Wednesday
Jul112007

TEAM NEWS: Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Ready For Round Nine Under the Friday Night Lights at Iowa Speedway

Photo by John Thawley TAVARES, Fla. (July 11, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team returns to the Midwest for a classic Friday night feature race, part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve inaugural debut July 11-14 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

Drivers Patrick Long and defending Daytona Prototype Drivers' Champion Jorg Bergmeister will pilot the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype around the 1.3-mile, nine-turn road course designed by NASCAR Winston Cup (Nextel) Series Championship Driver Rusty Wallace.

For most teams and drivers this is their first trip to Iowa Speedway. With that in mind, the Daytona Prototype (DP) drivers will have to quickly learn the nuisances of the track. From the time drivers take to the track Thursday morning for the promoter test day, to the final DP practice session Friday afternoon, the drivers will have only a short time to familiarize themselves with the new track and provide car setup feedback to the crew before the late Friday afternoon qualifying session.

"I have only heard a little bit about the track," Long said. "We've got to get there and learn the track as quick as we can. Some of the other guys have been there already in some capacity. So, we are a little bit behind the eight-ball. But, so are most people because they haven't seen it either. It will be interesting. I know it is a tight track, so we will have to have good direction change on the car. But, we will take it for what it is and do the best we can."

"I don't know too much about the track, just that the banking is very quick and the infield section is very slow and tight," Bergmeister said. "So, it will be important to have a good qualifying run as it is going to be hard to pass other cars. I think the Ruby Tuesday car should be in good shape at this track because we usually have very good traction, which will be important on the infield."

"We are excited to be a part of this inaugural event," team owner Alex Job said. "Due to the fact that most teams have not been to this track yet, I think we stand a pretty good shot of winning this race. Both Jorg and Patrick are really good at learning new tracks quickly and the crew has done a wonderful job of improving the car. Because this track is so short, track position will be very important in this race. This means we need to qualifying well. If there was ever a time for us to capture our first pole of the season, this would be the track to do it at."

The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team has one win, two top-five and six top-10 finishes this season. Both, Bergmeister and Long are tied for seventh-place with 189 points (48 points behind the point leader Scott Pruett) in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Driver Point standings. The team is in sixth place in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Team Point standings also with 189 points.

The No. 23 Porsche Crawford will turn its first official practice laps at 9 a.m. (CDT), with a second and a third practice session set for 10:20 a.m. (CDT) and 1:30 p.m. (CDT), respectively, Friday, July 13. Daytona Prototype qualifying begins at 5 p.m. (CDT), Friday, with the green flag dropping for Round Nine at 8 p.m. Grand-Am Rolex Series race fans can catch all of the same day tape-delayed race coverage beginning at 9 p.m. (CDT) on SPEED Channel.

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