Wilden, Miller Seek To Wrap Up KONI Challenge Titles In Utah
September 16, 2009
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2009) – Ken Wilden and Christian Miller have led their respective Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) point standings nearly all season long, and Friday at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah, they have the opportunity to earn their titles.
The two-and-a-half hour Salt Lake City 200, 10th round of the 2009 season, features both classes simultaneously for the first time since June’s TheGlen.com 200 at Watkins Glen International, will commence at 6 p.m. MT (SPEED, 1:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 3).
Consistency is the hallmark of any championship run, which makes it even more impressive as to why Wilden, of Toronto, has a 20-point lead (266-246) over James Gue and Bret Seafuse. All three have finished in the top 10 in every race this season, but Wilden’s No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT has broke through with two victories (to Gue and Seafuse’s one) and six podiums (to Gue and Seafuse’s two). An eighth-place finish at New Jersey Motorsports Park serves as Wilden’s lowest finish in 2009. With a victory at Miller, Wilden can eliminate five championship contenders.
While not challenging for the driving championship, co-driver Dean Martin, who preps the No. 59, has helped keep the Mustang in the top 10 in 15 straight races. Martin finished sixth in last season’s standings after earning six consecutive top 10s.
Gue and Seafuse, drivers of the No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang GT, finished second in the standings last season. While they remain 20 points behind, Gue said he is not ready to give up.
“Obviously, I’m pleased with the way the season has gone, but we still have a little ways to go, and it will be difficult for us to make up that distance,” Gue said. “We don’t wish anyone bad luck, and the No. 59 hasn’t had much of that. We have two races (left) and should have good results at both; we’re just going to have to go for wins.”
Turner Motorsport has won all three KONI Challenge races at Miller Motorsports Park, and with that streak, the team holds hope its championship contenders – Matt Bell and Chris Gleason – will keep their title aspirations alive until the final round Oct. 4 at Virginia International Raceway. However, both drivers have to finish ahead of Wilden if they want to challenge at VIR. Bell, coming off a victory last month in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivi