Ricky Taylor: Finishing Up Strong

July 27, 2010 Polesitter Ricky Taylor leads the field to green, piloting the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara, in the July 3 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Ricky Taylor, driver of the No. 10 Ford/Dallara, regularly blogs for GRAND-AM.com. When not racing, he attends the University of Central Florida, majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

Hello everyone. After nine races in 2010, the season has really flown by. A couple of results have slipped through our fingers but, for the final three races, we are looking to capitalize on any opportunity we can get. Looking back at the most recent race in New Jersey, we once again had a car capable of winning the race. We were able to take the lead on the first green-flag run and, when the first caution came out, we opted to take left-side tires because everyone was struggling with tire wear in those conditions. The decision was a great one. Just a problem with the gun on the left-front prevented us from having another perfect pit stop, so we lost some track position. The track position would be difficult to make up, but we still had a very good shot at winning. But then I came together with a GT car, which damaged the rear spoiler and caused us to lose quite a bit of rear downforce, which at New Jersey is a premium. Max did a great job with the damaged spoiler to pass the No. 6 and the No. 61 to put us on the podium for the fourth time this year!

Coming up this weekend, I will be competing in my first triathlon in Indianapolis alongside our technical director Travis Jacobson, our data engineer Adam Banet, and Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing driver Gustavo Yacaman. The triathlon consists of a swim, bike ride, and a run. Previously during my training routine, I was running and cycling, so the swim will be a big challenge. Like my season in the Rolex Series so far, the first part of the triathlon will be tough, and there will be a lot of learning going on. And for the second half, I can focus on a strong finish. Max “The Ax” will also be on hand at the triathlon to add to the trash talking and pre-race banter, although I am not sure he will make the start as the race is set for 8 a.m. and Max needs his morning cappuccino at Starbucks!

Next stop on the schedule after the triathlon will be the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen. The common question for our short races is, “How will that affect the strategy?” And the answer is, normally, it does not. We still have the 45-minute rule and the minimum of 30 minutes per driver. The only difference is that your final stop can come earlier in the race. The shorter distance may not affect strategy drastically, but the impact on drivers and the importance of track position is greatly affected. Drivers will have to push harder to ensure their car is in a position to win because there will not be time to make up lost track position. I am looking forward to this race. Watkins Glen is one of my favorite tracks, and the race should be an exciting one.

The SunTrust car has been awesome all year, and the final three race venues suit our Dallara quite well. So, like I hope to do in the triathlon this weekend, let’s finish up strong!

Ricky Taylor

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