Wallace, Duno Charge to Fourth at Fontana
CITGO Team scores first top-five of 2005
Fontana, CA (April 3, 2005) -- Andy Wallace and Milka Duno piloted the
#2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford to a fourth-place finish in the Ferrari Maserati 400
at the California Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
The weekend was scheduled to begin with an "open test" day on Thursday,
March 30th; however high winds brought all activities at the 2.82-mile track
to a halt and forced a cancellation of the test. The Santa Anna winds were
estimated at speeds of between sixty and seventy miles per hour during the
Mother Nature cooperated on Friday permitting practice and qualifying for
the Grand American Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes to proceed as scheduled.
Milka Duno was selected to qualify the #2 CITGO Pontiac Crawford on Saturday
afternoon and was scored with a lap of 1 minute 37.856 seconds to earn the
21st starting position in the 45-car field. During the qualifying session
Duno was well on her way to a much faster lap time and higher qualifying
position when she was clipped by another car - which ended the session for
her. With an ultra competitive field of Daytona Prototypes in the race,
track position and pit strategy would play a major role in the outcome of
Duno would start the CITGO Pontiac Crawford and drove a calculated first
stint in the 86-lap event. During the first scheduled pit stop of the race,
the CITGO crew refueled the car and changed four tires. Continuing with
their race strategy, Andy Wallace assumed the pilot role and began his
stint. As the race progressed, several teams utilized different pit strategy
and the veteran road racer began his climb in the running order. By lap 48,
Wallace had moved to the third position and made his second scheduled pit
stop of the race. The CITGO team once again refueled and changed four tires
for the sprint to the finish.
Wallace rejoined the race in the seventh position and was able to work his
way to fourth as the laps began to wind down. Mounting a late-race charge,
Wallace closed on the third place car, but came up less than one-half second
short of a podium finish. However, the fourth-place finish was the first
top-five finish of the season for the talented Wallace/Duno team and gave
the CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports momentum as the series heads to Laguna
Seca for the next race on the 2005 schedule.
"It was really a good race, very close and exciting at the finish," Duno
commented. "We were in a strong race for a podium finish and were very, very
close. We finished fourth and because of that, I'm very happy. In my
opinion, a good racing team is striving all the time to better their
results. We finished this race with a much better result from last year
(9th) which demonstrates that we are constantly improving. Many thanks to my
teammate Andy (Wallace) and the entire team for working so very hard."
The CITGO Team did a fantastic job," Wallace added. "They gave me a very
good race car today. We almost got to the podium, but not quite. This race
result was good for us because we had two days here with a lot of
frustration. But, come race day, it all came together and I'm very, very
The #2 CITGO Racing Team now looks to the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca for
the fourth race of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Series season. Practice and
qualifying will begin on April 29th with the race set for Sunday afternoon
CITGO, based in Houston, Texas, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of
transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and
other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc.,
an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.,
the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more
information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com .
Milka is currently featured in Pontiac's largest ever Spanish language
advertising campaign launching an all-new sports sedan - the Pontiac G6.
Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets
the Bonneville, GTO, Grand Prix, Grand Am, G6, Vibe and Sunfire. In 2003,
Pontiac sold more than 475,000 vehicles, ranking third among GM divisions in
total sales. 2004/2005 will see Pontiac launch an exciting new range of
vehicles including the Montana SV6, G6 coupe, G6 convertible and the
Solstice roadster. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found
at www.pontiac.com . Information in Spanish
can be found atwww.pontiac.com/sp .
For additional information on Milka and Andy please visit www.milkaduno.com or www.andywallace.com ,
respectively. For more information on the Rolex
Sports Car Series log on to www.grandamerican.com .