Posted (06/17/2013) -
LEXINGTON, Oh.—In the past, Mid-Ohio has been a bad luck track for RSR Motorsports. Tom Dyer and Andrew Novich changed that on Saturday by winning the ST class of GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in the No. 196 US LED/Thor Motor Coach Honda Civic Si.
The win is the first Mid-Ohio podium for RSR Motorsports and the first series win for Dyer and Novich.
Novich opened the 2.5-hour race after qualifying seventh. He had to miss the test day on Thursday because of his college finals schedule but had no problem getting up to speed Friday morning in time for qualifying.
At the green flag, Novich quickly moved into the top three. He was holding down the ST lead by the time he pitted and handed the No. 196 Honda over to Dyer.
Dyer led the field for the final 38 laps, despite a battle from second place. At one point, Dyer was able to break away, but a late-race caution closed the field up again, resulting in a nerve-wracking sprint to the finish. Dyer was able to stay out front, crossing the finish line with a narrow 0.455-second margin of victory.
“Andrew did a great job, staying clear of trouble and keeping the car at the front. It gave us the opportunity to maintain excellent track position after our lighting-quick pit stop,” Dyer said. “As a driver, I feel like I have the easy job after the hard work and effort that the team puts in. The guys had to do a motor change after the first practice on Friday, and we made it to our last practice session before qualifying. The win is a nice reward for them and their hard work. I’m thankful to the team and all the people over the years who have supported me to get this far. I feel blessed.”
Novich was also quick to credit the RSR Motorsports crew, saying, “I have to thank the team for giving us such a good car. To go from having issues Friday morning to the top step on Saturday speaks volumes about Randy Smalley’s organization and the work ethic of all the guys. All season they have never given up as we sorted out the new car, and they’ve refined it so much that it’s now a race winner!”
For RSR Motorsports team owner Randall Smalley, the win was particularly special because it came at Mid-Ohio. “It’s nice to get rid of our Mid-Ohio jinx!” he says. “We’ve always been so good at Mid-Ohio, but not good enough to get on the podium. It feels great to win the race after so many years of trying.”
Sarah Cattaneo and Chris Puskar also had a solid day of racing, crossing the line 11th in the No. 198 RSR Motorsports Honda Civic Si.
Watch Dyer and Novich hand RSR Motorsports the victory during the race broadcast on SPEED on Sunday, June 23, at 4:00 p.m. Find Mid-Ohio pictures and more online at www.RSRMotorsports.com and www.facebook.com/RSRMotorports.
RSR Motorsports is sponsored by Cruise America, Thor Motor Coach, US LED, Honda Performance Development, CaseTech, OS Giken Racing Clutches and Limited Slip Differentials, Eibach Springs, Performance Racing Oils/Millers Oils, Midway Ford Truck Sales, DBA USA, Team RaceWorks, Performance Speed Tech, and Carbotech Performance Brakes.