May 01, 2012 | By Bruce Martin
Chevy Stays On Hot Streak With Grand-Am Victory By Corvette
After opening the GRAND-AM Road Racing season with a victory March 31 at Barber Motorsports Park, the Chevrolet Corvette made it two wins in a row April 29 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, giving the American automotive icon reason to boast about its success in all forms of racing in 2012.
Not only is Chevrolet 2-0 in GRAND-AM, but the Chevrolet Indy V6 has won all four races in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season, and Chevrolet drivers have won three of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup races so far in 2012.
Chevrolet will be the only engine manufacturer to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 in May and the Kroger “Super Weekend at the Brickyard” in July.
Under rainy conditions, Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli put team owner Wayne Taylor’s No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Corvette into victory lane in the DP class at Homestead. The No. 5 Action Express Corvette finished third, with the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette fifth. The No. 9 Action Express Corvette was eighth in class, 26th overall, and the No. 99 GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Corvette was ninth in class, 27th overall, after it suffered mechanical failure.
“Really, Max did all the work,” Ricky Taylor said after driving the car to victory. “He had to come all the way up from ninth, and all I had to do was stay where I was. I inherited two positions from the No. 90, and I think it was the No. 8 getting together. And then all I had to do was hold onto it, an already great SunTrust Corvette. I think the team knew more weather was coming. They anticipated that, and they knew what the GRAND-AM officials would do if that happened. So, it was a great team effort.”
Angelelli drove like a “man on a mission” during his stint in the Corvette during the rain.
“I was taking my time; one at a time, because I needed to see what was happening in front of me,” he said. “And the car was really good, anyway, so that made everything possible.”
Taylor’s team “reigned” because of the South Florida “rain” that added another dimension to the race.
“I remember when we were driving down from Orlando the other day with Max and Ricky, and we said, ‘You know, what would be the best thing to happen in Miami would be if it rains,’ thinking that would never happen,” Wayne Taylor said. “And it rained, and we did what we thought we were going to do.”
By switching the driving order with Angelelli leading off and Taylor taking over for the final stint, it put plenty of pressure on the team owner’s son.
“I was sitting there and Max (Angelelli, teammate) had to start from the back,” Ricky said. “He did all the work, really. He came all the way up to third. I had to get in the car in third. I was hoping at least the pressure would be off a little bit, coming through the back I would take my time. No, he gave me the car right in the front.”
The Corvette street car is one of the most iconic rides in American history and has paced the Indianapolis 500 numerous times. And while Chevrolet engines have powered the winning car to victory in both the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR race at the Brickyard, the Corvette will finally get a chance to actually race at Indy during the Kroger “Super Weekend at the Brickyard” as the GRAND-AM series makes its Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut.
“It is fantastic to see our new Corvette Daytona Prototype in the winner’s circle with a second consecutive victory, said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Racing GRAND-AM program manager. “Keen strategy and great teamwork by Ricky Taylor, Max Angelelli and (team owner) Wayne Taylor, plus all the folks at SunTrust Racing, made it happen today.”