VIR: Finlay Motorsports qualifying report

MICHAEL MCDOWELL GIVES PLAYBOY/UNIDEN/PALMS SPONSORED MACHINE FIRST DAYTONA PROTOTYPE WIN AT VIR ALTON, VA (April 22, 2006) -- The drivers of the Grand American Series got a chance to show off their rain racing skills earlier today at Virginia...

MICHAEL MCDOWELL GIVES PLAYBOY/UNIDEN/PALMS SPONSORED MACHINE FIRST DAYTONA PROTOTYPE WIN AT VIR

ALTON, VA (April 22, 2006) -- The drivers of the Grand American Series got a chance to show off their rain racing skills earlier today at Virginia International Raceway. Michael McDowell took to the rain drenched track for the morning practice session and put the No.19 Playboy/Uniden/Palms Daytona Prototype at the top of the speed charts for most of the session.

When it was time for Grand Am to hold their first ever qualifying race, the teams were told they would start form the current team point standings putting McDowell and the No.19 machine in the third position for the 30-minute contest. McDowell strapped into the orange and black machine and settled in to what would become a history making run for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.

With his teammate Memo Gidley waiting by the phone (Gidley who was injured during the morning warm up for the Long Beach event) and Guy Cosmo pacing the pit area, McDowell made an incredible pass on the 23 car entering into turn one to take over the lead on the last lap. McDowell's victory during the qualifying race will not only go into the record books for Grand Am but more importantly help the Mooresville, NC -- based team get back into the championship hunt.

Quotes:

Michael McDowell "There were a lot of first for the team today. This was the first win for the No.19 Playboy/Uniden/Palms car and the first win of the season for Ford. I'm just glad we were able to run a clean race and take the win for our sponsors and for Memo. I was pushing hard during the last few laps of the race and when I saw the 23 car lift a bit coming down the front straightaway I saw an opportunity and took it. I really enjoyed the qualifying race format; I think it adds a level of excitement for the entire series. After our poor results in Long Beach, today's win should help us make up some room in the Championship."

Guy Cosmo "This was the easiest race I've ever won. Michael's given me an incredible opportunity to start from the pole in my debut race with the team. It's unfortunate that Memo (Gidley) will not be sitting on the pole with all the hard work and effort he's put into this operation but hopefully we'll bring home a good result. I'm looking forward to doing my part during the race and hand the car over to McDowell in a position for him to take the team's second win of the weekend."

-fm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Guy Cosmo