@DylanKMurry Dylan Murry
This weekend was an incredible weekend. Racing both NASCAR K&N at Watkins Glen, and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Road America was a (hopefully not once in a lifetime) fantastic opportunity! It was a very busy weekend starting out in Road America for practice on Thursday, and then flying to Watkins Thursday night. Friday was the one-day NASCAR K&N show, with practice, qualifying, and race all being in one day. Friday night, I flew back to Road America to watch my co-driver, Jim Cox, qualify Saturday morning, and later that day, get in the car for the race.
On Thursday at Road America, we were one of the fastest cars out on track. I had lots of confidence in the car. Riley Motorsports, with our engineer Matt Bejnarowicz, showed up to the track with a very fast and well balanced car. So it really made for a good practice session of only fine tuning on the car.
Friday at Watkins Glen, with Jefferson Pitts Racing, was looking really good, but then rain -and lightning- came in. In practice, we were trying to make set up changes at the same time as I was learning the new-to-me car (and yes, I lost a bet saying that I would reach for a paddle shifter at some point haha). I started the race in 7th place. On the start of the race, I quickly moved up through the field to 3rd place. With about 15 laps to go, there was a caution. When we went back green, the right lane got bottled up and fell back. I went straight from 3rd to 8th. In a couple laps I worked my way up to 6th and catching the leaders. 7 laps to go, there was lightning in the area, so they red flagged it for a while. Patiently waiting, they never went back green and called the race. I was really hoping for them to go back green so I could still try to make up some more spots, knowing that we had a fast car and could have easily had at least a top 3 finish.
Back at Road America on Saturday, I went in for one timed lap in the 15 minute practice session in the morning to get used to the Mercedes-AMG again. I must have brought lightning with me from Watkins, because they delayed the start of the race 1 hour. They then reduced the race time from 2 hours to 1 hour 15 minutes, also shortening minimum drive time to 25 minutes. On the race start, Jim qualified and started 8th place. The track was wet when we went green for the first time. He started on rain tires passed a couple people on the way. Right about 30 minutes into the race, the track started to dry up. We came in for driver change, dry tires, and fuel. We were one of the fastest cars on track. More rain and thunderstorms rolled in. We were expecting it to be red flagged so we tried to stay on dry tires as long as possible. The race was never red flagged, so we had to come in for rain tires. By that point there was only one lap to go in the race, and not enough time to make up positions. We finished 8th place in the Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Even though the results were not the best that I have ever seen, it was a fantastic weekend, and huge to my career. I am looking forward to the next race at Virginia International Raceway, where I’ll be racing the Mercedes-AMG for Riley Motorsports, and the Ligier LMP3 for MLT Motorsports. Due to conflicts in F3, my typical co-driver in the LMP3, Dakota Dickerson, is unable to make it. Another second generation racer, Skylar Robinson, will be taking his place. I’m looking forward to the race in two weeks.
Thank you Build Welliver, Hilliard Corperation, TI Advisors, Cook Painting, Edger Enterprises, Fennell Spring Company, Dimon & Bacorn, Wynn’s, Riley Motorsports, Jefferson Pitts Racing, and Jim Cox for making this weekend possible. It was really great for my career and I look forward to what it brings in the future.
TV Broadcast for both races will be:
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