GRAND-AM: GAINSCO Masters Monterey

Excellence and errors on pit lane played a crucial role in finish in both classes at the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda event in Monterey.

Marshall Pruett  |  Posted July 09, 2011

Excellence and errors on pit lane played a crucial role in finish in Daytona Prototype and the GT classes at the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda event in Monterey.

To start, Ricky Taylor stretched his pole position to lead by more than six seconds but a problem with a wheel gun during a pit stop at the halfway point handed the lead to Scott Pruett.

Pruett appeared to have a solid command on the race, but a pit lane error of his own—where he carried too much speed, locked up and slid long in his pit box, requiring a push back to begin refueling—handed the lead to Alex Gurney, who never relinquished the point in the 107-lap race.

If pit lane stoked the flames of drama, yellow flags, contact, and race control shifted that drama into high gear in the final 20 minutes of the event.

As the leaders crossed the start/finish line on the Lap 95 restart after the stricken car of James Davison had been removed from Turn 5, the order was Alex Gurney, Scott Pruett, Max Angelelli and Ryan Dalziel.

Three corners later, Pruett found himself shuffled back to fourth, thanks to an aggressive move by Angelelli on the inside of Turn 2 and 3, which sent Pruett into the dirt on the outside of Turn 3 and also allowed Dalziel to get by.

A yellow flag for the beached No. 43 Team Sahlen Mazda moments later gave GRAND-AM the chance to review the sequence of events that took place on the restart, and Angelelli was determined to have used too much of the pit lane exit road to pass Pruett.

Max “The Axe” was moved behind Pruett during the caution period, leaving Gurney to lead Dalziel, Pruett and Angelelli to the restart on Lap 99.

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