Weekend recap #1… The Continental Tire Challenge is good racing and I really enjoyed the race. I was a little concerned that with 70+ cars in the race it would be a bash fest, but it wasn’t. All the drivers raced clean and that made for some great racing. The Momentum Team did a great job preparing to Camaro’s (#05 and #06). Unfortunately I had to start the race from the pit lane due to a last minute change on the car that caused us to be late for the pre-staging. Starting last was tough as the Ford Mustangs, BMW and Porsches are a lot faster than our Camaro. As I was racing my way through the field and gaining positions I received a black flag for being too aggressive on the re-start after a yellow flag. So with a stop & go penalty I now had to make my way back through the field of cars, which I did until I missed a shift. Causing the car to spin sideways on the track where I was clipped in the front by another car which put us out of the race. It is unfortunate that my co-driver and friend did not get his chance to drive as planned, I do feel that we would have had a respectful result. I do appreciate the support that Team Momentum, Texas Heart Institute, Mona Vie and Edge Eyewear has giving to our race program. We believe in their products and are proud to share with all.
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Testing News… I just finished two days of testing with Momentum Autosports at Eagle Canyon race track outside of Dallas. I drove the new Riley Camero and felt that is was a very easy car to drive, certainly a competitive car. The Momentum team is new to the Continental Challenge series and I am delighted to have the opportunity to drive for them. Please visit their website to appreciate the quality of detail that carries through to their racecars www.momentumautosports.com. I look forward to seeing this team being a strong contender in the Continental Challenge Series in Grand-am.
I had the opportunity to visit the Texas Heart Institute Monday afternoon and met with several key principles of the foundation. I can say that I have a whole new appreciation for the Texas Heart Institute and what Dr. Denton Cooley has created in the medical research of Cardio Vascular disease. Later that evening, we attended the “2010 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona” dinner at Tony’s Restaurant in Houston, TX to honor the Texas Heart Institute with many special guests. Dr. Denton Cooley started off the evening welcoming each guest and an opening speech. Kevin Paige spoke about the THI Art Car painting that was auctioned off among other unique items. The evening was wonderful and the food was fantastic. Many Thanks to Burns & McDonald for a special event.
I visited MSR Houston race track were they had the 24 Hours of LeMons race. It was a first for me to see these $500 cars in action (100+ cars racing). What a fun way to go racing and not break the bank. Some of the participants really put a big effort into decorating their car like an art car where others keep it more basic. In the end it all works out to just good old fun racing. If the tech inspection people feel that you have more than $500 invested they dock you penalty laps, and the penalty laps can add up fast…
MSR (Motor Sport Ranch) Houston is a great facility with lots of things to do from family fun to corporate events. They have arrive & drive go-karting, teen age driving schools, safety schools to more serious racing schools. I must say that just spending the day watching the race was good fun… http://msrhouston.com/
On Monday night, I along with my co-driver John McCutchen will be attending a fundraising dinner in Houston, TX. I look forward to sharing our race stories from the 2010 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with our guests. GodStone Ranch Motorsports has done a fantastic job raising money for the Texas Heart Institute and their efforts have been a huge success in increasing awareness for Heart Disease. I am honored to be a part of this team and look forward to future events.
Click here to see the invitation if you are interested in attending.
Only one week after the 24 hours of Daytona race and I am back at a race track… This time with Jaguar as a driving coach for the “R Performance Academy” Click here to learn more about the academy and how you could participate in this program. This past week was filled with a lot of interest in what we achieved at Daytona. MonaVie was a big hit with people learning about the product and selecting our winners. The Texas Heart Institute was thrilled with the race response. In fact, they are going to continue with the #07 GT car colors and logo through the next race at Miami-Homestead, Florida March 6th. A race that I plan on attending but, no drive as of yet.
A race filled with high hopes and high anticipation of finishing on the podium was demisted at 1:45AM. It is amazing how the race will change through the 24 hour period; the attrition is one that shows Sunday morning with a full day of racing still to go... Only if we could have keep the Texas Heart Institute car running, I feel that we would have finished in the top ten. I was really impressed with my co-drivers and our crew; we were behind from the first practice session on Thursday and never really caught –up. This is a race that you need to bring your “A Game” to complete the task on hand, winning. Congratulations to #9 Action Express/Porsche DP winners and the #70 Speedsource/Mazda GT winners.
MonaVie was a big winner as well; their products were a huge success in the Grand-am paddock with the race fans and race teams. The Texas Heart Institute was also a winner with people from all around the country making pledges for a great cause. Thank you very much; your pledge goes a long way to helping Heart Disease. Please keep this site as a favorite as I will post more inside stories in the days to come. Thank you for your support and interest, I appreciate it. (Click on read more to view photos).
The pre-race festivities and the race start were diminished by rain, big rain. We change the car to a rain set-up with rain tires, a different engine map that changes the power curve and a little more rear wing. This can be quickly changed back during a pit stop. We are now two hours in to the race and it is now starting to settle down with the track drying. We dropped back from 7th place in class to last place do to a tire problem on a pit stop and a drive through penalty because we pitted out of sequence (Per rules). Paul started and John McCutchen is going in next. I will drive after Scott Russell around 7:40Pm, yes it will be dark. Please click more to view the photos.
Race Day: The green flag will drop at 3:30PM Eastern time and it will be racing for 24 hours. A real test of endurance for the drivers, the crews and their machines. This twice around the clock race plays big strategies for the teams to use all their skills to better than everyone else. The first few hours will be completely different from the last few hours. Watch SPEED TV coverage live, follow us on Twitter trough MonaVie, davyracing and Godstonerachmotorsports. It is easy to join twitter and get the in-side scoop of how our team is doing. Paul Edwards will start the race (3:30PM) followed by John McCutchen, Scott Russell and them myself scheduled around 7:30PM Eastern time. The photo is Bryan Gregory, our ”Chief Spotter” he will be riding along with our every move. He will be on top of the grandstands across from the pits watching and warning us drivers of fast approaching Daytona Prototypes cars (DP).
Wow! What a day it was starting out with Scott Russell going a half lap before a brake problem with the car. After quickly stopping on the track for a tow-in, the tow truck driver didn’t realize that the brakes were locked and hooked up the tow rope. As he tried to tow the racecar with the brakes locked, it ripped off the nose of the racecar. They are made to break away, but not by the tow truck. So we missed all of the first practice, ouch!! The second practice continued with correcting the brakes, bleeding and balancing etc. MonaVie is a Hugh hit at the track, with a lot of people sampling the juices and enjoying the Emv. Please stop by the team in the paddock and give it a try. Paul Edwards qualified the car fourth and did an outstanding job only to be knocked off pole position in the last minute of the fifteen minute session. The night practice went well and we continued to learn with seat time for all drivers. Nearly half of the race will be in the dark. Friday we will have limited track time as the team will prep the car for the race. My Friday is filled with team meetings, media and sponsor obligations along with practicing driver changes to fill the schedule. Please select read more to view today’s photos.
All of the race teams spent the day doing last minute set-up. Our team looks great wearing the race gear featuring the Texas Heart Institute and all of our sponsors. We have great sponsors that have made this possible and I will talk about them as we are blogging on this site. I am very thankful and proud that MonaVie has partnered with us. I believe in the product and I look forward to sharing it with our fans. The following photos are; Paul Edwards and myself with our team driving suits. My Arai helmet displaying a new look and the racecar getting in position for a photo shoot. We are ready to start practice, qualifying and night practice which begins Today (Thursday). Click "Read More" below to see more pictures.