Two-Lap Dash Goes To Plumb

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Matt Plumb put Rum Bum Racing back in victory lane during Saturday's Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. (Doug Day Photo)
Matt Plumb put Rum Bum Racing back in victory lane during Saturday’s Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. (Doug Day Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Matt Plumb admitted having luck on his side Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after prevailing in a two-lap shootout that gave the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing team its 13th victory in Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.

Plumb beat Bill Auberlen to the checkered flag by .452 seconds to win in the Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997 started by Nick Longhi, its second victory of the season. The victory increased their lead in the Grand Sport (GS) driver standings.

The Street Tuner (ST) race was just as close. Tom Dyer held off defending Mid-Ohio ST winner Michael Valiante by .455 seconds to join Andrew Novich in scoring their first career victory, sharing the No. 196 RSR Motorsports Honda Civic Si.

“We got lucky on two fronts,” Plumb said after his 15th career overall victory in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, extending his record for most all-time. “First, Nick pitted just before a caution flag came out and while the pits were still open. Second, we were on our way to running out of fuel when that late yellow came out – that literally saved us. I was happy to see the checkered flag waving. I wasn’t sure if it was the last lap until I saw the checkers – and I don’t know if I could have held off Bill for another lap.”

John DeBarros spun to a stop in Tune 11 in the No. 85 All Out Motorsports MAZDASPEED 3 to bring out the fourth and final full-course caution with nine minutes remaining. At the time, Plumb led Auberlen by 2.6 seconds.

“We were good on 20-lap sprints, but not that two-lap stuff,” said Auberlen, who co-drove the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 with Paul Dalla Lana. “By the time our car came in, the race was over.”