VIR: Essex Racing/Finlay race report

THE NO.5 MAKE-A_WISH/Z-LINE DESIGNS DAYTONA PROTOTYPE MACHINE LEADS FIRST RACE LAPS AT VIR ALTON, VA -- (April 23, 2006) -- After starting from the third position for today's running of the Virginia International Raceway 400, Rob Finlay and ...

THE NO.5 MAKE-A_WISH/Z-LINE DESIGNS DAYTONA PROTOTYPE MACHINE LEADS FIRST RACE LAPS AT VIR

ALTON, VA -- (April 23, 2006) -- After starting from the third position for today's running of the Virginia International Raceway 400, Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante brought the Make-A-Wish/Z-Line Designs- sponsored car home to their third top-10 finish in-a-row. Rob Finlay climbed behind the wheel for the start of the 250-mile/77-lap/2 ¾ - hour time limit race and managed to keep the familiar blue and silver machine up front until an over anxious 89 car spun Finlay off course.

Finlay showcased his driving talents and kept the car out of the tire barriers and was able to return to the race without going a lap down. When Michael Valiante took over the driving duties, he quickly moved up through the field and found himself leading by lap 54.

The Finlay Motorsports team gambled on fuel strategy, a gamble that almost paid off, but with 5 laps remaining Valiante was forced to bring the car into the pits for a splash and go finishing the race in the 9th position. The team's impressive drive in today's contest helped Rob Finlay earn the honor of being the highest finishing driver in the hunt for the Jim Trueman Award.

The Mooresville, NC-based team will next compete in the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at the scenic Laguna Seca Raceway on Sunday, May 7th. #

-fm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Michael Valiante , Rob Finlay