John Baucom Races to Top Five Finish at the Molson Indy Toronto Matthews, North Carolina -- John Baucom earned his third top five finish in a row at Saturday's Molson Indy Toronto Trans-AM race, finishing in 5th place on the 1.75 mile street...
John Baucom Races to Top Five Finish at the Molson Indy Toronto
Matthews, North Carolina -- John Baucom earned his third top five finish in a row at Saturday's Molson Indy Toronto Trans-AM race, finishing in 5th place on the 1.75 mile street course in the shadow of the historic Price's Gate landmark. "This was by far the best we have ever run here in Toronto, and our car was actually much better than the 5th place result," said driver John Baucom.
The race weekend threw many challenges at the Baucom Motorsports crew as the car ran several seconds off the leaders during practice and Friday's qualifying. Several adjustments were made to the chassis on Saturday morning prior to the final practice. However, the changes resulted in even slower lap times. "The Toronto circuit is unusual for a street course in that it has several high speed corners. This places a premium on chassis set up, and we just could not find the sweet spot," said Crew Chief Allen Culpepper. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Baucom and Chassis Engineer Doug Roberts took a radically different approach to the set up as they prepared the car for Saturday afternoon's race.
Not knowing what to expect, the #86 MAP Quality Engineering Mustang staged for the race starting in 7th position. The Baucom Motorsports horsepower under the hood was on display early as Baucom accelerated at the green flag on the long front straight, passing three cars before entering turn 1. "We weren't surprised to see John passing on the straight, but you better believe were shocked to see him holding onto 4th position lap after lap, without losing ground to the leaders. Obviously, we got the suspension figured out correctly," said an ecstatic Roberts.
Battling for position throughout the race, Baucom made contact with a competitor just before the lap 37 caution flag. "The contact was really minor, but it must have been enough to break one of our lugs loose," said Culpepper, referring to a loose rear wheel that kept Baucom from challenging for the podium at the end of the race. "Trans-AM is often described as 'full contact' racing, and that's why our fans love the series. We were just happy to cross the finish line without the wheel falling off."
"I want to say a special thank you to our race sponsors The Strand Restaurant and the Delta Chelsea Hotel," said Baucom, who conducted an exclusive autograph session in the lobby of the Delta Chelsea. "The Delta Chelsea is Toronto's premier resort hotel and The Strand Restaurant was named Toronto's restaurant of the year, so be sure to make your reservations accordingly the next time you visit Toronto."
The Molson Indy Toronto will be televised (tape-delay) on SPEED Channel on Sunday July 17th at 12:30 pm Eastern. The Baucom Motorsports team will race next at the Cytomax® Grand Prix of Denver on Saturday, August 13th.