Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Diehl-Merrill Racing Gathers the Pieces from Road America

San Jose, CA (September 1, 2020)— If 2020 were a candy, it would sure to be sour patch kids. A year that has been full of plenty of sour moments, sprinkled with a little sweet to keep things interesting. Road America was one of the more sour of this season and the cancellation of Watkins Glen added to the bitterness, but the pack can’t be all sour and with the addition of a doubleheader at Virginia International Raceway September 24-27, things are beginning to taste a bit more sweet again.

The Diehl-Merrill Racing/ Mike Cope Racing team did not have the best qualifying run at Road America siting that the #81 was great on the long run, but not so much the short. This scenario saw Thomas Merrill start P6, but quickly move up to P2 under green flag conditions. Electrical problems sent Merrill down pit road for an unscheduled pit stop. Despite the issues Merrill quickly brought the #81 HP Tuners Mustang back to P4 at the start of lap 14.

Halfway through lap 14 with Merrill in P4, contact occurred between P2 and P3 causing a horrible turn of events which collected many a good race car. The track immediately went under red flag conditions and due to the extensiveness of the accident Trans Am officials called the race based on the finishing order of the last completed lap. With that, Merrill would come home P6.

“First off, I’m glad everyone is okay. The wrecks were far too frequent in this race but I’m happy to hear that everyone walked away,” explained Merrill.  “For our part, is was a missed opportunity. We had a great racecar and made a great charge for the lead in the early laps. Unfortunately, an electrical failure forced me to pull over under yellow to repair and sent us to the back.  Our pace was great, and we fought back to the lead group quickly but then got caught up in someone else’s wreck at the end. It’s a shame for our team and our sponsors who deserved much better this weekend.”

2020 has been a year we won’t forget, but won’t necessarily want to remember; however, one thing is for certain… Every single time Thomas Merrill steps behind the wheel of the #81 HP Tuners/ Wilwood/ CPS Ford Mustang, there’s a great chance he’ll be stepping foot on the podium following that checkered flag.

With the unfortunate cancellation of Watkins Glenn over the Sept 11th weekend, we will be taking that time to honor this great country and remember those lost during those tragic events.

“We are sad to hear about the Glen but looking forward to VIR. Thomas has always performed well in Virginia and 2020 is his year to stand tall on that podium,” said crew chief, Jason Bowser. “With VIR now a doubleheader, we have plans to see Merrill up on the top, not once, but twice.”

And there you have it, race fans! There will be no racing in New York this year but catch us at Virginia International Raceway September 25-27 where DMR looks to make it 2 for 2 in this doubleheader weekend.

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