Watkins Glen II: Banner Racing - Reese to sub for Edwards

Paul Edwards to miss Grand-Am Round 9 at Watkins Glen Team Owner Reese to co-drive Drinkin' Mate Pontiac with Kelly Collins Watkins Glen, New York (August 6, 2009): When the ...

Paul Edwards to miss Grand-Am Round 9 at Watkins Glen
Team Owner Reese to co-drive Drinkin' Mate Pontiac with Kelly Collins

Watkins Glen, New York (August 6, 2009): When the #07 Drinkin Mate Pontiac GXP.R starts the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen on Friday for Round 9 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Championships Presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 it will be without standout driver Paul Edwards.

The Watkins Glen race will end a continuous streak of 50 Grand-Am Rolex races for Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards as Paul Edwards will miss the second Grand-Am Rolex race at Watkins Glen this weekend after suffering a severe shoulder injury in a mountain biking accident.

Team owner Leighton Reese, of Minnetonka Minnesota, will co-drive the race with Collins. Reese qualified the #07 Drinkin' Mate Pontiac in 8th position and will start the race.

"It won't be all that tough," said Paul Edwards of having to watch the #07 Drinkin' Mate Pontiac GXP race at Watkins Glen without him in the driver's seat. "I have already gotten past the fact that any hope of repeating as Grand-Am GT champion is over, so I am here to do whatever I can to help Kelly [Collins] win the title."

"I was immediately bummed for Paul and for the team because Paul is a big part of this effort," said Kelly Collins. "Our strongest asset was how well he and I work together. Me doing my job and Paul doing his. It will seem very odd running a race without him as a co-driver."

It is unknown at this time when Edwards will be able to return to action in the #07 Drinkin' Mate Pontiac. He is scheduled for an exploratory MRI on Monday.

"I am hopeful for a return at Montreal but I have torn tendons and it is hard to say how long they will take to heal," said Edwards. "It wasn't that hard a fall but unfortunately I fell on a rock that seemed to catch me perfectly. Or imperfectly as it turned out."

Reese will start the race having qualified the Drinkin' Mate Pontiac in 8th position. This is Reese's first Grand-Am action since driving the 06 Banner Pontiac in the 2008 season ending race at Miller Motorsports Park.

"I was a little rusty but I am in really good shape physically and the 07 Drinkin' Mate Pontiac is a good car and we have been making a lot of progress this weekend," said Reese. "I am going to start but I will stop to get Kelly into the car during the first caution no matter when it is. I am not running for points so we don't have to worry about me getting in laps and we need to make our driver change under caution because on the short Watkins Glen layout we will get lapped trying to make a driver change under green."

Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards first teamed up in the #07 LRPG Pontiac GXP.R at the beginning of the 2007 season. They were first paired up at the beginning of the 2006 season running the entire 16 race schedule in a TRG Pontiac GTO finishing 3rd in the championship that season. During their 50 race run Collins and Edwards scored 9 GT wins and 27 podiums never finishing worse that 3rd in the drivers' championship.

Collins and Edwards are presently tied for third in the championship behind the leading GT team of Werner and Keen.

-credit: br

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Kelly Collins , Leighton Reese