(September 20, 2009) — Miller Barrett Racing survived a wild race and a mechanical failure to earn a top-10 GT class finish in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday. The team started 11th iin class, raced as high as fifth and finished eighth in the two-hour 45-minute race on the 4.486-mile road course in Tooele, Utah.
Kevin Roush of Upland, Calif., drove the first stint. He started 11th on the GT grid and quickly moved up to fifth. He pitted for a driver change after 41 minutes, meeting the series requirement for a early pitstop. Bryce Miller of Summit, N.J., took over, returning to the track eighth in class. He stopped at the 90-minute mark for tires and fuel, regained two positions to sixth, then had to pit on the last lap, dropping him back to finish eighth. A post-race inspection showed the car had a broken limited slip differential that worsened through the race, forcing the extra pitstop.
The team will stay in Utah to test at Miller Motorsports Park on Sunday, in preparation for the final race of the season, at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., on Oct. 10.
Bryce Miller: “I’m really proud of the team. We finished on the lead lap, even with the third pitstop. Something happened with the car – I thought maybe a tire was going down or it might have been a problem with a shock [absorber] or a [sway] bar – and we had to pit for new tires. We fought really hard for sixth position and I think we could have been able to bring it home.
“We’re going to be testing tomorrow here on the short course. That will be a good opportunity for us to evaluate the car. We’ll be able to take some really big risks and make some big changes with the car setup. It should be a good day learning for us, and hopefully that will carry over to Homestead and translate to another step in the right direction.”
Kevin Roush: “It was hot out there when the sun was blazing; it was tough. The car was better. We still had quite a bit of push [understeer], but we were able to hold our position in the field. We even made up a couple of spots on the first lap, which was pretty cool.
“For a new team like us, that’s never raced here, we wanted to be more ‘Energizer Bunny’ than [trying to set the] fastest lap speed. We haven’t quite got the balance of the car right, but we can count on racing smarter and maybe playing a little strategy. We actually had a chance for fifth today.”
Bryce Miller races with the support of three international sponsors. Marquis Jet is the recognized leader in private jet cards because it’s the only program that offers exclusive access to NetJets – the gold standard in private aviation – 25 hours at a time. IPC Information Systems is a leading provider of mission-critical communications solutions to financial services firms. Total Lubricants is the world’s fourth-largest publicly traded integrated international oil and gas company.