TRANS-AM: BFGoodrich Trans-Am, Homestead
19 May 1998(HOMESTEAD, FL) --- Paul Gentilozzi won his second straight race of the 1998 NTB Trans-Am Championship on the 2.21-mile road circuit at Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex, May 17. Homestead marked the second race of the Trans-Am season for the highly-praised BFGoodrich g-Force T/A radial.
Finishing in second place, behind Gentilozzi, was Brian Simo while John Miller, IV finished in third place. Gentilozzi and Simo swapped the lead four times during the race with Gentilozzi leading 28 of the 45 laps and Simo leading 17 laps.
"We had great tires under us today," said Gentilozzi afterward. "We set our fastest laps near the end of the race and we still had good grip left in the rear all the way through. We could have raced all day long with these BFGoodrich g-Force T/As." Gentilozzi set fast lap of the race with a time of 1:23.668 on lap 40.
"We definitely set our fastest lap times towards the end of the race," said Simo. "The track conditions fell off, but we were still able to race hard at the finish. I was going as fast as I could go."
Despite the 90 heat that faced the Trans-Am teams, the BFGoodrich g-Force T/As performed well.
"We've got a good race tire for a change," said third-place finisher John Miller. "We don't have to baby our tires at all. Based upon what we know about these BFGoodrich g-Force T/As, we expect them to be there for us the entire race. You can race hard the entire time."
In addition to his third-place finish today, Miller scored a third-place finish at the season-opener in Long Beach.
"Everyone knows the quality of BFGoodrich Tires," Gentilozzi continued. "We drive 1.5 to 2 seconds faster than with the Goodyears and the entire speed increase can be attributed to our BFGoodrich g-Force T/As. They've made a significant difference."
Scott Clark, vice president of motorsports marketing for BFGoodrich Tires, was the honorary starter of the Sports Car Extravaganza at Homestead and waved the green flag as the Trans-Am field screamed under the starter's stand.
"This is a great series, with a lot of excitement," said Clark. "What a kick to wave the green flag for these cars! I wasn't sure I wanted to come down. I could have watched the whole race from there!"
Gentilozzi earned the pole position during Saturday's qualifying session with a speed of 97.363 miles per hour.
"I'm pretty excited about my second race win," said Gentilozzi afterward, "because this is my second BFGoodrich Winner hat. I can't wait to take a couple more home with me!"
Gentilozzi leads the Trans-Am Championship points chase with 55 points. Miller is second with 52 points, while Simo is third with 48 points.
The Trans-Am cars will race next weekend at legendary Lime Rock Park as part of their Memorial Day Sports Car weekend.
The NTB Trans-Am Homestead race was originally televised on The Nashville Network (TNN) at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, May 17. An encore performance of the race will broadcast Monday, May 18 at 9:00 p.m. on Speedvision.