DAYTONA BEACH, FL: With the number of races remaining on the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule down to four, Spirit of Daytona heads to Millville, NJ and New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend in search of the team’s first podium of the season. Coming off of a disappointing 10th place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in which the No. 90 Chevrolet-powered Coyote turned the race’s fastest lap, Sunday’s American Red Cross 250 is a welcome sight for a team overdue for a good finish.
Through eight races, Spirit of Daytona has led 93 laps – fourth most of all full-time Rolex Series DP teams – but has a season-best finish of 8th to show for it. The team hopes New Jersey is the sight their luck turns around.
“We’ve got a car and a team capable of podiums and race wins we’ve just got to get over these things that are haunting us,” said driver Paul Edwards, who earned the GT pole at NJMP one year ago. “New Jersey should be a really strong track for us, so we’re excited. We should be good for the rest of the year.”
The latest issue plaguing Spirit of Daytona has been a mysterious brake issue that led the team to make multiple brake changes at Laguna Seca. The team believes they have the problem resolved for New Jersey, leaving team owner/manager Troy Flis to be cautiously optimistic for Sunday’s 2.75-hour race.
“It’s a track that really suits the car and suits (driver) Antonio (Garcia) well,” he said. “Obviously Paul (Edwards) hasn’t been there in a Daytona Prototype, but he has really stepped up this season at tracks and races where we’ve needed him to. We should be very good again this weekend.”
With four races remaining, Spirit of Daytona continues to be optimistic about the schedule ahead. The team expects to be strong at New Jersey Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio, two tracks similar to that of those the team was the strongest earlier in the year, and the team scored a podium at Watkins Glen last season.
“We have a podium car at every track,” admits Garcia. “The car is driving great so hopefully we can get one by the end of the season.”