Watkins Glen- Bill Heumann

This is a hard blog update to write. I have found that sometimes it gets a little depressing two or three days after a race where you have done well. I think this is mostly caused by the adjustment and let down of going back to the non race world where no one knows, or cares, what you did the prior weekend!

As I write this, I can say with absolute certainty that it is better to suffer the post race let down from a success, than waking up at 6 AM the morning after a race still angry and feeling like the race was stolen from us.

The weekend was rock solid from all aspects that we could control. The team only had a few days to get the cars repaired and prepped after our victory at Lime Rock last weekend. Fortunately, there was only regular maintenance and cosmetic body work to repair so our guys were all over it and the cars were clean and ready to go by the time we got to WGI on Thursday.

We had three scheduled practice sessions on Thursday and two on Friday but almost all of the sessions were cut short due to sessions being black flagged to deal with wrecks.

Despite this, we got enough track time to get the cars set up well and learn our lines. Dave went straight out and put down our team best time of the weekend and was able to qualify P2. I got P5, my best qualifying position of the season so far. It felt great to finally run at the front pace in this series.

The race start was clean and Dave and I got to down to racing. I was slow to get my lap times down to where they needed to be and dropped a few spots in the first couple of laps. Hearing Seth's voice in my head (imaginary...not on the radio!) I got my eyes up and started hitting my marks and began putting down some pretty good lap times. This was good enough to keep me running around P9-P10. When there was a full course yellow at 50 minutes, Dave and I came in nose to tail, from those spots.

Both cars had great pit stops with fuel, tires and driver change. About 20 minutes later, we did a "splash and go" to get enough fuel to finish the race. Almost immediately after our cars were back out, an accident occurred resulting in a FCY which was golden for us.... we thought. Our resulting positions were about P5 and P6 of the cars that had pitted and had enough fuel to finish the race..... until race control started the "waive by" process.

The waive by is where all of the cars between the last GS race leader and the current ST race leader are waived by the pace car so as to not go a lap down from the ST field being split by the GS cars. In error, they did not call our cars to be waived by although they got all of the other team cars that were in the same position. We protested this but they let the decision stand resulting in 80 and 81 being almost the last cars in the race.... and a lap down! James and Seth did a great job to recover from this mentally and got back to racing. After about 30 minutes of green flag racing there was a FCY called for debris clean up and race control recognized their mistake and told our cars to go around the pace car. This put us on the lead lap, but at about P20 and P21 with 30 minutes to go.

James and Seth really put their heads down and started cutting through the field. They had great drives and showed why they are top pro drivers.

This picture shows how closely we can work together when it's race time....

Unfortunately there wasn't enough time left on the clock. Another accident caused a FCY at about 8 minutes to go and the race ended under yellow. James had gotten up to P9 and Seth P6.

At this point we are all trying to be philosophical about it and keep our focus positive but it is very difficult. With the lap times and track position we had, we felt we would have ended up with two podiums if not for race control making what we think was an honest, but catastrophic, mistake.

This picture taken towards the end of the race of #81 Car Chief, Ryan Kuhn, pretty much says it all.

Enough of the "coulda, shoulda, woulda" it is time to focus on Mid Ohio where we need to do well if we are to retain our chance of a championship.