Elkhart Lake, Wis. (17 August 2012) – When the Trans Am Series returned to Road America on Friday, Amy Ruman had been hoping for another strong result in the No. 23 McNichols Co./Goodyear/Cenweld Corvette as she targeted her fifth consecutive podium finish. But unfortunately for Ruman, who entered the weekend second in the Trans Am Championship standings, the race did not go as planned.
After heavy rains washed out Thursday’s practice and qualifying sessions, the grid would be set by championship point order. With Ruman holding second in the championship, she started on the outside of the front row and hoped to use that strong starting spot to her advantage throughout the beginning stages of the race.
Unfortunately the tight battle for track position at the front of the field saw the No. 23 McNichols Co./Goodyear/Cenweld Corvette slip back to fourth on the first lap where Ruman continued to run until the first full course caution was displayed just seven laps in.
Following four laps under yellow, the field bunched back up for the restart with Ruman ready to move forward. But that forward movement was abruptly halted when contact with the No. 87 of Doug Peterson saw the No. 23 Corvette sustain damage, forcing Ruman to pit lane for repairs.
"We were running a strong fourth place on the restart. Simon (Gregg) got a jump on Doug (Peterson), and I was following Simon up the inside into turn 1. They were side by side through turns one, two, & three and touched several times. The last contact sent Doug spinning across the track, he floored it to try and make it around, but it shot him back across the track into me instead," remarked Ruman.
The Ruman Racing crew quickly went to work in the pits and was able to keep Ruman on the lead lap by making a series of three pit stops under yellow with Ruman returning to the track each lap in order to keep up with the field while still receiving the necessary repairs to the No. 23 during the subsequent pit stops.
When the race returned to green flag running with 10 laps to go, Ruman restarted 17th as the No. 23 ran without its hood which had to be removed due to the damage sustained in the incident.
Ever more determined to make up the lost ground, Ruman masterfully moved up six spots to run 11th with nine laps to go. Ruman had moved into the top-10 with seven laps remaining and kept her head down as she maintained her goal of picking up as many championship points as possible.
Ruman continued to make forward progress as she ran as high as eighth in the final laps before ultimately taking ninth at the checkered flag.
"We sustained a bunch of damage to the right side and nose of the car, but my crew did a great job patching it up and keeping us on the lead lap. Unfortunately, this race ended our podium streak. We had a really good car this weekend, and I think we would have been right up there at the end of the race had we not been involved in that incident," exclaimed Ruman.
Ruman remains second in the standings, but will look to gain ground in the championship hunt in two weeks when the Trans Am series travels to Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota on September 2 for the next two rounds of the championship as it is a double race weekend.