CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 7, 2000) - Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports placed both of its Qvale Mangustas in the top ten at Cleveland last weekend when Brian Simo came home third in the ...
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 7, 2000) - Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports placed both of its Qvale Mangustas in the top ten at Cleveland last weekend when Brian Simo came home third in the #88 Tommy Bahama car, and Bruce Qvale, president of Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports, came home sixth at the Simple Green Trans-Am 100, part of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar. Simo's run was all that much more impressive for having to come from the very back of the season's largest starting field to gain his third-place finish. Qvale recovered from a mid-race spin that dropped him back to 13th from his ninth-place starting slot, staging a comeback of his own to take the sixth spot at the checkered flag.
"We had a great race car today," noted Simo after the race. "It was quite a setback for the whole team to have to start where we did, but I think it showed just what a great car we had that we were able to come all the way up through the field. Who knows what would have happened if we'd started up front, but that's what racing is all about."
Simo, who posted the fastest qualifying time, was placed at the back and had his time disallowed when his car was found to be one hundredth of an inch out of compliance during post-qualifying technical inspection. In legal trim, he was able to run a lap in the final practice even faster than he'd qualified, and easily posted the fastest lap of the race, at a 1:14.249, 102.11 mph. He retains the series points lead, with 171 points to race winner Paul Gentilozzi's 159.
"It was a simple oversight that caused the problem," said Joe Huffaker, vice president and technical director of Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports. "We really felt badly that it cost Brian so many positions, but he put in a tremendous drive today to recover from that. We're really proud of the race car we gave him, and the job he did with it."
"Except for that little spin, I had a great time," said Qvale of his run, by far the better of his two races this season. "This is such a great and competitive series, it was gratifying that I could come back after that and gain back so many spots."
The series now takes a six-week break before returning to action at Road America for the Motorola 220 Weekend, August 18-19. Telecast of the Cleveland race will be on Saturday, July 8 at 12:00 pm EDT, with the rebroadcast slated for Friday, July 14 at 12:00 pm EDT. The Speedvision Network will carry both broadcasts.