Soenen Motorsports Cleveland race report

(June 30, 2001) After posting an impressive qualifying time on Friday, Stu Hayner (Yorba Linda, CA) was forced to take the green flag from the 30th position rather than the 7th on the starting grid in Saturday's BFGoodrich Tires Cup SCCA Trans Am...

(June 30, 2001) After posting an impressive qualifying time on Friday, Stu Hayner (Yorba Linda, CA) was forced to take the green flag from the 30th position rather than the 7th on the starting grid in Saturday's BFGoodrich Tires Cup SCCA Trans Am 100.

During the closing laps of the qualifying session on Friday, Stu had an incident on the track where he had spun, and flat-spotted all four tires. Trans-Am rules state that in a case like this, if a team changes more than one tire, that team is to start the race from the back of the pack, therefore placing Stu, in the #58 Trenton Forging/Soenen Motorsports Ford Mustang, in the 30th starting spot. The Saturday morning session began at 8 am. During this practice, Stu noticed a considerable push in the car. Upon entering pit lane 3 times, a few changes were made to correct the problem.

The Trans Am Series 100 presented by Simple Green, was scheduled for 4:45 pm Saturday afternoon. Due to inclement weather that rolled in numerous times, activities were delayed approximately one hour. While the cars rolled to the grid, the skies opened up. The rain lasted about 20 minutes. At the actual drop of the green flag, the rain has ceased, leaving most teams in a compromising situation as they had chosen to go out on rain tires.

"I had Dave Moxlow, president of Trenton Forging, (Hayner's primary sponsor), in the stands this afternoon," said Hayner. "He's a pilot, so he was calling every local airport to check on the weather. He advised us that it was looking clear and that we should go to slicks. The gamble really paid off." A couple of other teams, including race winner Paul Gentilozzi, had also chosen this strategy. The track was quickly drying out, and those teams with slick tires were running much quicker lap times than the teams that had chosen to stay out on the rain tires.

Hayner quickly picked up position after position, closing in quickly on the race leader in the #3 Jaguar. "I could see ahead that Paul was having a little trouble, which allowed me to take the advantage. We were running as quick, if not quicker lap times toward the end of the race, as the leader. We were down a cylinder, only running on 7 by race end," said Hayner. "The team just did a fantastic job this weekend, when we pitted to do our tire change, I was in and out that fast!"

Stu brought the #58 Trenton Forging/Soenen Motorsports Ford Mustang to a well-deserved, long overdue 2nd place finish. Rounding out the top three was Johnny Miller in the #64 entry. See below for results.

Team owner Don Soenen sadly wasn't able to attend race day, but phoned several times during the closing moments of the race for updates. "I am just ecstatic about the outcome of this race," stated Don. "We are so very proud of everyone."

The points standings in the race for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup after round five are: Gentilozzi, 134; Miller, 129; Lou Gigliotti, 115; Simo, 114; Tommy Archer, 106; Michael Lewis, 86 points; Drissi, 67; Bob Ruman, 64; Simon Gregg, 62; Hayner, 60.

CBS Sports will broadcast today's race at 3:30 (EDT) on Sunday, July 1. Round six of the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, the Wine Country 100, will be broadcast live from Sears Point Raceway at 2:30 (EDT) on Saturday, July 21.

-Soenen Motorsports

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About this article
Series SCCA , Trans-Am
Drivers Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Lou Gigliotti , Bob Ruman , Michael Lewis