From 7th on the Grid, Rum Bum Racing Will Take on the Barber 200.

From 7th on the Grid, Rum Bum Racing Will Take on the Barber 200

Contact: Matt Cleary, Sunday Group Management

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., 8 April – For a team that has set the bar so high with dominating GS Class qualifying results over the last five races stretching back to last season in GRAND-AM Continental Sports Car Challenge competition, 7th on the grid is an uncharacteristic performance. But despite a frustrating qualifying session, the squad is focused on the big picture and will look to make the most out of round three of the 2011 championship season.

Robbed of one final practice session to try out some set up changes, Rum Bum Racing was hoping to keep its stellar streak of front-row performances going on Friday at Barber Motorsports Park.

When it came time to qualify, Longhi had one chance to get the most of the brand new Continental Tires. But despite posting a lap of the 2.3 mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park in just 1:37.773 sec., good for an average speed of 84.685 mph, the team will line up seventh on the grid. Showing how tight the competition is in the category, the time was just a handful of tenths off the pole.

“I’ll admit, after the qualifying results that we’ve had so far this year, I’m very frustrated,” said Longhi. “The team did a great job. This is a very difficult track for this car. Joe (Varde) and the whole crew have been working really hard on it. We basically had one shot, and I didn’t get everything that I could out of that lap and then, there was a yellow flag. From there, the tires were gone and I just didn’t have the pace to come up with another lap that was fast enough to fight back, and that was all she wrote. I’m not happy–we all know it’s not representative of what we are capable of.”

“There are a lot of cars in a small space on this track, and that can cause some problems in the race,” said Longhi as he looked ahead to the race. “The core focus is to drive within the car’s capabilities, be smart, avoid anyone else’s trouble, and come out of here with as many points as possible.”

The team has won before from further back in the pack, so tomorrow’s race doesn’t present them with any out-of-ordinary challenge. Master race tactician Joe Varde has the uncanny ability to read race conditions, fuel and tire consumption to make up the deficit from which they start. Both Longhi, who will start the race, and Plumb, who will bring it home, have the necessary maturity, speed, and patience to manage what will likely be a chaotic race filled with yellow flags.

“We’ve been trying a lot of different things with the set-up so far this weekend, and we also took another swing at it for qualifying, but we didn’t get to test it with the way the practice session was shortened,” said Plumb. “I know Nick is frustrated not to have the Rum Bum car up front like he normally does, but we know it’s a long race and we’ve just got to be smart and stay out of trouble and bring home some points. If we can just do that, we should be in very good shape. ”

The Barber 200 kicks off at 11:30 AM Central time, Saturday, April 9. Follow it live on

Follow the team at

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
317.908.2975 (m)

Based in Indianapolis, Sunday Group Management is a leading motorsports management and communications consulting firm.

Sunday Group Management works with clients in a variety of motorsports categories, including NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger, Riley Technologies, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series organization Michael Shank Racing, Continental Tire, and several teams and drivers in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.

For additional information:,,, or

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: