Starting todays race from P14 PT went on to a solid fifth place finish. A combination of good pit stops and on track passes throughout the race saw Paul move steadily up the order. Although not a podium position, it was still a victory of sorts for PT seeing as he wound up picking a championship point for improving the most positions during the race. Also a victory of sorts just considering what a difficult time Forsythe Racing had on Friday and Saturday. PT ran a fast lap of 1:00.263 at 117.863 MPH.
Paul: “Up until yesterday we were actually having one of our worst weekends. We made huge changes to the car overnight and we really didn’t know what to expect today, and even in warm up it was hard to tell where we were. So we kind of came blindfolded into the race. The car was OK, it wasn’t super fast but were able to run at the same pace as a bunch of guys that qualified in front of us. We got a top five which is very good considering where we started.”
PT was the first driver on track in todays final qualifying session, hitting the course with the Bridgestone reds on his mount. After only a few laps he got the car very loose exiting Turn 3 and made contact with the wall, knocking off his front wing and causing a red flag. After spending some time in the pits to repair the damage PT headed back on track with just about 10 minutes left in what had become an extended session due to multiple red flags. When the checkered flag dropped Paul found himself in P14. He ran a fast lap of 1:00.107 at 118.169 MPH.
Paul: “It’s extremely frustrating, we just can’t get the car right, we have no grip and we have no balance. We thought we had made some improvements in practice but then during qualifying I went out and the car was extremely loose, I spun on my first lap and had a pretty hard shunt. It knocked the wind out of me for a few seconds, I really just had no confidence on the car after that. My crew fixed the car and after the red flag we tried to improve our time but the car was just all over the place and we couldn’t go any quicker. We really just have to put everything behind and us and go out and pick up a bunch of positions tomorrow.”
After finishing out the final practice session with the second quickest lap, electrical gremlins cut Paul’s qualifying session to just 4 laps. He finished todays session in P15 running a fast lap of 1:01.840 at 114.858 MPH.
Paul: “Well today was pretty much a disaster. I can’t really say much about the car or about the track because I’ve barely done any laps, I haven’t even had a chance to really get up to speed. In the morning I went out and did a few laps and then suddenly something broke on the suspension and it took a while to fix so we were just sitting in the pits. Then we went out again and had some type of electrical problem so we had to come back in but the session was already over anyway. When I went out during the 10 minute pre-qualifying practice the car actually felt pretty good, it was definitely something we could work with. But we never got the chance to, after only four laps during qualifying we had a short in the electrical system and the whole car shut off, my crew tried to repair it in the pits but there was a lot of damage. So obviously it’s a pretty poor start to the weekend, hopefully tomorrow we’ll get to do more laps and see what we got.”