Rum Bum Racing Charges From Back To Front To Win At Homestead
Homestead, Fla. (28 April 2012) - Racing at team owner Luis Bacardi's home track with scores of Rum Bum Racing fans, guests, and VIPs on hand, Rum Bum Racing scored a dramatic and convincing win in the Kia 200 on Saturday. The triumph marked the second win in as many races for Rum Bum Racing and grew the team's lead in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Championship standings with drivers Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi.
The result was all the more remarkable after the No. 13 Porsche machine was forced to start from the back of the GS class pack following qualifying on Friday. Longhi had scored his second consecutive Homestead pole and set a new track record, but the team faced its first new car gremlin as a non-performance enhancing measurement was found to be out of spec after the session.
But the same deep talent pool that saw the Joe Varde-led group win in the team's very first time out in GRAND-AM competition, and then matching that with a win in its Porsche debut in the most recent round, once again was put on display with outstanding race pace and remarkably fast, track position-earning pit stops.
With rain falling on an already-wet track, Longhi started the 2.5-hour race from 27th on the grid. But that number would not last long, with the No. 13 scored in 16th on the second lap, then racing up to the top-five just 10 laps later before moving up to third. All this forward progress played out on a track that was changing every lap as the rain stopped and a dry line emerged.
The challenging conditions favored the skilled, as Longhi was shining in the mixed conditions.
"It was a good day, a really really good day," said Longhi. "Mostly, this is just a great team. We had a fantastic pit stop that got us out in the lead. Starting in the back could have been a problem, but this is such a fantastic race track with so many places to pass. It was bad to start that far back but we knew that we had a very good car, a very good crew and as I always say it's not the hardware - it's the group of people. This is that kind of a team. It's a very good team.
"We were ready, and I was mad so I had to catch up! Starting in the rain could not have been a better scenario for us, because we could take advantage of mistakes to pick up a lot of places. Nobody has figured out this concept in terms of this kind of racetrack, the oval, the banking, the roval - these kinds of cars like Joe Varde. He is unbelievable. What he gets out of this car is just fantastic. It was just great to drive. It's our home race so it's fantastic."