ALTON, VA: Spirit of Daytona came to Virginia International Raceway this weekend in hopes of putting a heartbreaking finish at Barber Motorsports Park one month ago behind them. Following Friday’s qualifying session, it’s safe to say the team is off to a good start.
Paul Edwards piloted the No. 90 Chevrolet/Coyote to a qualifying time of 1:44.984 around the 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course and claimed the team’s second consecutive pole. Edwards’ teammate Antonio Garcia earned the pole one month ago at Barber.
At Barber, Garcia and the No. 90 DP went on to lead a race-high 50 laps, but fell victim to mechanical problems and finished ninth. Bad luck has plagued Spirit of Daytona this season as the team has spent time at the front of the field in all three events, but has yet to score a top 5. The team hopes this is the weekend their luck turns around.
“This just shows the progress this team continues to make. I’m so happy for all the guys,” Edwards said. “Right now this Chevrolet-powered Coyote is really strong. Hopefully we can pull it out tomorrow.”
Spirit of Daytona team owner/manager Troy Flis admits this helps prove that the team’s dominance at Barber was not a fluke.
“We needed to prove that we weren’t a flash in the pan and that we’re here to stay week in and week out. Now we need to finish the weekend off and hopefully get a podium,” Flis said. “While the bounty ($25,000 to the team that beats the No. 01 TELMAX/Chip Ganassi DP) would help a small team like us, we won’t change our approach at all. This team works hard week in and week out no matter what.”