Race Weekend Central

Dan Goldburg Wraps Up Daytona VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Sweep

JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Dan Goldburg led flag-to-flag from the pole Sunday (Jan. 22) to win VP Racing SportsCar Challenge Race No. 2 at Daytona International Speedway. As a result, he walks out of Daytona with a perfect score of 700 points.

Goldburg’s margin of victory was 9.739 seconds over US RaceTronics’ Brian Thienes. Courtney Crone in the “Red Dragon” No. 99 was third, then Dr. Lance Willsey and Bijoy Garg.

Goldburg earned the pole by virtue of having the best second-best lap in qualifying Saturday morning. It is also possible to determine grid positions by your fastest lap in Race No. 1, but most of the grid was determined via qualifying.

On the start, Goldburg got an excellent start and was able to open up a gap over Garg. Crone was able to sweep past Garg at the first corner to take second.

Unlike Saturday’s race, Sunday’s 45-minute event was not clean. On the first lap, MLT Motorsports’ Adrian Kunzle slid off exiting the infield and nosed into the tires to bring out a yellow. Kunzle would continue after repairs, but finished 12 laps down.

Once the green came back out, Goldburg slowly but surely drove away from the field. Meanwhile, there was more trouble behind. Muehlner Motorsports America’s Mirco Schultis ran in the back of Willsey on the restart, ripping part of his front nose off. No yellow was thrown.

Later in the lap, Scott Neal spun his Ligier JS P320-Nissan and hit the wall exiting the infield. Neal was able to limp his car back to the pits, but was done for the day.

Garg was able to re-take second from Crone on the restart. Goldburg pulled out a four-second lead, then lost it when he caught slower GSX traffic.

The traffic allowed Garg to be aggressive in trying to catch Goldburg, but he went too hard into the chicane, went wide, then tried to get back on the racing line and spun in front of the GSX leaders.

With Garg out of the way, Goldburg ended up with a 12-second lead over Theines. From there, he was able to hold on to claim the sweep.

In GSX, KohR Motorsports’ Billy Griffin started from the pole, but almost immediately lost the lead to Kelly-Moss Road & Race’s Sebastian Carazo. Before he could mount a charge to get the lead back, the yellow for Kunzle’s crash came out.

Once the green came back out, the GSX race became a duel between Carazo, Griffin and Accelerating Performance’s Moisey Uretsky. Split Decision Motorsports’ Patrick Wilmot also gave chase.

With 20 minutes to go, Griffin made an optimistic move at the Le Mans chicane on Uretsky for second. He made the move work, but it nearly put Uretsky in the grass, dropping the Russian racer to fourth.

Shortly after Garg’s spin, Uretsky and Wilmot collided in the International Horseshoe and spun out of third and fourth. Uretsky was able to continue and eventually finished eighth in class after serving a drive-through penalty for causing the incident. The contact broke the right rear suspension on Wilmot’s BMW M4 GT4, forcing him to pull off the track and fall out of the race.

The crash made GSX a two-man race between Carazo and Griffin. With seven minutes to go, Griffin was able to get a big run on Carazo exiting the chicane and swept past exiting turn 4 to take the lead. From there, Griffin was able to pull away to take the win.

Griffin’s margin of victory was 3.735 seconds over Carazo. AutoTechnic Racing’s Rob Walker was third, then Murillo Racing’s Tim Probert and Archangel Motorsports’ Todd Coleman.

The weekend also marked the professional racing debut of Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley. Driving a Ford Mustang GT4 for Multimatic Motorsports, Farley spun out of seventh in class on the final lap Saturday. Sunday saw the executive hold things together to finish in seventh.

IMSA VP RACING SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE DAYTONA RACE NO. 2 RESULTS

VP Racing SportsCar Challenge teams will sit out the Rolex 24 weekend, but will be back in action in March at Sebring International Raceway. Unlike the other IMSA series, they will be sharing the track with the FIA World Endurance Championship during their Prologue weekend. Race No. 1 at Sebring is scheduled for March 12 at 8 a.m. ET and should be streamed live on Peacock.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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