Guy Smith and Dyson Racing were on the other end this time around at Road America. A year after missing out by 0.112 seconds to Muscle Milk Racing in the P1 class, Smith delivered victory for Dyson Racing on Saturday in the closest overall finish in the history of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón - 0.083 seconds.
Despite starting next-to-last on the grid, Smith and Chris Dyson won the four-hour Road America Road Race Showcase in an epic finish. Muscle Milk Pickett Racing's Lucas Luhr appeared to have the race won by passing Smith in the final corner, but Smith and the No. 16 Lola-Mazda won a drag race up the hill and to the checkered flag.
"It was too close for comfort," Smith said. "Last year was really close, I never expected something to beat that."
Dyson took the start of the race from the 34th position after missing qualifying due to a faulty gearbox on lap 22 when then-leader Muscle Milk Pickett Racing brought its Honda Performance Development ARX 03a-led into pit lane with a broken hose clamp.
"We knew Muscle Milk had the advantage on pace all weekend," Dyson said. "The main thing was to get to the front and not make any contact. We tried to play the yellows right and just be in contention. I was able to have a really good first stint. The tires were fantastic. We needed to get to the front and I just never looked back."
Klaus Graf lost four laps in the pits, but he and teammate Luhr fought hard to get back on the lead lap with about 45 minutes remaining. A late full-course caution took nearly a minute out of Smith's lead with less than 30 minutes to go. The two cars ran nose-to-tail for the last three laps, and memories of 2011 surely came flooding back for both teams.
Luhr pressured Smith relentlessly over the last two laps and finally got around the Lola on the inside of the final corner. Smith had too much power on the long climb up the final hill and got back by Luhr just before the finish line.
"I knew they were going to be close on the final restart," Smith said. "(The Dyson team) kept telling me, 'Push Guy, push. I told them I was pushing and they said to push a little more.
"Going into the final corner, Lucas was all over me," he recounted. "I