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NEW JERSEY - KONI CHALLENGE SERIES EXCITEMENT

9-05-08
Submitted By: Paula Nate
Lakeville, IN  (September 5, 2008) In Millville, New Jersey the home of the Thunderbolt Raceway, at the New Jersey Motorsports Park- Craig Stanton passed Billy Johnson on the final of 72 laps of the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series Grand Sport (GS) race Sunday, August 31, 2008 just a lap after drifting off the track to give Johnson the lead - giving himself and Jon Miller the KONI New Jersey 250 victory and putting both drivers in strong contention for the championship with two races remaining.

Like their GS counterparts, the Street Tuner (ST) race came down to the wire, with track instructor and Grand-Am regular Matt Plumb holding off Jamie Holtom by 0.381 seconds to give Plumb and co-driver Bob Beede their first KONI Challenge victory of 2008 season.

It was the best career finish for Johnson and co-driver Louis-Philippe Dumoulin in the No. 18 Motorsport Technology Group BMW Z4. It was also the second straight podium finish for Johnson.

Bill Auberlen and Matthew Alhadeff finished third in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, 2.488 seconds in arrears. It marked the duo's third podium finish this season and second this month.

Plumb, Beede win KONI ST race

In ST, Matt Plumb battled Jamie Holtom for the final 15 minutes in putting the No. 29 Bill Fenton Motorsports Honda Certified Used Cars/Southern Auto Auction Honda Civic Si in victory lane. Matt Plumb, who has lapped the track more than almost any other KONI Challenge competitor, took the lead from Glenn Bocchino on Lap 45 and never looked back, despite constant pressure by Jamie Holtom. Overall, Matt Plumb led a race-high 28 laps in ST.

Holtom's co-driver Lawson Aschenbach started second but led the opening 10 laps and 12 overall. Holtom was looking for his season-leading fourth victory this season, but settled for second and stretched his lead slightly in the process over Kristian Skavnes. Skavnes finished behind in third in the No. 111 ICY/Phoenix Racing Subaru Legacy shared by Andrew Aquilante.

Al Lamb and Leo Maia were fourth in the No. 85 Classic Plano-BMW Z4, with Owen Trinkler and BJ Zacharias credited with fifth in the No. 196 RSR Motorsports Mini Cooper S.

The top 30 cars overall finished on the lead lap. Stanton averaged 64.131 mph in the race which featured five cautions for 36 laps. The longest caution of the day, which lasted for 16 laps, began on a restart, when Shane Lewis hit the guardrail on the front straightaway in the No. 92 HART Honda Accord. The guardrail required repairs, forcing a 40-minute caution period.

All and all-beautiful weather for racing, dry and sunny sky. Hoosier provided a wonderful weekend of service with the team of: Jim Bartholomew, Eriks Bers, Dave Reppert, Rick Sisk and Jeff Yute.  Product Manager: Scott Huffer and Engineering support : Matt Marlow.

 

Round 10 of 11 for the KONI Challenge Series is Sept. 21, 2008 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele , Utah .

For more information about the Grand American Road Racing Series please visit www.grand-am.com

      

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