Ruhlman overcomes obstacles to start race, starting from the back still looking for a win CLEVELAND (June 25, 2005) -- Randy Ruhlman, a native of Cleveland and the current Trans-Am points leader, returned home to race in today's Trans-Am on the...
Ruhlman overcomes obstacles to start race, starting from the back still looking for a win
CLEVELAND (June 25, 2005) -- Randy Ruhlman, a native of Cleveland and the current Trans-Am points leader, returned home to race in today's Trans-Am on the Tarmac at Cleveland's Burke Airport. Already though, he has had to overcome some tough obstacles to make the race. But race he will, as Ruhlman will have to start starting from the back of the grid in his #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette when a part broke sending Ruhlman into the barriers in the first practice session.
Fresh off a win at Long Beach and a second place finish last week in Portland, Ruhlman in his #49 Corvette opened practice yesterday with the second fastest time of the morning. On the final lap of the session, adversity struck. While going down the straight away at 150 miles per hour something broke, and sent Ruhlman and the Corvette straight into the concrete barrier. The impact destroyed the front end of the car. The entire left side of the suspension and nose of the car was crushed; yet the team spirits were not.
While Ruhlman was taken to the Champ Car Medical center and was released unhurt, the team set to work on the car. The broken parts and engine were removed, as the chassis builder boarded a plane in Minneapolis to help with the repairs. Working throughout the night the team, welded pounded, repaired and replaced the entire front end of the car. By morning, when the eager, but sore driver, returned to the track, the car was waiting, ready to go.
Ruhlman promptly went out and topped the leader board with the fast lap in the final practice session before the race. Ruhlman was pleased with the car and the handling, and just wanted just some minor changes before the race.
"The guys worked so quickly and well together. This is an exceptional team that will do whatever it takes to try to win the Championship. We're going to have to start at the back of the field since we missed, not only the second practice session, but we also missed qualifying. I think we have a very fast car, and while I'll need to get through traffic to get up to the Jaguars up front, winning from the back has been done before. I think we have just the car to be up there again," says Ruhlman.