Tommy Bahama driver finishes 2nd at Atlanta. BRASELTON, Ga. (September 11, 2002) - Today Tom Gloy Racing and its drivers raced on the legendary road course located in Braselton, Ga. in the Trans-Am 100. In Round 11 of 12 in the 2002 BFGoodrich...
Tommy Bahama driver finishes 2nd at Atlanta.
BRASELTON, Ga. (September 11, 2002) - Today Tom Gloy Racing and its drivers raced on the legendary road course located in Braselton, Ga. in the Trans-Am 100. In Round 11 of 12 in the 2002 BFGoodrich Tires Cup Butch Leitzinger finished second and teammate Randy Ruhlman finished 20th.
Trans-Am last raced on the 2.54-mile road course in 1999. Leitzinger claimed his series-high fifth pole position of the Trans-Am Series season in Thursday's qualifying session. Leitzinger led a group of five Trans-Am drivers who qualified faster than the track record that was set in 1999. Leitzinger's time of 1:22.398 (110.974 mph) was over eight-tenths of a second faster than Brian Simo's 1999 pole time of 1:23.266 (108.087 mph).
Leitzinger and Boris Said battled nose to tail and side by side for most of the 40 lap race on the 12-turn road course. Entering today's race, rookie Leitzinger, remained in mathematical contention for the 2002 championship. Leitzinger, whose three victories rank second series-wide to Said has already clinched the AmeriSuites Rookie of the Year Award on the strength of his three victories and series-high five pole positions. The Tommy Bahama driver led the first seven laps until he pitted for fuel. Leitzinger reclaimed the lead on lap 23 and held off a hard charging Said until lap 33. The Tom Gloy entry was only 2.430 seconds behind Said at the finish line. Leitzinger's second place finish moved him from third in the drivers' championship to second. Leitzinger won the BFGoodrich* Tires "Take Control" Award for leading the most laps in today's race...Leitzinger led 17 of the 40 laps. For his efforts, he received a free set of BFGoodrich* g-ForceTM T/A* radials. Leitzinger recorded his seventh podium finish in his past nine starts, including victories at Mid-Ohio, Washington, D.C. and Trois-Rivieres.
"The Tommy Bahama car was working really well early," said Leitzinger. "About two-thirds of the way through the race, we developed a transmission problem; I couldn't get into third gear and Boris started gaining on me a ton. [On lap 34], he pulled alongside me, and if I was racing anyone else but Boris, I probably would have given him a little nudge, but he's a straight-up guy and he's always raced me cleanly, so when he pulled ahead, I let him go. With everything that happened, I'm very happy for the team," Leitzinger added. "It was a very good weekend for us."
Ruhlman, driving the Preformed Line Products/Coyote Closure Chevrolet Corvette, one of 22 competitors this weekend started the 40 lap event ninth. His entry had an electrical failure on the pace lap and only completed 18 laps. Ruhlman enters the next event sixth in the point standings.
The Trans-Am 100 Presented by The Crank - You've Never Seen a Ratchet Like This will air via tape delay on SPEED Channel on Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. ET. please check local listings. The final round of the series will be at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, VA is on October 27. The season closer will air on SPEED Channel, 1 p.m. ET, (live). For more information on Trans-Am Series go to: www.trans-amseries.com/index.html