Kendall takes victory at Road America

The man is back! Tommy Kendall took his first victory of 2004 at the Road America 4.048-mile road circuit. Kendall returned this year to the series where he notched four Trans-Am Series championships to drive the new Jaguar AJ-V8...

The man is back! Tommy Kendall took his first victory of 2004 at the Road America 4.048-mile road circuit. Kendall returned this year to the series where he notched four Trans-Am Series championships to drive the new Jaguar AJ-V8 for Rocketsports Racing.

"This was worth waiting for," commented Kendall. "It has been seven years since my last victory and a lot of water has run under the bridge since then."

Kendall has been close to taking the first win for the new Jaguar and has placed it on the pole. Today's victory was a surprise as Kendall had to move up through the field from the 13th starting position to notch his 27th career win.

"The races earlier in the year were more frustrating. "My goals for myself this year was to have a good time. That kept me sane during the tough periods and it was tough watching the team struggle. I am proud to give the AJ-V8 its first victory," continued Kendall.

Polesitter Randy Ruhlman clinched the second podium step in his Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. He held the lead for the first 19 laps before Kendall took it. The two ran nose-to-tail for the remaining six laps; the margin was just 0.842-seconds at the finish lap.

"We had a great car today," Ruhlman said. "We just made a couple of mistakes that gave Tommy (Kendall) the edge. You really have to run a perfect game when you're running against guys like Tommy."

The 2003 Rookie of the Year finished on the final podium spot just over one-second behind the top two. Jorge Diaz, Jr promotes his home race in Puerto Rico in his Jaguar XKR; the season finale for the Trans-Am series.

"We were close to Randy (Ruhlman) at the beginning of the race," explained Diaz on his race. "I thought he would wear out his tires. At the end we were just too far back. It was an awesome race."

Former series champion Greg Pickett finished fourth.

Paul Fix returned to the series in a GT-1 class Ford Mustang and was the top finisher.

Ruhlman's fourth podium this year came after he earned his first Trans-Am pole. Ruhlman is now fourth in points, just nine markers away from the lead.

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Paul Fix , Randy Ruhlman , Tom Kendall , Greg Pickett , Jorge Diaz