TRG Returns to Daytona to Duplicate January Glory
Petaluma, CA —
TRG is returning to Daytona International Speedway for the July 4th running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series Brumos 250 to be run on Saturday afternoon prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Kevin Buckler, team owner, and three time Rolex 24 winner will return to driving, partnering with Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 66.
TRG took the top two positions in GT with their No. 67 TRG team winning the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in late January, followed closely by the No. 66 TRG entry.
The 3.56-mile, 12-turn Daytona modified road course will see the Grand-Am Rolex Series support the traditional July 4th NASCAR race on the same day for the first time. The green flag will fly at 2:00 p.m.
Team owner Kevin Buckler, who won the Rolex 24 Hour in 2002 and then won the race overall in 2003 will get back behind the wheel of one of his team's Porsches. Buckler's last start was in 2007. Buckler won again, for the first time as team owner this past January. Buckler is teamed with Pumpelly in the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3.
"I have been out of the seat for a while, but I want to try and help Spencer and AXA as much as possible in the GT championship hunt, so I will blow the dust off of my helmet and give it a go this weekend," Buckler said. "We have had a lot of success at Daytona, so it gives us a bit of a pedigree here. The guys haven't cut me a lot of slack. There are a lot of "old guy" jokes going around. It will be a busy day, running the team, driving the Porsche and then we have the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at night. I feel that I am ready, but it is going to be a tough hot race as always. All four cars have a real shot this weekend so I hope I can lend a hand."
"Kevin is one of the legends of Daytona," Pumpelly said. "What's not to get excited about? I am looking forward to driving with him this weekend. Speed and dealing with the heat will be the biggest difference from the Rolex 24. While the 24 hour race, now-a-days, is basically a sprint, the July race is even more intense. We will want to leave everything on the track after two hours. I am expecting the heat to be a factor, and our team has adjusted accordingly."
Justin Marks and Andy Lally in the No. 67 Construct Corps/Kartel Motorsports/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3 are ready to repeat at Daytona.
"The only thing that will really change from when we were there in January is that we will have limited time to practice and get the car setup," Marks said. "The pace won't change much, the 24 was a pretty fast race. But it's going to place an emphasis on preparation and being and efficient as possible in practice. We can run a little more aggressively with the setup such as ride heights and wing angles since we don't have to make the thing last 24 hours. Daytona is a unique track but the strategy stays the same. I have to qualify well and keep the car as close to the front as possible during my stint."
"The main thing that we will deal with at Daytona this weekend as opposed to the 24 hour race in January is the heat," Lally said. "We will be focusing mainly on tire life, especially this year because for the first time Grand-Am will run this race in the day time. The infield section will be very tough to put the power down and we will be pushing the Pirelli tire for all it is worth."
John Potter and Craig Stanton will take to the Dayton high-banks in their No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3. The duo have posted a seasons best finish of fifth at Watkins Glen, they will be looking to improve on that Saturday.
"Daytona is traditionally a great track for me, I love the place," Stanton said. "I have been running Daytona since 1996. I have always been fast there. We will be running in front of a huge NASCAR crowd which will be great. The 65 team is working well together. We are gaining momentum as a team. I am very optimistic for this weekend. For the all in one day practice, qualify and race schedule we will get a total race weekend done in under nine hours. We will have to unload the car with a good setup. We have a definite set of steps to be successful for the weekend. The preparation the guys are doing will help us to have a good weekend. We will have to make quick changes and go in the right direction. It will be hot. In the 24 it really doesn't get above 75-degrees. On Saturday it will be 90+ degrees. We will have to keep the drivers cool and be as fresh as possible for the last 20-minutes to be able to put up a fight for a good finish."
Josemanuel Gutierrez and Scott Schroeder will take their No. 68 Cohen Financial/Intercity Lines/TRG Porsche to the World Center of Racing looking for a top finish. The duo count Daytona as their favorite track.
"For the 24 hours, we had to pace ourselves, car as well as us drivers, so that both could last for 24 hours," Gutierrez said. "This time, it is a sprint race, we will go all out! It is important to have less aero downforce, to go faster around the banking. You spend a lot of time flat out at very high speeds, so the less drag, the faster you are. The centrifugal force of the high banked turns keeps the car glued to the ground. I surely hope at Daytona we can have a nice run in the practice time to set-up the car. In the last three races for one reason or another our practice time was limited which affected our set-up. I love Daytona, it is so dynamic! It is really big time!"
"Daytona has always been one of my favorites and one of TRG's also," Schroeder said. "TRG has great history at Daytona and I know that our car is going to be hooked-up. I am excited and think that the Cohen Financial 68 Porsche will be strong. We are unloading with the same set-up that TRG won the past Rolex 24 on, in addition some changes have been made to further better the car since then."
The Brumos 250 from Daytona International Speedway will be televised live on the SPEED Channel starting at 2:00 p.m.
TRG was founded in 1993 and has been competing at the top level of motor racing ever since. The team has the most wins of any team in the Grand-Am Rolex Series with 26, including the 2005 and 2006 Rolex Series GT championship trophy to go along with wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
TRG is a manufacturer and distributor of high-performance racing parts. The group specializes in engine and chassis tuning as well as full service professional race car preparation. The company also provides electrical and mechanical engineering services, driver development and arrive-and-drive opportunities. TRG is based in Petaluma, Calif., near its home track of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The company's NASCAR operation is based in Mooresville, North Carolina and a new state-of-the-art facility is coming on-line at New Jersey Motorsports Park in late 2009.