Portland: Randy Ruhlman practice one notes

RUHLMAN FOURTH IN FIRST PRACTICE AT PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY PORTLAND, Ore. (June 17, 2005) --The Trans-Am Series got back to racing this morning at the beautiful Portland International Raceway for the Rose City 100. Randy Ruhlman, the...

RUHLMAN FOURTH IN FIRST PRACTICE AT PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 17, 2005) --The Trans-Am Series got back to racing this morning at the beautiful Portland International Raceway for the Rose City 100. Randy Ruhlman, the Round 1 Trans-Am winner at the Long Beach Grand Prix, took to the newly reconfigured Portland track by quickly jumping into first position in the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette in the initial practice session of the weekend. Ruhlman's chief rivals in the Jaguars, Greg Pickett and Klaus Graf, put down a couple of quick final laps, pushing Ruhlman back to fourth overall at the end of the session. Paul Gentilozzi, last year's Portland winner and the 2004 Driver's Champion, finished seventh the session.

"This is such a great track, I love coming back to Portland," said Ruhlman after the session. "We ran really well here last year and had a fast car. They changed track configuration in the first turn this year, and that will make the race even more exciting to watch. We found out this morning that the car is working well, but still needs a little work. I think one of the most challenging things this weekend is going to the possibility of rain. We have been working on our set-up for the wet and dry, so I think we should be fast here either way."

Randy Ruhlman got the first win of the 2005 Trans-Am season on April 10 in the Cytomax Challenge at the Long Beach Grand Prix. He is a veteran of both road racing and NASCAR short track programs, but has recently concentrated his driving skills in the Trans-Am Series. Ruhlman finished third overall in the 2004 Trans-Am Driver's Championship with the closest points battle ever in Trans-Am history.

Last year, Ruhlman scored seven straight top five finishes, including three podiums: a second at Road America, another second at Toronto, and a third at Infineon. He was the pole sitter for the Road America race and sat on the front row for the Cleveland Grand Prix. Randy Ruhlman is fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history.

Randy Ruhlman, the driver of the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette in the Trans-Am Series, spent some of the time between races working with the Buckle Up America program to promote seat belt use. Ruhlman was the keynote speaker at the Cleveland House of Blues Kick-off of the Northeast Ohio "Click It or Ticket" campaign. The program was spearheaded by UHHS Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital's Outreach Program. Ruhlman also continues to work closely with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, especially in helping to promote the Tour de Road America on August 20th, to raise money for cancer survivorship.

-rr/dm-

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Series Trans-Am
Drivers Klaus Graf , Randy Ruhlman , Greg Pickett