TEAM NEWS: Krohn Racing Hopes Testing Equals Success In Iowa Battle

Photo by John Thawley The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series makes it inaugural visit to Iowa Speedway this week for the Iowa 400K in Newton, Iowa. The two-car team of Krohn Racing hopes to improve its standings in the Rolex points championship at Round 9 of 14 at the 1.3-mile, 9-turn midwestern tri-oval speedway road course.

Krohn Racing team owner/driver Tracy Krohn pairs with Nic Jonsson in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley for the Prototype-only race. The sister car, the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley, will feature Max Papis and Colin Braun looking for their first victory of the season after four podium finishes.

Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

What is the goal of the Iowa race weekend?

"This team is looking for a podium result here. We've done some testing recently that we think we will be able to use at this track configuration. We think we're going to be competitive. Everyone on this team works hard and hopefully we'll pull that all together for a good result."

The championship looks harder and harder to grasp each race as the season winds down. Your thoughts?

"I think everyone continues to stay pretty well focused on the championship. We're still not where we want to be but we have been able to capture a few more podium finishes lately with the No. 75 car. We just keep trying to plug away each race and carve a little more out of the points chase."

Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Have you ever been to the Iowa track before?

"No, I've never been to Iowa before. I've talked to a few people who have been there, including our Kinetic GS team. The feedback I'm getting is that the track is too small for these cars. It's like a 40-second lap and hardly any room to pass except coming back on to the oval. I think in this race, everything is going to be about staying out of trouble and not getting involved with anybody. Trying to stay clean I think is going to pay off. I'm sure people will be aggressive and make moves that won't work on a short, narrow track like this. My expectations are hopefully to come home without any damage on car.

"One thing I've heard is they get a lot of people there. I believe they got 17,000 people for GS race. They expect a huge crowd for our race, I guess, so that will make it exciting for a change."

Any new things you might try for the Iowa race?

"I think we tried a few things at Daytona that we learned at the Barber test. I don't think those things worked out as great at Daytona because it was a completely different kind of track, much lower grip, much faster, long corners and stuff like that. From looking at the map of the Iowa track, it looks like a slow track except the oval part. Hopefully some of the stuff we learned at Barber, mid-corner and out, coming out of the corners, will be very helpful there."

What's the race strategy?

"We have to keep plugging along the way we have done this year. I think both the 75 and the 76 cars have had their fair share of bad luck, mishaps, mechanicals, being run into and things like that. I'm looking forward to have some good, clean racing there and be able to move up in the championship. I think both cars have the speed and believe we have shown that, it's just not really having the luck on our side. We need a little bit of that too."

Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Have you ever been to the Iowa track before?

"I have never been there but have seen some pictures and saw it on TV when Rusty Wallace did an inaugural race last year. It looks like a beautiful facility but we'll see how the road course will be.

"I'm looking forward to having a lot of enthusiastic race fans and we will be able to show them how good Grand-Am racing is."

Are you superstitious about racing on Friday the 13th?

"I left the superstitions behind a few years ago. I'm not superstitious anymore. I'm going to focus on just going fast and doing the best job I can. I haven't been superstitious in a long time because I felt when I focused on that, I wasn't focusing on my job. After having been knocking on the door, when we get on the podium and when we win this race it will be awesome to prove the fate wrong by winning on Friday the 13th!"

Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:

Have you ever been to the Iowa track before?

"I was in Iowa Speedway just two weeks ago testing the ARCA car for Roush-Fenway. Obviously that was just on the oval track, which I really enjoyed and thought was a really nice facility. I'm definitely looking forward to going back there and getting to drive on the road course and use my oval experience and road course experience. It should be fun."

The race is just Daytona Prototype cars racing on a small oval speedway road course at night: what's your strategy for this race?

"With such a small track, I think it is going to very important for cars to stay on the lead lap. With the speed of the 99 car lately, I think it is very possible that cars could go down a lap pretty quickly at this race track. With a projected lap being around 45 seconds, you can go down a lap pretty darn quickly at a place like Iowa. So it's going to be important for us to keep on the lap, stay out of trouble and try to not get any penalties -- really just stay out of trouble. I think that's going to be very, very important in the race."

How do you think the Krohn Racing car will do at this 7/8th mile tri-oval track?

"I think the car will be really quick in Iowa. I think the Pontiac power will be important. I think straightaways make up a pretty big section of the track at Iowa. It should be a really good weekend for us. I think the test we did at Barber may help a little bit more here than it did at Daytona. I'm really looking forward to the weekend and working with Max and seeing how we can get on."

Jeff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:

Since the team has not tested at Iowa, what have you heard about the track and how do you think it will suit Grand-Am racing?

"The track configuration is not what we would expect for endurance racing. But, it is different and is going to require a different approach. That's going to stretch our imaginations a little bit. In that respect, we're looking forward to the challenge of it."

What kind of race strategy will Krohn Racing employ for the Iowa race?

"The strategy of the race needs to be very different because of the environment. I think we'll just sit on the tail of the 99 for the whole race, if we can. We're thinking of painting the car red at the moment."

The Krohn Racing team continues in fourth place in the Prototype team points chase with the No. 75 entry and 11th with the No. 76 entry as the Rolex Series passed the midway point of the season. Papis and Braun have four podium finishes, a second-place at both VIR and Mexico City and a third at Daytona Brumos and Mid-Ohio. Braun has captured two pole positions. Krohn and Jonsson have one Top Five and three Top Ten finishes so far this year.

Krohn Racing won the 2006 Daytona Prototype Driver's Championship with driver Jorg Bergmeister and finished second in the DP Team Championship. The team collected three victories, six podiums, eight Top Five finishes, 13 Top Ten finishes and two pole positions.

The Iowa 400K is a 400-kilometers/192 laps/two and one-half hour night race and will be televised tape-delay on SPEED TV at 10:00 p.m. EDT on Friday night, July 13th.

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