GRAND-AM News And Notes: Watkins Glen

Begin forwarded message:

From: GRAND-AM Communications <Grand-AMCommunications>

Subject: GRAND-AM News And Notes: Watkins Glen

Date: August 8, 2012 4:58:34 PM EDT

To: GRAND-AM Communications <Grand-AMCommunications>

Please see attached News And Notes, below is a text-only version


The Race: Continental Tire 200 presented by Dunn Tire
The Place: Watkins Glen International
The Date: Saturday, Aug. 11
The Time: 6 p.m. (ET)
TV: SPEED, 6 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN Radio
Distance: 2 Hours

After Indy Win, Popow Looks to Continue ‘Dream Season’

Alex Popow made his first GRAND-AM Rolex Series victory one to remember.
The Venezuelan joined IndyCar star Sebastien Bourdais in winning the recent Brickyard Grand Prix, GRAND-AM’s first race at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Not only did Popow get to kiss the bricks, the victory also gave him a “championship within a championship,” individual Daytona Prototype honors in the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by, and the $100,000 team title for Starworks Motorsport.
“Indianapolis was very, very big,” Popow said. “It’s amazing to win a major championship in only my second year here. That gives me confidence to keep going, and I’m looking forward to a stronger run next year.”
This weekend, Popow returns in the team’s No. 2 Ford/Riley as Starworks looks to continue its dream season. Popow and fellow full-time Starworks driver Ryan Dalziel were part of the team’s runner-up finish in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona while Dalziel finished third at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in July and was part of Starworks’ class-winning efforts in both the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Pruett, Rojas Get First Crack At Milestone Win For Team Owner

Scott Pruett
and Memo Rojas teamed with Joey Hand and Graham Rahal in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona to score the “Chip Slam,” givingChip Ganassi Racing victories in the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Rolex 24 over the course of 12 months.
This weekend, the drivers of the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley are looking to give the Ganassi organization its 150th victory in combined GRAND-AM, NASCAR and major open-wheel competition at the Continental Tire 200 presented by Dunn Tire.
Pruett and Rojas are currently leading the DP standings in quest of their third consecutive title – and fourth in five seasons. Pruett and Rojas won the title in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley in 2008, 2010 and 2011. While the pair won at least five races in each of its championship seasons (six in 2008, nine in 2011 and five in 2011), their only 2012 victory was at Road America. Pruett also won the DP title in 2004, winning four races co-driving with Max Papis.
Pruett is the leading winner in GRAND-AM history with 37 DP and 38 class victories, including Road America in June; Rojas is second with 24 DP victories. He also has a solid resume at Watkins Glen International. He has six Rolex Series victories at the circuit, winning the August event in 2010 with Rojas and in 2006 with Luis Diaz. Pruett was a five-time competitor in the Finger Lakes 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, finishing second in 2003 and fourth in 2005, both with Chip Ganassi Racing. He also raced four times in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, winning the pole and finishing eighth in 2001. He competed in four IROC events, finishing second in 1989, third in 1988 and fourth in 1987.

Unfinished Business: Magnus Racing Seeks Redemption At Watkins Glen

Magnus Racing came to Watkins Glen for the Sahlen’s Six Hours in June with the GT lead in the North American Endurance Championship presented by by virtue of winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona. But only 12 laps into the Sahlen’s Six Hours the hopes of John Potter and Andy Lally went up in flames when the No. 44 Porsche GT3 fell victim to electrical problems.
Undeterred, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based team went to work. They rebuilt the damaged car in three weeks and had it ready for the Brickyard Grand Prix. Potter and Lally became GRAND-AM’s first GT winners at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and also wrapped up the $50,000 NAEC GT title.
“It’s unbelievable how hard they worked and it’s a perfect reward for such a great crew,” said Potter. Lally added, “I thought the NAEC was really cool when I first heard about it. To actually win it – combining it with victories at Indianapolis and the Rolex 24 At Daytona – is really epic.”
Lally has added incentive for a strong showing in the return to the Glen. WGI is the home track for Lally, a native of Northport, N.Y. He returned to the Rolex Series in 2012 after competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last year, winning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. He is a three-time competitor in the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, with his best finish 18th in 2010.

Jordan Taylor To Make Daytona Prototype Season Debut For Action Express

Back in June, Action Express Racing scored a thrilling victory in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, with Joao Barbosa and Darren Lawwinning in the No. 9 Corvette DP. Barbosa caught Alex Gurney in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP in traffic with 20 minutes remaining and used lapped cars to his advantage down the stretch, winning by .238 seconds.
Barbosa and Law return in the No. 9 Corvette for Saturday’s Continental Tire 200 presented by Dunn Tire. They will have a new teammate in the team’s No. 5 entry, with David Donohue joined by Jordan Taylor.
Taylor was approached by Action Express Racing after he tested his father Wayne Taylor’s No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Taylor joined Action Express for a tire test at Watkins Glen, leading to the invitation to race this weekend.
“It’s just a one-race deal,” Taylor said. “When the team called and asked if I would be available to do the race with them, of course I said yes. I’ve always wanted to drive in DPs, and especially with a successful team like Action Express and David Donohue – you can’t really say no.”
It will also mark the first time in several years that Taylor has gone head-to-head with his older brother Ricky Taylor, who shares their father’sNo. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP with Max Angelelli.
“It will be interesting to see what happens, and I know Ricky will be one of the toughest guys to go up against,” Taylor said. “I think it will be a little awkward to begin with, but it’s just going to be another race car on the track and another competitor. Once I’m in the race car, we’ll be trying to beat any car that’s out there.”

Curran Headlines List of CTSCC Drivers Attempting ZIPPO 200

With the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on an off weekend a number of the series’ top competitors have decided to take their talents to Watkins Glen and try their hand at stock car racing on The Glen’s 2.45-mile short course. Led by Brickyard Sports Car Challenge winner Eric Curran, this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series field features a who’s-who of some of Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s best.
Joining Curran in the ZIPPO 200 are Matt Bell, driver of the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R and Ryan Ellis, driver of the No. 30 i-Moto Mazda Speed 3.
Bell, who will be driving the No. 39 Global Barter Chevrolet in the ZIPPO 200 on Saturday, currently sits seventh in GS points with a season-best finish of fifth at Mid-Ohio. He has made one other Nationwide Series start this season, finishing 34th at Road America.
Ellis also made his lone Nationwide Series start at Road America finishing 39th and will return at Watkins Glen driving the No. 52 Chevrolet for NASCAR veteran Jimmy Means. Ellis sits 15th in ST points and has one win on the season (Homestead).
The winner of the inaugural race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Curran has enjoyed a stellar season driving the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro. Driving with co-driver Lawson Aschenbach, Curran has scored podiums in four of the last five Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races. Despite a season-opening finish of 22nd at Daytona, Curran and Aschenbach sit third in GS points, just seven points out of first.
Curran will make his Nationwide Series debut this weekend in the No. 53 Dodge for NDS Motorsports. If he needs any help he can lean on Rolex Series teammate Boris Said, who is a frequent NASCAR road course competitor and will be competing in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
“I’m really excited for my Nationwide debut this weekend. I grew up racing in New England and won my first race here back in 1996,” Curran said. “To make a great opportunity even better I’ll be racing the No. 53 at Montreal the following weekend as well.”

Said Set For 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Race At The Glen

Boris Said
is used to double duty weekends, racing the Turner Motorsports BMW M3 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in addition to sharing the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Corvette in the Rolex Series with Eric Curran.
Said shares the No. 97 BMW M3 with Michael Marsal, with their best finish third season fourth at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
With the CTSCC not in action this weekend, Said will double up at Watkins Glen, driving the No. 32 Ford for Jack Roush Ford in Sunday’s Finger Lakes 355 At The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Said is an 11-time Sprint Cup Series competitor at The Glen since 1999, scoring two top-10 finishes – including his career-best third in 2005. Said has 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, winning two pole positions.

Watkins Glen NN_2_FINAL.pdf

Matt Cleary
Sunday Group Management
317.908.2975 (m)

For additional information:,,

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: