So while I was counting down the minutes ‘til the very first IndyCar race of the season, I figured I might as well watch the Grand Am “ROVAL” road race also taking place at Homestead this weekend...
Yet I was a bit confused, since SPEED’s coverage overlapped with The Deuce’s Indy Car show live from the same race track… Ah-hah, SPEED is showing a tape delayed re-broadcast of today's earlier Grand Am event, since Homestead’s track activities were;
Firestone Indy Lights – 12:30PM (Eastern)
Grand Am – 3PM
Indy Car – 8PM
And although I just cannot seem to get into the UGLY Duckling Daytona Prototype Sports Cars, my curiosity was peaked as I wondered if Robert Nearn was racing in the GT category? Thus I dashed off to ze confuzer and scoured Grand Am's retarded website, pulling up the starting grid while the race was playing in the background...
Scrolling thru the GT field I discovered that Banner Engineering’s #07 Pontiac GXP-R was on Pole (20th Overall) with Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards. Yet the #06 sister car which Robert had co-driven in the Daytona 24hrs was in the back of the grid (44th Overall) as Robert had been replaced by GM Factory Corvette team driver Jan Magnessen.
The SPEED crew then showed Magnessen putting the block onto Patrick 946739629… Dempsey; Racin’ is Rubbin’ after all, eh? As the announcer said that’s probably the only time you can get away with hitting a Hollywood star… As Dempsey is one of the brats from the hit show 90120 from several years ago. To which Dorsey Schroeder commented that Magnessen is a real Bull Dog, enroute to moving into the fourth place in class. And before you knew it the two Banner Engineering Pontiac’s were running 1-2 in the GT class.
And talk ‘bout timing, as I returned to the boob tube. Shuh-zamm! They interviewed some guy named Leighton Reese, who’s the team owner of Banner Engineering, with the pit reporter claiming Leighton to be smiling ear to ear over getting to drive with Magnessen.
Reese said he's known the Dane since 100yrs ago when he saw him win a Formula ford race and never thought he'd get to drive with somebody he's been watching since his Formula 1 days driving for Stewart Grand Prix...
Reese will drive 3 more times with Jan, since Banner is a sister effort to the GM factory Corvette team and Reese said all he could think of while being partnered with Magnessen was’ Don’t screw up!
After a monumental pit stop strategy bamboozlement by Banner Engineering, where they left the leading #06 out for too many laps before coming into the pits during the yellow flag period, Roberts 'Ol sparring pardoner Steve Johnson, co-driving with Jan "Van Hagar" Heylend (Champ Car driver last year) inherited the lead aboard their Synergy Racing Porsche 911 and then it was time to switch over to the Deuce for the Indy Car mop-tops Flinstone pre-race excitement hour. YAWN! ALL the Stars, ALL the Cars, blah-blah-blah… Where’s Danica?
Yet, I did manage to flip back during the OVERLY numerous side-by-side commercial breaks several times to discover that the #07 car finished first in GT with the #06 third, a massive improvement over their 7th and 22nd place finishes at the Rolex 24.
Meanwhile the Cheepster’s hired gun, Scott “Juicyfruit” Pruett, a.k.a. “The Machine” scored another Overall victory for Chip Ganassi. Hmm? Wonder if “Cheep” will do a double at Homestead?