It was a disappointing fifth place finish for Paul Miller Racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after getting caught out on strategy by a final-hour yellow flag.
Starting in the third place position, the No. 1 Quartz Engine Oil-backed BMW M4 GT3 duo of Madison Snow and Bryan Sellers looked set to fight for a podium finish in the IMSA WeatherTech GTD class through the first two-thirds of the two-hour, 40-minute race.
However, with just under an hour to go, and mere seconds from Sellers entering pit lane to make their final stop, an LMP3 car accident caused a caution flag, closing the pits and depleting the time advantage the team had to make that stop over the field. Sellers would come out towards the rear of the field and drop back even further after getting hit by the No. 14 Lexus on the restart.
Ultimately, the team would cross the line in fifth position. Despite the result at the line, the No. 1 led four laps, had fast pace during the race, and still leads the Sprint Cup championship with only three Sprint races left to run.
“It’s really disappointing when you go into a race with a great car, and great team, and a great starting position, and end up fifth through circumstances totally outside your control,” Paul Miller Racing team manager, Mitchell Simmons, said.
“The LMP3 car caused a yellow at exactly the wrong time for our strategy. It was disappointing this weekend because we really felt we had a car that could challenge for the podium and maybe even the win, and we were well-positioned for that before our final stop.
“It’s even more disappointing, however, having another LMP3 accident cause a yellow after last week, where we saw multiple yellow flags caused by cars in that class. It’s just a shame we’re not leaving here with a better result.”
The Paul Miller Racing team will regroup and head to the home race for Paul Miller Auto Group, Lime Rock Park—where they will look to further extend their Sprint Cup lead.
“Rough weekend for us. It was nice being back up here in Canada, it’s been a while since we’ve been back up here at this track. The race just didn’t go quite as we wanted or were hoping for. We kind of got screwed at every turn that we could at the end there. We were working strategy with the cars around us to maximize the space we had since the boxes were tight, and trying to roll with the punches of this race, so we opted to go a little bit longer before we made our final stop. And, of course, the lap we were aiming to come in on, the LMP3 car crashed and we weren’t able to come in. That yellow definitely took us out of a podium
“Just a really disappointing day. It’s been awhile since we’ve had two bad weekends in a row. It just sucks. Madison did a really good job, we were running third, and then the race came unraveled for a number of different reasons. It’s frustrating, you have a good restart, and then someone like [Kamui] Kobayashi, is just not paying attention and runs into you. That cost us another two positions—and it’s frustrating when it’s not even someone in the same class and there are no class cars in front of him to race. I think today, unfortunately, if it could go wrong, it did. It stinks. The guys worked so hard and it looked so promising and then it just falls apart. Hopefully we can figure out how to get this going in the right direction because two bad ones in a row is not a very good feeling.”
Source. Paul Miller Racing