TRG Closes Out Rolex Series Season with Podium Result in Utah

September 21, 2008
Patrick Long Joins TRG for Rolex Finale

TOOELE, Utah — In the 2008 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season-ending 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park, TRG finished the season as it began in January, on the podium.

The No. 67 Cabana Cachaça/Tantra South Beach/johnnie-o clothing Porsche GT3 team of Tim George Jr., Andy Lally and Patrick Long finished third, scoring the team’s eighth podium result of the season. The result allowed George to clinch the MESCO Building for the Future Rookie of the Year Award.

“I’m excited to lock up Rookie of the Year,” George said. “It’s a great way to increase my momentum going into my ARCA program with TRG Motorsports. It was really awesome to be running with Pat Long and Andy Lally here. The team did a great job. We had a couple of deals with the tires at the end, but it was a sweet run.”

“That’s really big for him,” added TRG owner Kevin Buckler. “He’s moving up to ARCA next year on our TRG Motorsports program. His Rookie of the Year this year is great. It just reinforces it. We’ve got a nice, young, rising star here with Tim George Jr. and he really showed his mettle this year. He drove really, really well all year barking with the big dogs. He’s ready to move towards his NASCAR goals. It’s good for him.”

George started the six-hour and 45-minute race from ninth on the GT grid and drove the race’s opening stint before turning the car over to Lally. Early in his first stint, Lally was hit by another car, bringing about an unscheduled pit stop. The three-time Rolex Series champion managed to persevere and the No. 67 machine was soon back in contention for the victory.

Lally turned the car over to Long and the Porsche factory driver encountered an adventure of his own as the skies opened shortly past the halfway point, sending several other cars spinning off course. Long not only avoided the pitfalls, he also managed to take over the lead in the race.

The way the rest of the race unfolded worked against the No. 67 team as the race-winning No. 07 Pontiac received an incredibly lucky race-deciding “wave-by” under yellow with only an hour remaining in the race. The final 26 laps of the race were run without a full-course caution, and despite a late charge by Lally, the team settled for a third-place result.

“We had an excellent car, and I had some bonehead run into me,” said Lally. “In reality, it’s my fault because I should have realized he was a bonehead. That kind of set us back for the race, and unfortunately, I’ll take the blame for that. It was silly. But we had a really strong car, and TRG just gave us the solid stuff. We had the fast race lap, we had a great car and we were coming through at the end. We picked up something on the tire. The tire was going down or we blistered it, and we just couldn’t make that last spot, but oh well.”

“The elements of rain and dry and strategy certainly played a big part in today’s race,” contributed Long. “I think, all in all, it was a great result to be back up on the podium with TRG after being away for about four or five years. Running with Andy, Kevin and Tim, they’re just a class act. I’m proud to be back. I think we had a car to win today, but the chips just didn’t fall our way.”

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