Maxwell gives Coca-Cola Mustangs second podium in as many races on a Cobra scooter
Scott Maxwell put on a patented driving display here Saturday afternoon as he jumped between cars during the three hour Motorola Cup event. He ultimately brought the number 7 Cobra Mustang home in second place after spending the middle hour in his regular number 0 mount. This finish, combined with an excellent third at Watkins Glen by Dave Lacey and Jay Malowney, resulted in the team tying up the Championship with one race to go.
Reliability issues have kept the number 0 Mustang out of the winners circle since Atlanta where a broken suspension upright relegated the driving partnership of Greg Wilkins and Maxwell to a lowly seventh. This was followed by an engine failure at Watkins Glen and a broken fuel pump at Sebring. Luckily the team's championship chances have been kept alive by the number 7 car which has been extremely well driven by Lacey and Malowney with a dose of Maxwell magic at Sebring.
Lacey started the number 7 Mustang at Sebring and handed off to Malowney at the first stop after an hour. At the same time Maxwell took the 0 car over from Wilkins who had run in the top five and stayed within sight of the leaders. Scott stayed in the hunt, driving a conservative race and saving the car for the final dash. Unfortunately it succumbed to the fuel pump failure before he was able to assert himself.
Sean Mason, Multimatic's Motorsports Manager explains, "Scott was unbelievably frustrated. Greg had given him the 0 car in good shape and in an excellent position and he was looking to capitalize on it. When he radioed in that something had broken, I went out to get him on the scooter. While I was picking him up the race went to a full course caution and Jay brought the number 7 car in for its second stop. I hustled Scott back to the pits, got him in the car and had it back out on the track within five minutes of him pulling off with the 0 car. He was well down the field and in a lousy track position but had fresh brakes, new tires and a full tank of fuel. It was all up to him at that point."
Lacey and Malowney drove a solid race and left Maxwell a healthy race car with less than one hour to go. Lacey was nudged into a spin on the first lap and had done an outstanding job working his way through the pack from thirtieth to third. Maxwell equaled the feat with a stunning drive from the back during which he enjoyed a heated battle with the BMW M3 of road racing veteran Andy Pilgrim and the Pontiac of Doug Goad. After half an hour of bumper to bumper dicing with Pilgrim, Maxwell finally went by the BMW in a sideways, tire smoking, braking maneuver that surprised both drivers and put the Mustang solidly in second. The overall win was only four seconds away at the end and could have been realized had Pilgrim and Maxwell not been so focused on each other.
Maxwell concludes: "This race was a total rollercoaster that ended on a great high. I feel badly for Greg as he did an outstanding job but it was all for nothing when the car got sick. I really enjoyed the last half an hour battling with Andy. He is a great driver, and you can't get by a BMW under braking……….but I did!!"
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Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.the-scooters-report.com.
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