CITGO RACING'S PAUL REVERE 250 FINAL RACE REPORT
July 2, 2004 - The CITGO Racing cars delivered impressive 3rd and 6th
place finishes at the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway
in Daytona Beach on Thursday night July 1, 2004. The #2 CITGO-branded
Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype, driven by Milka Duno and Jan Lammers,
finished 6th, and the #20
CITGO-branded Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype, driven by Andy Wallace
and Tony Stewart, brought home a podium appearance with a 3rd place
overall in the 70 lap race.
It was anticipated that Milka and Jan would start the race 18th because
the team needed to replace the engine after qualifying, but they we're
able to start in their qualifying position of 13th overall.
Milka gave an outstanding performance which saw her drive from 13th
to 6th before handing over the car to Jan on lap 32 - just before the
half-way point of the race.
"We made the best we could through all the practice sessions and
qualifying with an engine that was not operating at top speed,"
said Milka. "We put in a new engine and I started off in 13th and
I knew that I had my work cut out for me. Always at the beginning of
the race there is more traffic because the cars are all bunched together.
It was really very competitive right from the very start and continued
that way not only for my stint - but for the entire race as well. I
tried to drive as quickly as I could through the pack and I was very
happy that I was able to bring the car to Jan in 6th."
With Jan on-board, the team was hoping to see a few caution periods
to enable the #2 CITGO car to save enough fuel to make it to the end
of the race without having to make another visit to the pits. While
there were a number of caution laps, it was simply not enough and during
the last caution of the race, which ended with only 7 green-flag laps
remaining to the end, Jan darted in for a quick splash of fuel to finish
the race. While Jan was able to accomplish this without losing position,
it removed any chance he had of advancing his position.
"I just needed a little bit of fuel to be able to get to the end,"
commented Jan. "When I went back out after the pit stop I was really
surprised how little time was left in the race. I thought we had another
45 minutes or so. The time really went by very quickly. Before the pit
stop I was right there in the pack and sometimes in the heat of the
closing battle small mistakes are sometimes made and you can capitalize
on that and advance your position. I had hoped to do just that, but
the need to put in some more fuel took me out of the bunch. I think
that if it hadn't been needed, I might have been lucky enough to capture
The #20 CTIGO-branded Pontiac Daytona Prototype started the race with
NASCAR's Tony Stewart behind the wheel. It was apparent right from the
start that Tony was on a mission and he piloted the car to 3rd before
the lead cars started to pit. Due to excellent fuel mileage, Tony assumed
the lead of the race and managed to drive to the half-way point of the
race before handing over to Andy Wallace on lap 35. A classic race then
developed as the two cars ahead of Wallace would have to pit to make
the finish, while Wallace would be able to make the end of the race
on one tank of fuel. However wearing tires meant that his approximately
40-second advantage over the #10 Prototype (the eventual winner) was
being eroded with each lap. Late caution periods that bunched the field
wiped out the advantage that the fuel strategy had created and the #20
CITGO Pontiac slipped back to 4th. However, a dramatic pass on the last
corner of the last lap saw Wallace capture 3rd place and a deserved
spot on the podium.
"It was a great race for us, but I just didn't have anything for
those two guys in front of us," said Andy. "The team did a
fantastic job. Tony did a superb job. We've just got to work a bit more
on traction - and we'll definitely work on that before the next race.
It was a really good scrap right to the very end. Obviously, it's never
over until it's over and I knew all the way up to the line that we had
a chance. I managed to squeeze by at the line. I don't know how much
I beat him by - but it wasn't much."
"Tonight was a perfect example of a lot of the races we run in
the Nextel Cup - when you have to conserve rear tires," said a
satisfied Tony. "Tonight was no different - so at least my experience
with that might have helped me. It was just a great effort by everybody
at Howard-Boss Motorsports. Max and Jan Crawford are the only family
that I've ever raced with in sports car racing. They pour their heart
and soul into their racing. It's kind of like racing for the underdogs
- and I remember that well from when I used to race for my dad. To see
the success they're having - I'm really very, very happy for them. I
love running with Andy - he's such a good teacher and mentor."
Tony added, "I really look forward to these races and having CITGO
on-board. They really complete the package and make this a race-winning
potential team. It's just a matter of time for this team. We had one
taken away from us at the Rolex 24 and a little bit of bad luck with
a late caution tonight may very well have cost us the win. At least
the two races I've run this year with this team I've been in contention
for the win both times - and that's all you can ask for."
CITGO, based in Tulsa, Okla., is a refiner, transporter and marketer
of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes,
asphalt and other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America,
Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela,
S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
For more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com.
Additional information on drivers Milka Duno and Andy Wallace is available
at www.milkaduno.com and www.andywallace.com, respectively. For more
information on the Grand American Sports Car Series please visit www.grandamerican.com.