Gentilozzi Sears Point preview

Sonoma, Calif. - Two-time Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi intends to extend his winning streak to four-in-row when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Sears Point Raceway following a five-year hiatus for the Wine...

Sonoma, Calif. - Two-time Trans-Am Series champion Paul Gentilozzi intends to extend his winning streak to four-in-row when the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Sears Point Raceway following a five-year hiatus for the Wine Country 100 on July 20-21. Gentilozzi, driver of the No.3 Johnson Controls/HomeLink Jaguar XKR, scored back-to-back wins at Mosport, Detroit, and Cleveland.

Gentilozzi's victory in Cleveland gave him the lead in the championship title hunt where he maintains a five-point advantage over his teammate Johnny Miller in second place.

Gentilozzi, who has 22 Trans-Am wins, is enthusiastic about the return of Trans-Am competition to Sears Point. When the series last visited the track in 1995, Gentilozzi's solid second place finish in a Camaro clinched the coveted Manufacturers' Championship for Chevrolet.

"This is a great track. It's very challenging and tough on the different car systems including tires and brakes," said Gentilozzi who ranks first in all-time Trans-Am top-five (82) and top-ten (109) finishes, "Fast Five" qualifying starts (97), race starts (167), and prize money winnings. "This is a transition track where driving finesse and smoothness play a key role since you're always turning; it's not a fast top speed circuit."

Those drivers having competed here recently in the Winston Cup event should have a distinct advantage according to Gentilozzi. "They'll have the added advantage of track familiarity," said Gentilozzi. "Even though the cars handle differently, they'll know the landmarks, the cracks in the pavement, all the little nuances that can make a huge difference."

Gentilozzi believes he knows what it will take to win here. "Patience," explained Gentilozzi, who finished second in the points standings in 2000. "There are a lot of opportunities here to make a mistake. You can spin, get caught in traffic, and if you get off course, you can do some real damage. Qualifying well here is very important since good track position can help you avoid getting caught up in other drivers' mistakes.

"This is the kind of track where when you win, you say, 'Wow, I survived'," concluded Gentilozzi. And Gentilozzi prides himself on being a survivor.

-RM

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller