Third Place at the Glen for Planet Earth, Despite Rain Watkins Glen, New York - Joe Nonnamaker received his first podium finish of the 2004 season while driving the No. 43 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports car. The third place finish occurred...
Third Place at the Glen for Planet Earth, Despite Rain
Watkins Glen, New York - Joe Nonnamaker received his first podium finish of the 2004 season while driving the No. 43 ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports car. The third place finish occurred during the Sahlen's 200 at the Glen race. The Friday evening race, held at the Watkins Glen International track in Watkins Glen, New York, was inundated with heavy rains days prior to and during the event. The weather resulted in the canceling of the qualifying round. The ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports team planned a three car and three driver efforts. Craig Stanton and Nonnamaker's son Wayne joined the track in the No. 41 and No. 42 cars.
As if the weather did not provide enough risk for Joe, driving the entire 200 miles of the race in a solo effort added to the race's intensity. He finished third in the Super Grand Sport class after starting dead last due to the lack of a qualifying round. This was Joe's fourth top five finish for the ROLEX season.
"I made some good decisions on my pit stops and I am glad that I pitted when I did especially with all of the accidents that occurred. The weather was really a problem for everyone from Daytona Prototype to the Super Grand Sport class," commented Joe.
During a torrential downpour the ORISON cars began to make their way to the pits to exchange slick tires for rains. The No. 43 and No. 42 cars made their way safely into the pits but fear of making a timely pit stop kept Craig Stanton in the No. 41 car out on the track.
The No. 41 car led for the first 13 laps of the race and then dropped back behind the No. 36 car. Stanton maintained a top three position until a heavy rain sent several cars, including the No. 41 Porsche, into the barrier.
In his last lap before planning to pit the No. 41 car hydroplaned, slammed into the barriers at turn eleven. Three other cars attempted to avoid the accident but were unsuccessful. Stanton, thankfully, was uninjured after the pileup.
"Craig is in great shape. I think that was a huge factor in him getting out of that accident unharmed. It was a very scary situation for all cars involved but we were lucky," commented Wayne Nonnamaker.
Wayne who has recently won two Grand American ROLEX races in a row faced mechanical problems early on in the race but was able to place sixth.
"My right rear shock went out but I was happy to get sixth. Our crew did a great job of making sure that I was able to continue. I had to be extra cautious going into the left turns. It would not have been worth it for me to take any unnecessary risks considering the circumstances of the weather," Wayne added.
The ORISON-Planet Earth Motorsports team will once again enter Grand American ROLEX competition at Homestead in September. Visit www.P-E-M.com to view their successes in the Super Grand Sport class.