The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race finale, the Sunchaser 1000, at Miller Motorsports Park was one for the record books. The 2007 Grand-Am Prototype Championship came down to the last race with three teams vying for the championship trophy.
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race finale, the Sunchaser 1000, at Miller Motorsports Park was one for the record books. The 2007 Grand-Am Prototype Championship came down to the last race with three teams vying for the championship trophy. Four cautions, blown tires, a car fire and penalties all factored into the outcome of the championship. The No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac Riley of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty brought home the Prototype Championship with their eighth-place finish today and following the points scored collecting seven victories in 14 races during the 2007 season.
First time Grand-Am race winner, the No. 91 Riley-Matthews Pontiac Riley of Jim Matthews, Marc Goossens and Ryan Hunter-Reay, were the seventh different winner of the 2007 season when they stepped to the top of the podium today at Miller. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Colin Braun and Nic J0x00f6nsson made another podium appearance after finishing third, the team's sixth podium of the season. Pontiac took the top three places in today's race and was awarded with the Manufacturer's Championship.
The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of team owner/driver Tracy Krohn and Max Papis finished 12th, after qualifying 16th. The Krohn Racing team finished the year in fourth and 12th in the Grand-Am Prototype Championship following results from Saturday's 139-lap race.
Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"I always have the best seat in the house. This track is fun to me. The track changes every lap, which makes it more challenging. I really like it.
Nic and Colin drove the wheels off the car, especially because they had some push all day long. I am really proud of the No. 76 team. You don't win something like this (the Trueman Award) without the support and effort of the crew. I just happened to be driving the car. It takes a real dedicated crew to help us guys.
I am very excited about the podium finish for the No. 75 car. I got to see a little of that action, particularly when Jan and Colin were battling the whole time. It was fun to watch."
Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"It was a great day. Today all the guys on the 76 car and Jeff Braun did an incredible job. We got faster and faster all weekend and were actually one of fastest cars out there today. We were able to run lap times with the leader, although we were one lap down. We definitely were one of the top four or five fastest cars on race track. We had one goal -- winning the Trueman Award for Tracy. We accomplished that and it is awesome. I am quite happy."
Nic J0x00f6nsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"It was a nice finish of the season to be on the podium. I wish we could have won it, but the podium is nice. It was a pretty rough day in struggling to get the car right. We made some adjustments and everyone did a great job and got the car where it needed to be. Colin did a great job all day. It was nice for the team to end the season with a podium finish and it gives us something to build on for next year."
Colin Braun driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"The race went really well. We struggled at the start of the weekend, but the guys did a great job getting the car set-up. Because we qualified in 11th position, we had a bit of a struggle coming up from that position, but we got up front and managed to hang around there all day.
In my first stint, the No. 39 car ran out of gas right in front of me. I ran into the back of him and messed up the nose heavily. We never had a chance to make a repair or change the nose, so we had to drive around with the damage. It definitely affected our straight-line speed and performance.
I'm extremely happy for the third-place finish for the Krohn Racing team, although I wish it could have been a victory. Everyone worked really hard. They certainly deserve a win and I was sorry we couldn't get it done today. I am excited about the future for Krohn Racing because I think they are going to be strong. I'm looking forward to watching them next year as they become the team to beat."
Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:
"It was a very strange afternoon. Before the race, we weren't expecting to finish higher than third and we did not expect to be ahead of the 99 and 01 cars. It just goes to show you that when you have a long race you have to stay out of trouble. It was an endurance race, and a hotly contested one, whether one feels the result was just or unjust. Our mission was accomplished. Tracy won the Jim Trueman Award.
The 39 car ran out of fuel in front of us and Colin hit him. The car was difficult from then on so we were pretty happy with third after that and under the circumstances. We are not normally happy with third but in this case we are. Pontiac won the championship and they definitely deserved it. They visibly put in more effort than any other manufacturer. It was nice to see they got the just reward for that effort."