DAYTONA BEACH, FL: Spirit of Daytona had high hopes going into the 2011 Rolex Sports Series season. The development of the team’s Coyote chassis, paired with a new Chevrolet V-8 powerplant and the addition of driver Paul Edwards were all supposed to lead to poles, podiums and wins.
The No. 90 DP has already made waves throughout the garage, earning poles in back-to-back races at Barber Motorsports Park and Virginia International Raceway, but through four races the team is still awaiting its first podium, despite leading laps in every race this season.
Spirit of Daytona is hoping this is the stretch where its luck turns around, starting with this weekend’s Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park.
Lime Rock is one track Spirit of Daytona has had circled on its calendar all year long as a race they expect to win. The one prior race on the schedule the team had high hopes coming into the weekend – Barber Motorsports Park – the No. 90 Chevrolet-powered Coyote DP went on to win the pole and lead the most laps, before succumbing to a mechanical failure while leading in the race’s final hour.
Team owner/manager Troy Flis expects similar success this weekend.
“Spirit of Daytona is excited to return to Lime Rock Park this weekend. We have always run well there and the continued development of our Coyote chassis and Chevrolet powerplant should make us that much stronger,” he said. “We have had an array of misfortunes this season, but we continue to show that this team is ready to take the next step and win races. We would like nothing better than to have that happen this weekend.”
At VIR two weeks ago, driver Paul Edwards earned his first DP class pole and the second consecutive pole for Spirit of Daytona. Edwards hopes that one race after his first DP pole, he gets to celebrate on his first DP podium.
“Again this team showed we are a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “Knowing this team we will be strong again this weekend. I’m really looking forward to Lime Rock.”
Lime Rock leads the first back-to-back race weekends on the GRAND-AM schedule, with the running of the Six Hours of the Glen one weekend later at Watkins Glen. One year ago, Spirit of Daytona earned its first DP podium and another top 5 in the two races at “The Glen.”
Garcia, who shared the podium last season with co-driver Buddy Rice, knows this could be the month Spirit of Daytona returns to the podium.
“We’ve been in a good position in every race this season, but it’s been bad luck every race” he said. “This team has come a long way this season and I hope we can be back on a podium soon.”