Watkins Glen II: SunTrust Racing race report

SunTrust Race Team Wins it Again at Watkins Glen Watkins Glen, New York (August 12, 2005) Wayne Taylor and Max "The Ax" -- Angelelli drove the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley to their fourth victory, and second consecutive, of the 2005 Grand ...

SunTrust Race Team Wins it Again at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, New York (August 12, 2005) Wayne Taylor and Max "The Ax" -- Angelelli drove the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley to their fourth victory, and second consecutive, of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series tonight at Watkins Glen International in the CompUSA 200 at The Glen in a highly competitive race.

Once again, incredible driving and excellent race strategy were key to the team's victory. The two-hour race was the shortest sprint race of the season and the first victory for Taylor, Angelelli and team owner Bill Riley at the historic New York circuit. The victory added another 35 points to their 247 for a new total of 282, a 21-point lead over the second place No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi team.

"I had some difficulty getting through traffic and getting passed under yellow," said SunTrust car owner Wayne Taylor. "Our plan was obviously to be ahead of the 01 car. Max and all the guys did an outstanding job. From a points standpoint, it's a little better for us.

"I've always wanted to win at The Glen," added Taylor. "It was really great to win because of the championship. We put another two positions between us and the 01 car, so I think now I can concentrate on coming back here and trying to win some more. At least I got through that never winning part at this track."

"What can I say? I'm very happy!" said the hotshoe Angelelli. "Honestly, I didn't expect a win because a win is always so difficult to build. But, I am going to take this win with great pleasure. From my perspective this win will not change anything on our strategy and attitude towards the championship. Even if it looks like a big gap between us and the second car in the championship, it is still very little. Everybody can remember last year we had an even larger margin and we almost got it. It is still a long way to go.

"There was a lot of pressure (at the restart near the end of the race) because I was building a little gap to be comfortable for the last five laps, and the last yellow came," added Max "The Ax". "It made me scared a little bit. So I really concentrated, and I tried to turn a good first lap. I was lucky to have it, and I was building my gap."

"It's a great win today," said Bill Riley. "It's strange that I've raced so long in American but this is the first one I've won as a team owner at Watkins Glen. I've had customer cars -- the Dysons have won so many races here it's not funny. As a team owner, it's my first win here, so it's pretty cool. It is great to win these races and hopefully we'll win some more, but we just have to take each race and fight each race individually until the end of the year. Hopefully at the next one at Mid-Ohio we can do that."

Five cautions for 24 of the 75 laps and six lead changes kept the race interesting. Polesitter Fabrizio Gollin in the No. 77 Crown Royal Ford Doran led the pack for the first eleven laps and again for another 18 laps mid-race. The first caution, on lap 13, brought numerous pit stops and a couple lead changes.

Angelelli took the lead from Scott Pruett in the No. 01 CompUSA/Ganassi Lexus Riley on Lap 55, through two cautions and held on through the final lap. A late hard-charge from Alex Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Blackhawk Racing Pontiac Riley added extra pressure on Angelelli. Additionally, Max "the Ax" Angelelli set the fastest lap of the race, his fifth of the year, on lap 62 with a time of 1:09.189 at 91.796 mph. Riley chassis again dominated by collected the top four positions. Pontiac powerplants took five of the top six positions.

-suntrustracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Fabrizio Gollin , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor