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Brumos Wins At Homestead, Gainsco Takes The Grand Am Championship

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On: Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 12:01PM | By: John Welch

Brumos Wins At Homestead, Gainsco Takes The Grand Am Championship

Sunday could have gone a little better. A Bucs receiver not named Kellen Winslow could have caught, oh, I don't know, ONE friggin' pass. Jeff Gordon could have avoided letting Jimmy Johnson win. I could have been on my way to claim my $500 million worth of "lot-rie winnins" . . . naturally, none of these things happened. The Bucs choked away another promising start, Jeff forgot how to drive on the second to last lap, and I couldn't even afford the dollar required to be eligible for "lot-rie winnins" in the first place. To top it all off, both versions of American sports car championships wrapped up their seasons this weekend. By bedtime Sunday night, I was in a less than agreeable mood, needless to say.

The day before, The Rolex Grand Am Series ran an unforgettable event at the Homestead Miami Speedway. Both classes, Daytona Prototype and GT, were still up for grabs, three teams vying for the DP title . . .

Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season-ending Grand Prix of Miami needed to be spectacular so that it could justify its maddeningly drawn out name. It didn't disappoint.

Three teams could have won the championship in the Daytona Prototype class, but, in what will be Pontiac's swan song, the Gainsco Pontiac of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty was able to seal up the title with a fourth place finish. In order to surpass the Gainsco points total, Chip Ganassis Lexus Riley, piloted by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, would have needed a finish of fifth or worse from the Gainsco car, as well as finishing three or more places ahead of the red Pontiac. Wayne Taylor Racing, fielding a Dallara Ford for Sun Trust, needed to win, as well as a fifth or worse from Gainsco.

The last hour of the race saw all of these scenarios become possibilities. At the front of the pack, Max Angelelli and Scott Pruett fought tooth-and-nail for first place, while the Gainsco Pontiac wallowed in fifth place. The side-by-side battle continued until Angelelli caught slower traffic and Pruett was able to sneak under his driver side fender into first position. Pruett continued to lead until the last fifteen minutes of the race, but Jon Fogarty, suffering a mechanical issue referred to by team owner Bob Stallings as a "soft motor," had a firm hold on the fourth position by that time.

Unfortunately for Pruett, the No. 59 Brumos Porsche of Joao Barbosa and Hurley Haywood was bad fast and hot on the TelMex Lexus's tail. Able to pass Pruett on the outside coming on to the oval section of the track, Barbosa held the lead with twelve minutes remaining in the race. Which is how the race ended. Carnage broke out on a restart with seven minutes left, the DP of Jared Beyer, the No.5 Beyer Racing Crawford, getting run over by the Stevenson Pontiac G6.R. The subsequent spin put Beyer in the middle of the track in front of the entire GT field. Mistakes were made, cars were demolished, and the race ended under an anti-climatic caution flag.

The GT championship went to Farnbacher Loles drivers Lee Keen and Dirk Werner, the race win going to another soon-to-be rebodied Pontiac, the No. 07 Drinkin' Mate G6.R of Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards.

The video is the final lap-run-in-anger, including the wreck described above and the last laps run under caution . . .

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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