SCC: Watkins Glen: Automatic Racing preview

Automatic Racing Hopes the Third Time is the Charm at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, NY- Watkins Glen holds a lot of bittersweet memories for Automatic Racing, and the team hopes to break their string of disappointing weekends at the historic track...

Automatic Racing Hopes the Third Time is the Charm at Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY- Watkins Glen holds a lot of bittersweet memories for Automatic Racing, and the team hopes to break their string of disappointing weekends at the historic track during The Glen 250 on Saturday, June 19.

Automatic Racing got their start in Grand-Am Cup two years ago with a race at Watkins Glen in the No. 09 BMW M3. The 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course is also the site of drivers Jep Thornton and David Russell's first street stock races.

But Watkins Glen has also proven to be full of disappointment for the Grand Sports-class team. The Automatic Racing BMW never finished its first race there, held in 2002, after a crash ended the team's day. Last season, motor problems early in the weekend ended Automatic Racing's hopes of even starting the race.

Automatic Racing hopes that the third time is the charm as they head into this weekend's The Glen 250. The team's growth over the past two years has given them the edge in competitiveness and reliability. Since the round at Watkins Glen last year, Mike McLaughlin has come on-board as Team Manager, and the team has done extensive testing of the BMW M3.

"We have not had a great time at Watkins Glen, but I do like the track. It should be very good for our car," predicted Thornton. "This year we feel good about our preparation both driver-wise and car-wise so we are looking to further increase our position in the points. My good friends Mark Patterson and John Pew are running in one of Mike Baughman's cars so it will be fun mixing it up with them."

"The big thing for us is to get the whole package running," commented Russell. "We haven't had the entire package together since Daytona. We've resolved our motor issues, and we are no longer having handling or clutch problems. We've been able to learn more about the car and I think it will be the strongest it's been all year at Watkins Glen."

Thornton will qualify with the rest of the Grand Sports cars at 11:10 AM on Saturday, June 19. The 250-mile race will be held later that same day, at 2:00 PM EDT.

Fans can find out the latest about Automatic Racing and interact with Thornton, Russell and the rest of the team on the bulletin board at www.AutomaticRacing.com.

-ar-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mike McLaughlin , Michael Baughman , Jep Thornton , John Pew , Mark Patterson , David Russell
Teams Automatic Racing