Kleinubing, Cunningham 1-2 in California All Five RealTime Acura Drivers Finish in Top 10 Again RealTime Acura driver Pierre Kleinubing dominated the SCCA SPEED Touring Car race during the NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend at Infineon Raceway, ...
Kleinubing, Cunningham 1-2 in California
All Five RealTime Acura Drivers Finish in Top 10 Again
RealTime Acura driver Pierre Kleinubing dominated the SCCA SPEED Touring Car race during the NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend at Infineon Raceway, taking sole possession of the points lead for the series Drivers' Championship.
Kleinubing qualified his Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles-sponsored TSX on the pole and led all 26 laps, fending off RealTime teammate Peter Cunningham's matching TSX by 1.857 seconds to score his 25th Touring Car win and RealTime's 59th.
"Pierre did an incredible job to put together a really nice lap in qualifying," said Cunningham. "He basically had the field covered, and his performance in the race showed his qualifying effort was just an indication of things to come in the race. The 1.99-mile NASCAR layout of the course was really beneficial for our car's front-wheel drive configuration because it eliminated the increasing-radius turn six."
The RealTime Acuras comprised exactly half of the top 10 finishers, and all five drivers are now in the top 10 of the season points after four of 10 rounds.
Eric Curran finished fifth in his RSX, jumping to ninth in the points after his unrepresentative finish at Round Two's St. Petersburg course knocked him down in the standings. "I think we're back on the right track with the set up for this RSX," Curran reported. "That St. Pete race was a bad deal I'd rather forget about and I'm much happier now that we've found our way back to the top 10!"
Sixth was Brandon Davis in a TSX. "The fact that Brandon finished as high as he did is even more remarkable when you consider a half shaft broke in his car during his qualifying lap," noted Crew Chief Mike Busalacchi. "Even with his slowing down, he still qualified 21st. His charge through the field during the race was well-documented by the TV cameras, and it gave everybody a good chance to see what Brandon's really made of."
Brandon's drive earned him the race's Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
Nick Esayian turned in another strong performance in his RealTime RSX, his fourth top 10 result in as many races, "Nick worked his way up to seventh late in the going before technical issues slowed his pace but he did a stellar job hanging on to 10th," Cunningham noted.
Kleinubing came into the race tied with Mazda racer Randy Pobst for the Drivers' Championship, but heads to the next race with a 12-point bulge. Cunningham is now the sole owner of third place, only nine points behind Pobst.
"The important thing," commented Team Manager Nathan Bonneau, "is that Acura now leads Mazda for the Manufacturers' Championship by three points and we're well ahead of BMW and Audi."
The Infineon race will air on the Speed Channel on a tape-delayed basis on July 8 at 300p EDT.
Immediately following Saturday afternoon's wine country adventure, the RealTime crew packed up their belongings and headed east on Interstate 80 to Utah's Miller Motorsports Park, to prepare the five-car fleet for a test there on Tuesday. The brand new 4.5--mile facility is located just outside Salt Lake City, and will host Round Five of the SPEED Touring Car Championship on July 13-15.