Spirit of Daytona Racing battled back from early-race setbacks to take a top five finish at the Chevrolet Grand-Am 200 at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.
Ricky Taylor began the race for the Floridian team, starting down in fifth and working his way up to third in the opening 20 laps of the race. Unfortunately, the close nature of racing around the streets of Detroit meant that Taylor suffered contact from behind, costing him time and positions on track, but more importantly hindering handling for the remainder of the race.
Taylor handed the car over to Richard Westbrook at the halfway stage and the Englishman began a fightback from eleventh place before eventually coming across the line in a very impressive fifth place.
“I don’t know how we finished where we did to be honest,” said Westbrook. “Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. We have to just move on and we have to come back stronger. As far as the race is concerned, all we could do was bring it home; the left rear was totally gone in the accident with the Porsche. Fortunately for us a lot of other cars had misfortunes, so we got some good points, but we don’t want to get points like that. We want to fight at the front, and we had no tools to fight.”
“It could have been a horrible day,” added team owner Troy Flis. “But it ended up being not a great day, but an OK day. We don’t like finishing fifth, but we’ve got to do that some days to win the championship. I’m happy that the guys pulled together and we got a fifth out of it. We made some right decisions that kept us in the game, but the car was hurt, so there was nothing we could have done. All in all it was a decent weekend. We had a fast car in qualifying. I think that now in the next few months, we’re racing every week and it’ll get our team a little more clicking which I think will help us, so I’m excited for the rest of the year.”