Watkins Glen II: Krohn Racing preview

This Friday's Crown Royal 200 at The Glen marks Round 12 of 14 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The competitors will take to the fast 2.45-mile, 11-turn "short course" on the historic Watkins Glen International circuit in Watkins Glen, New...

This Friday's Crown Royal 200 at The Glen marks Round 12 of 14 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The competitors will take to the fast 2.45-mile, 11-turn "short course" on the historic Watkins Glen International circuit in Watkins Glen, New York for a two-hour "sprint" race format.

The Krohn Racing team, who normally runs strong at Watkins Glen, will field two cars -- the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of team owner/driver Tracy Krohn and 2004 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype champion Max Papis; and the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, shared by teammates Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson. Krohn Racing's Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson won the Six Hours at the Glen in 2005 and Krohn teammates Jorg Bergmeister and Boris Said won the same event in 2006.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

There are only three races left, so it is crunch time for the championship. Your thoughts?

We obviously need to make things happen, so I think that we now need to push as hard as we can to stay in the points chase. This will mean we need to be as aggressive as we can to gain on the field.

What would winning the Truman Award mean to you?

"First, it is a real validation for the team in that the car has to be prepared properly, and pit stops and maintenance has to be at the forefront of our efforts in order for me to drive the car well enough to earn this award.

Second, the only way for me to become a better driver is to gauge my performance against fulltime professional drivers. I used to play a lot of competitive golf and I would always get better by playing with players that were much better than me. The same holds true with racing! I believe that I continue to improve by putting in laps under race conditions. I believe that one of the biggest keys to getting better is more seat time done well. Thus, having Max, Nic, and Colin to help me with my driving is time very well spent.

Third, I like the idea of beating all the other drivers that are not full time professionals. Why not? I am sure they would enjoy beating me.I am looking to the future and what our goals are for next year!

Fourth, we are building a new prototype for next year and I want to ingrain the practice and coaching that I am receiving this year in order to show the rest of the paddock what this team of drivers, myself included, can accomplish in the new Lola DP that is being built as a partnership of Lola Cars and Krohn Racing."

Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

The Krohn team has had success at Watkins Glen, including victories the last two years and you are a two-time winner at Watkins Glen, any expectation for Friday's race?

"I'm expecting to be competitive and have a great car as we've had in the last couple of events. My goal will be to get the Truman Award for Tracy and it will be really special to bring the 76 car on the podium."

Regarding your third-place finish in the Busch race in Montreal last weekend and plans for this weekend:

"It was a great event for me. I really enjoyed having Tracy come over and shake my hand before and after the race. It was pretty special to have him there and that he had the time to come by. I was happy that I was able to show him a good result. I ran together with the best of the business and finishing in the Top 3 in just my second road course race in a Busch car is like a win. It was a great weekend from beginning to the end.

This weekend I will be running again in the same car with the same team (No. 1 Phoenix Racing Chevy). It's going to be another exciting race. I think I'm going to benefit from running in both classes, especially since they are focused on different days. We still have two extra steps to take from third to be on the top in winner's circle. I'm going to do everything I can to repeat the good show that I had at Montreal and trying to see if we can add something to it."

Fellow Krohn driver Nic Jonsson and his wife just had a baby and named him Max. Any thoughts or advice?

"It's awesome. He told me that he and his wife liked the name Max. Although there is only one "Mad Max", there is room for other Max's in the world. I want to congratulate Nic and his wife on their son. I don't think he's realized all that it means being a father yet, but he will have a whole new world awaiting in front of him. It's a fantastic day and I want to congratulate him because it is a day he will remember forever."

Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Do you like the long or short course better at Watkins Glen and why?

"For me, I like the short course because it is a quicker, faster track, which I like. I like going fast and really enjoy that. I'm definitely a fan of short course."

Only three races are left this season so it is crunch time in the championship. Your thoughts?

"I think we are certainly in a tough spot now in the championship. I believe we have to look for trying to win races the next couple of races. We're not in the position to have to look at it from a championship battle. We have to look at it to go out and win races and show the Krohn Racing cars are fast and can win races. I think that has to be a little bit more of the mindset."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Do you like the long or short course better at Watkins Glen and why?

"The whole Watkins Glen facility is always great to go back to. They have such tradition up there and fantastic surrounding. The crowd up there is always very good and very knowledgeable, so it's always fun to go back there. As far as the race track goes, I think for me personally, I like a technical race course. Obviously the long course is much more technical than the short course, which we'll be running since we are racing together with NASCAR this weekend. I still do believe we have a good race car. Every time we go up there, we seem to be very competitive and should be very competitive this time around again.

What are your expectations and goals going into the Friday's race?

"You always have a goal when you go to a race every week and that's to win. I strongly feel our expectation this weekend is to go out there and try to win the race. We have not been able to win a race so far this year and I feel we are due for one because we've been on pole, we've been very fast, we've been leading laps and leading races. I don't see any reason why that couldn't come this weekend.

The goal when I got over to the 75 was to try to finish in the Top 3 in points. After having a poor finish in Montreal, I think it's going to be very difficult for us to finish in the Top 3 in points this year, unless we have some help from other competitors -- meaning that they have some misfortune or something like that. It's going to be very difficult. I think our goal now is to try and finish as high as possible in the points, with the main goal right now to try to win one or two races still this year."

How are you adjusting to be a new Dad? (Nic and his wife Helene had a son, Max, born last Thursday, August 2nd while Nic was in Montreal.)

"Quite frankly, I obviously am very fortunate to have a healthy newborn at home named Max. I haven't really adapted a lot to being a new dad yet because I don't think it really has sunk in yet. I'm really excited about being a Dad and as all parents say, he's a beautiful baby. It's going to be a lot of fun, a lot of adaptation over the next few months. Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife who knows what I do and lets me go off with my race cars and have fun while she stays home taking care of the baby and other things."

Nic finished 12th in his NASCAR Busch debut last Saturday in Montreal. Tell us about that experience.

I was asked to drive the No. 28 Yellow Transportation car for J. Robinson/Haas Racing car in Montreal for my very first time in a NASCAR. I have to say I had a very positive, fantastic experience, especially with the crowd up there. The team had prepped the car fantastic and we ran flawless the whole race. We were in contention to win the race. We were running in the Top 5 the whole day. I was very surprised I was on pace as much as I was the whole weekend -- pretty much Top 10 every time out from the first practice session. I had a great experience and would love to get a chance to go back and race again, which the team is discussing with me. But this weekend I'm not going to do double-duty. I'm going to focus on the 75 Krohn car in Grand-Am.

The Krohn Racing team continues in fourth place in the Rolex Series Prototype team points chase with the No. 75 entry and 11th place with the No. 76 entry after 11 of 14 races. Braun has five podium finishes, Papis four and Jonsson one. Braun has also captured two pole positions. Krohn has one Top Five and four Top Ten finishes so far this year.

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Krohn Racing , Phoenix Racing