John Baucom Finishes 2nd at Grand Prix of Cleveland Matthews, North Carolina -- John Baucom earned his first Trans-Am podium finish by racing the ...
John Baucom Finishes 2nd at Grand Prix of Cleveland
Matthews, North Carolina -- John Baucom earned his first Trans-Am podium finish by racing the #86 MAP Quality Engineering Mustang to a 2nd place finish in Sunday's exciting Grand Prix of Cleveland. "This is great. We're just ecstatic," said the former SCCA Club Racing phenom and President's Cup winner. "The MAP Mustang has always performed well at Cleveland, so I knew that we would have a good opportunity to contend for the win. It takes an incredible team effort to compete in Trans-Am, and our crew is really on top of their game right now. They are the reason why I am on the podium today."
Qualifying sixth, Baucom started the race on the pole because a competitor changed an engine and had to go to the back of the field. Therefore, Baucom was moved up to the 5th position and, due to the inverted starting of the "Fast Five" qualifiers, the MAP Quality Engineering Mustang lead the field into turn #1. "The weather was so hot that we decided to run conservatively in the early stages of the race to save our tires" said Crew Chief Allen Culpepper. Baucom settled into 4th position until a caution flag came out at lap 21. "That gave us the opportunity we needed to cool off our tires," said Culpepper. Once under green, Baucom pressed hard towards the front of the pack. On lap 26, Baucom passed Joey Scarallo to take over second position and set his sights on the race leader, Randy Ruhlman. For the next 10 laps, Baucom closed in on Ruhlman's bumper. "The car was obviously getting better and better as the race went on," said Chassis Engineer Doug Roberts referring to the fact that the #86 MAP Quality Engineering Mustang ran its fastest lap on lap #35 while no other competitor ran its fastest lap later than lap #19. However, just as Baucom pulled to within a second of the leader, a rear brake caliper failed. "John did a tremendous job to bring the car home in second position without rear brakes," said Roberts.
"I want to thank our sponsors, MAP Quality Engineering, SoftwareToolbox, Sportscar Authority, and DieCast Registry for their continued support of the Baucom Motorsports team. We look forward to building on this momentum in Toronto," said Baucom.
The Grand Prix of Cleveland will be televised (tape-delay) on SPEED Channel on Sunday July 3rd at 2:00 pm CST. The next race in the Trans-Am Series is the Molson Indy Toronto on Saturday July 9th.