CITGO Racing Team Ninth in Grand Prix of Miami

Wallace, Duno overcome numerous obstacles to post top-ten finish

Homestead, FL (March 6, 2005) ... The CITGO Racing Team battled their way to a ninth-place finish in the Grand Prix of Miami at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday afternoon. However, the duo of Andy Wallace and Milka Duno had to overcome several major obstacles to post their top-ten finish.

A total of twenty-two Daytona Prototypes started the Grand Prix of Miami, making the second race of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series very competitive from practice and qualifying through the checkered flag. And, when combined with the GT Class, a total of 47 cars comprised the starting grid.

Practice on Thursday and Friday saw the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford at the top or near the top of the time sheets in all sessions.

Qualifying was held on Saturday afternoon with Duno aboard the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford. However, when two DP cars were involved in an accident early in the session, the time allotted for qualifying expired with many teams only able to complete a minimal number of laps during the abbreviated session. Duno, with only the chance at one "Green Flag" flying lap, would earn the 15th starting position with a qualifying speed of
106.328 mph.

The high expectations for the race were dampened on lap 1 when Duno radioed the pits experiencing handling problems in the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford car.  The first ten laps of the 109-lap event saw several incidents of cars making contact battling for track position. The #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford was one of the many cars that showed the effects of this close, competitive racing. Duno came to the pits on lap eight for tires, fuel, and an evaluation of the car by the CITGO crew. A small fuel leak caused a huge fireball as Duno exited the pits.  Fortunately no-one was injured and the car was undamaged. She would return to the race and gain five positions in the running order until the CITGO team made their second pit stop of the race on lap 22.

During this stop, Andy Wallace climbed aboard the Pontiac Crawford and also experiencing a dramatic fiery exit from the pits, reentered the race in the 38th position one lap down to the leaders. Within sixteen laps, Wallace moved into the top twenty and was making a charge through the field. As the race settled into a long green-flag stretch of laps, Wallace continued to gain positions. On lap 75, Wallace moved into the top ten. The veteran Wallace was running eighth when he made his final pit stop of the afternoon on lap 99 for fuel only. Wallace would reenter the race in ninth position and complete the final ten laps to earn the first top ten finish of the season for the #2 CITGO Racing Team.

"It was a very frustrating race for us," Wallace commented after the Grand Prix of Miami. "This was a wild race with a very competitive field and lots of contact between cars throughout. It's certainly not the result we wanted, but we were able to salvage a ninth. The crew did a great job all weekend."

"I'm a little confused because the car was so good in all the practices," Duno commented. "But, at the beginning of the race, there was some problem with the steering. There was a lot of understeer and I had difficulty turning left and going around the oval. I did get tapped a little by someone early in the race as well."

"We also had a problem with the fueling," Duno added. "I'm not sure of the exact problem, but some fuel spilled out in the pit. The fuel ignited as I left the pit, and I'm sure it was scary for a moment. The same problem happened on my second stop, but fortunately all of our crew is OK."

  "We (#2 CITGO Racing Team) were all going for a third straight win and the team worked very hard to prepare for this race," Duno concluded. "It didn't happen (third win), but it wasn't because we didn't all work really hard. It just wasn't in the cards today. My thanks to the crew, to my co-driver Andy (Wallace), and to CITGO."

The next race for the #2 CITGO Racing Team will be at California Speedway on Sunday, April 3rd.

CITGO, based in Houston, Texas, 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 .

Milka is currently featured in Pontiac's largest ever Spanish language advertising campaign launching an all-new sports sedan - the Pontiac G6.  Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets the Bonneville, GTO, Grand Prix, Grand Am, G6, Vibe and Sunfire. In 2003, Pontiac sold more than 475,000 vehicles, ranking third among GM divisions in total sales. 2004/2005 will see Pontiac launch an exciting new range of vehicles including the Montana SV6, G6 coupe, G6 convertible and the Solstice roadster. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found at . Information in Spanish can be found at .

For additional information on Milka and Andy please visit or , respectively. For more information on the Rolex Sports Car Series log on to .


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