-entered the race in 10th position, a short full course caution for debris, was enough to get a topper of fuel, and gain a lap back on the leaders who had to pit for longer, and caused Mark to get a wave by, before he pitted. Back on track on the lead lap, with the need for only one more pit stop for fuel, and in 8th position, Fall-Line looked to be set for the first top 5 finish of their young 4 race career in Grand-Am Cup. Mark was being pounded from behind by one of the Porsches, and finally was knocked off the track by him. The off sent him way off track into the mud that had been caused by the 2 days of steady rain. The mud was too thick to get out of, and a full course caution was needed to extract him. He was towed to the pits where damage was assessed, and fuel and a final driver change saw Nick get back into the car.
Rejoining the race 3 laps down, and in 22nd position, darkness had fallen, and he had his work cut out for him. Nick was running fast laps, and gaining positions when the rain started to fall. The first period of rain was short, and the decision was to stay out, and on slicks, this decision had him moving up on those who pitted for rain tires. The track started to dry, and Nick was gaining when the rain started a 2nd time, and it was raining hard, he pitted for rains, and a splash of fuel, and rejoined the race for a sprint to the finish. Turning some of the fastest laps of anyone on the track, Nick got the car all the way back up to 14th position, where he stayed until the 6 hours were over. Steve said "Nick really showed he is a veteran of the sport by the way he went fast in the rain and darkness, we would have easily been in the top 5 if not for the punt Mark received, I can't say enough about the team, the preparation of the car, the flawless pit stops, and strategy, the whole thing was just great, thanks to all of those guys, and to our partners who really helped us get this thing going, Fikse Wheels, Piloti Shoes, Sakata Motorsports Electronics, THANK YOU!"
Fall-Line Motorsports showed they are for real as they ended their 4 race season, in preparation for the entire 2007 season. "We came out these 4 races to learn, and get our feet wet in this series, we have certainly learned a lot, and feel we have shown we can make a mark in the series, and run for the championship in 2007, we all are looking forward to the season opener in Daytona in January" said Mark.