by Beth Wyse
Powell Motorsport won the first Grand-Am Cup race of the season, racing under cloudy skies at Daytona International Speedway. The race was a two-hour endurance boasting a field of more than 80 cars.
The Super Grand Sports class saw a battle between the #11 Powell Motorsport Corvette and the #15 Motorsport Technologies Porsche TT. At the end of the first lap, Devin Powell in the #11 was in the lead for the Super Grand Sports class and overall. But when the cars crossed the start/finish line at the end of the second lap, Dino Steiner's #15 Porsche had taken the lead.
Steiner held on to the lead for nearly the first hour of the race, when Powell passed him in the horseshoe section of the track.
The #98 MTI Racing Corvette came in to the pits with a smoking engine at the halfway point of the race. Driver Steve Park got out and Reese Cox climbed into the driver's seat. The crew managed to fix the car's problem, which Park reported as being a miss in the motor, and the car continued. After finishing second in qualifying yesterday the Corvette was disqualified and sent to the back of the starting grid. Park worked his way up through the field quickly, and when Cox came out on the track he was in sixth place overall.
With just twenty minutes to go in the race, John Heinricy in the #37 Phoenix American Motorsports Corvette caught up to the #11 Corvette. The two cars were next to each other coming down the front straight, and Heinricy took the lead going into turn one.