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Roush Mustang

Roush Mustang

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�� Mustang Wins KONI Challenge Race at Barber Story: Grand American Gue & Seafuse take first place.

07-20-09: Barber Motorsports Park may just be a Ford Mustang track in Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge competition.James Gue and Bret Seafuse captured the first KONI Challenge victory for JBS Motorsports on Sunday at the 2.3-mile, 16-turn track, as Gue beat point leader Ken Wilden by 1.863 seconds for his second career KONI win and Seafuse's first.

They led the second straight podium sweep for Ford Mustangs at Barber in their No.

37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang GT.Overall, the pair dominated.

Seafuse passed Dean Martin on Lap 8 after Martin missed a shift, then pulled out to a comfortable six-second margin before pitting for his first and only time just before the halfway point of the two-and-a-half hour race.

After pit stops cycled through, Gue found himself in the lead.

Gue and Wilden's teams both called to their drivers to conserve fuel, but neither ran out in the caution-free race, the second consecutive GS race at Barber without a caution.Advertisement KONI Challenge GS competitors, in fact, have gone 197 laps - or more than five-and-a-half hours - without seeing a caution period.

The last yellow flag to fly in a GS race was at 200 at Watkins Glen International in early June.For Seafuse, part owner in the JBS Motorsports organization - (Jim, Bret and Sandy Seafuse) - it was his first victory in 61 KONI Challenge starts, dating back to midway through the 2001 season, and the first for the JBS Motorsports team, which only has two paid fulltime members on the team - Gue and crew chief Doug Hoover.

Every member of the fly-in crew is a volunteer, and Bret Seafuse said he, father Jim and Hoover do 99 percent of the work in their Montour Falls, N.Y., shop."It's great; I don't really know what to say about it.

We've been so close so many times, James and I," Seafuse said.

"I was afraid it was going to be d�j� vu from last year.

I didn't know if my heart could take that.

I wasn't in the car so I didn't know how much fuel was left but I was pretty sure it would run out at the checkered flag.

But we made it back; there can't be more than a pint in there."It was a great run.

I didn't get a great start but the car was perfect," Seafuse continued.

"We had the same good tires last year and it was really good over the whole run.

He just kept it going and didn't make any mistakes and finally the cards fell right and here we are on top.

I can't say enough for the whole crew.

We had a miscue here and there.

James and I probably had the worst driver exchange we ever had and lost some time there.

The seat belts got messed up.

We could have used that extra 8 or 10 seconds we lost in the pits but it worked out - finally! I couldn't be happier."Gue won his second race and first since 2005 at California Speedway.

The duo was close last season, with Gue leading as late as the final 15 minutes before Scott Maxwell passed him.

Gue and Seafuse went onto finish second, Seafuse's highest finish before Sunday."I think we learned something from our mistakes last year; that we could do it on a one-stop race," Gue said.

"We knew that going in and kept that in the back of our mind the whole time unlike last year, where it kind of snuck up on us at the end.

We knew it was going to be very close on fuel and right at the end, the last 15 laps, we had a good (margin) on third and five or six seconds on Kenny so I was basically just gapping, you know, keeping the gap constant with Kenny and right at the end there was no point in pushing.

We didn't need to win by five seconds; all we needed to win by was just a hair.

I was just slowing up more and more at the end to make sure we'd be good on fuel and we were pretty much on fumes there at the end."This was the 16th top-10 finish by the No.

37 duo in the last 18 races and fifth podium in that same stretch.The victory did little to move Seafuse and Gue closer to Wilden in the standings, however.

They cut Wilden's advantage by three to 18 points - 236-218 - with only three races remaining in the 2009 season.Wilden and Martin finished second in the No.

59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT, while Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr.

were third in the No.

61 Valvoline/Roush Ford Mustang GT after making two pit stops, including one at the 30-minute mark for a problem with one of the wheels.

Last season, Mustangs also swept the podium at Barber, and the ponies have corralled five of six podium finishes in the last two races."Well, you know he was really strong and I was just happy to try to keep the gap," Wilden said.

"We started to bring it in a little bit but like Dean said, we were shifting short and I'm sure those guys were trying to conserve fuel.

When it got down to those 3-4 laps from the end, I was pretty sure we were going to make it and I tried to put a bit more of a push on - the last lap especially.

Coming out of (Turn) 2, I thought this was going to be an opportunity here and for some reason one of the Porsches blocked me the whole way down into the hairpin.

I don't know what place he was in but it was pretty upsetting."But, you know, for us, it was a great race," Wilden concluded.

"The fuel light was coming on two laps from the end.

It was touch and go and it was great for the Rehagen Racing team, three in a row here for the Mustangs.

It was tight.

We were on fumes so if we'd pushed any harder at any point I don't think we would have made it around.

So, congrats to the winners."Added Roush: "The No.

61 Roush Mustang was really good at the beginning; I thought we were going to be able to drive up to the front and battle with these guys.

There was a wheel issue.

The wheel was loose not long into my run, 20 minutes or so.

The car started to get real funky.

I was just holding on to try to make it to the pit stop.

Luckily, it didn't cause any serious damage.

Billy got out there and did an awesome job.

I've got to hand it to him; he was out there a lot longer than we intended and it was tough."The top finishing Porsche was the No.

39 DigiTrust Group/Adam's Polishes Porsche 997 of Spencer Pumpelly and Duncan Ende, while Matt Bell and Boris Said took fifth in the No.

96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3.The next race on the 2009 season is Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivi�res Aug.

16 in Trois-Rivi�res, Quebec, Canada.�
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