Posted (05/10/2012) -
Team Sahlen came up one position short of its first Rolex Series GT victory in the recent Grand Prix of Miami, when Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker's No. 42 TheRaceSite.com Mazda RX-8 finished behind only the Ferrari of Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato.
That's the third time in less than a year that the team finished second. Last year, Nonnamaker and John Edwards were runners-up at both Road America and New Jersey Motorsports Park.
This weekend's Global Barter 250 presented by Susan G. Komen for the Cure is an excellent opportunity for the Ohio-based team to step up to the top of the podium. Last year, Edwards captured the pole and led six laps, while Nonnamaker led 28 circuits. In addition, Cameron –driving the No. 41 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 – led four laps en route to finishing third with James Gue.
"We're very excited to get back to the great facility in New Jersey," Nonnamaker said. "It's a very Mazda-friendly track, with Mazdas sweeping the podium the last two years. We're on a streak of three podium finishes in the last nine races, and we'd love to take our first GT victory."
"Miami was really a testament to the hard work of the crew," Nonnamaker added. "We came in for what proved to be the last round of pit stops in 10th place, and the crew got us out in second."
Nonnamaker and Cameron are currently seventh in the GT championship, while Nonnamaker leads the standings for the Bob Akin Award as the top Pro-Am driver in the GT class. He has 1,051 points, 55 more than Assentato and John Potter, in a bid to be the first back-to-back winner of the Bob Akin Award.
The team will also enter the No. 43 Mazda for Joe and Will Nonnamaker – Wayne's father and older brother. Joe is celebrating his 40th anniversary in racing in a career that dates back to running solo events in parking lots in 1972 behind the wheel of a Corvette. Will won the first Bob Akin Award in 2005.
While Team Sahlen has yet to win in GT, the organization has a solid track record in GRAND-AM competition. The team has competed in the Rolex Series since 2003, with Wayne Nonnamaker winning a pair of SGS races from the pole in solo drives in 2004.
Although competing under different banners, the team won four straight titles in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition from 2001 through 2004: 2001, C2K (Will Nonnamaker, Planet Earth Motorsports); 2002, ST II (Will and Wayne Nonnamaker, HRPworld.com); 2003, GS II (Joe and Wayne Nonnamaker, Planet Earth Motorsports); and 2004 (Craig Stanton, TheRaceSite.com Racing).