WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Crowdstrike Racing with Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz ran down an ailing Russell Ward from 15 seconds back and took the overall lead with 90 seconds remaining. From there, he pulled away to claim an overall victory Sunday (July 24) at Watkins Glen for himself and Colin Braun.
US RaceTronics’ Loris Spinelli led a depleted field of 15 cars to green in a somewhat ragged fashion. A stackup nearly caused K-PAX Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli to run in the back of DXDT Racing’s Bryan Sellers. Despite this, the field got away cleanly for 90 minutes of racing.
Spinelli was able to open up a decent advantage on K-PAX Racing’s Jordan Pepper in the opening laps. Meanwhile, Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley suffered a tire issue less than 10 minutes in, necessitating an unscheduled stop. He was able to resume at the rear of the field, 50 seconds back.
In Pro-Am, Triarsi Competizione’s Ryan Dalziel started from the class pole in fourth overall and was able to settle in there. He shadowed Philip Ellis in the Winward Racing Mercedes and held onto his position ahead of Braun.
Eventually, Ellis was able to run down Pepper for second. A fierce battle erupted as the two traded jabs at each other, bringing Dalziel and Braun into the fray as well.
Ellis was eventually able to get around Pepper for second. Dalziel was able to capitalize as well to move up to third and put Pepper between himself and Braun.
This was about as good as it got for K-PAX Racing. Pepper faded as the race continued on with an apparent rear diffuser issue. He was down to seventh by the time the mid-race pit stops came around. Teammate Misha Goikhberg ended up having to make multiple unscheduled stop for repairs later on that left the team 13 laps down at the finish.
Eventually, Ellis was able to run down Spinelli for the overall lead, dragging Dalziel and Braun with him. The quartet battled hard up until the mid-race stops began.
Spinelli was the first to stop for tires, fuel and to hand over to Steven Aghakhani. Meanwhile, Ellis stayed out for an extra lap before his stop to switch over to Ward.
The key here was that Aghakhani stalled the car leaving his pit stall. That really hurt the US RaceTronics team. That, combined with a quick in lap for Ellis meant that when the stops were complete, Ward went from having a car in second to leading by eight seconds. Aghakhani actually came out of the pits in third, six seconds back.