Wild Watkins Glen Weather Doesn’t Stop Ruman from Another Trans Am Victory
May 18, 2016
TEAM RELEASE - Munroe Falls, Ohio – In a rather chilly, wild weather May weekend at Watkins Glen, NY, Ruman and her team set out for their usual goal – to win – and that’s just what they achieved for the second time in three races of the 2016 season.
The TA teams had minimal track time throughout the weekend due to weather conditions and on-track incidents causing repairs to the track barriers. Between the test day and race day, Ruman only turned 12 laps on the track. During qualifying, the TA/TA3/4/5 group only had two dry green laps before the rain came. Ruman placed her No. 23 McNichols Co. Corvette a tight third on the grid as the top 3 were only hundredths apart. However, on race day, the grid changed up as pole sitter Paul Fix opted to change tires and had to move to the back of the field per the GCR. This moved Ruman forward to the outside of the front row next to Cliff Ebben who was now starting in first.
Weather conditions were blustery for the late Sunday afternoon race with temps in the upper 30’s, winds gusting from 20-30mph, and on and off snow flurries. The officials opted for two pace laps due to the frosty track conditions, with the second lap officially starting the race under yellow. The green flag flew for the Classic Tube 100 and Ruman was off to turn one in a nose to nose drag race with Ebben. Ruman took him deep into the brake zone on the outside, with Ebben protecting the inside. Ebben washed out on the exit of the turn and Ruman tucked underneath on the inside and the two exited in another drag race halfway up the famous esses. Ruman had the advantage and came out ahead onto the back straightaway. The two battled until an early, very lengthy, race caution came out for a multi-car accident. When the track went green again, the two continued their fight, with Ruman maintaining her lead until Ebben suffered a mechanical failure with 21 laps remaining. When Ebben retired, Ruman had a solid 39 second lead over Jim McAleese in second place, she was virtually untouchable. With about 8 minutes remaining in the race, snow decided to fall once again, making for a slick track surface. Ruman eased up a bit and cruised to her second victory of the season in Round 3 of the 2016 Championship.
“It was a great day,” said Ruman. “Our first victory in a snowstorm!” joked Ruman. “This McNichols 23 was the only thing that was hot today! Once we got into a groove before the snow started, we laid down some pretty good laps – a 1:49 – I think. But these guys, my crew, my dad, they do a great job preparing the car for every race. These PME motors are great for us; we just kept our nose clean and sprinted out to victory. It seems like everyone had some problems today and kind of made for an easy win in the end for us.”
Ruman led all of the green flag laps until the checkered flag flew, with Ebben being the only one within reach during the race. “Cliff (Ebben) was right there with us,” said Ruman. “I got out on him a little bit but then got caught up in traffic in the esses, so he had a good run on us— he had another run up in the boot and he gave me some room to get around some of the lapped cars and that was really cool of him. It could have been a lot harder, but he kept it clean. It was a great race by Cliff; unfortunately, he didn’t finish.”
The newly re-paved 3.4-mile “long course” proved to be fast despite the frigid weather conditions. Ruman set a new track record for the TA class with a 1:49.355 over the previous record at a 1:49.925. Ruman maintains the lead in TA class points with 87, and moving up to second and third are Kerry Hitt with 65, and David Pintaric with 58.
Sponsor: McNICHOLS CO. is the nation’s largest distributor of Perforated and Expanded Metals; Wire Mesh; Bar, Plank, and Safety Gratings; Stair Treads; Matting; and more. Products are carried in all styles and materials–stocked for 24 hour shipment. “Inspired to Serve”™ 800.237.3820 mcnichols.com.
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