I remember having a note with three talking points (people to thank, sponsors to mention/thank, etc. ) for Mike for the post race and being too nervous to hand it to him until after the flag flew, lest THAT be the thing that tipped the tide on our luck. The thing was barely read-able as I was nervously holding the paper for that final hour…
This was the first Rolex 24 that Sunday Group had a video production crew on site—we’d hired folks from Speed Channel to shoot and edit it for us—and it was just incredible to have it all come together that we were able to have folks there to capture this huge win. I remember getting the last Ozz interview in VL just in time before the camera guy had to shoot off to the airport, some good timing.
Another thing that heightened the nerves was the fact that the team had really really really really promising Rolex 24’s before, only to have them come apart—and sometimes even come apart late in the race. We had claimed the front row, led the race through the 20th hour, only to have motor issues, or something else that generally resulted in really good runs falling short.
So when everything lined up that the team was finally in position to bring it home, all of those missed opportunities were fresh in the mind as “well…x and y could happen and blow this out of the water for us…” so it was such a relief when the car crossed the line.
And while AJ was the guy that brought it home, door bumping a similarly-statued small Scot at 200 MPH at on the banking on his way to bringing the win home, the stint that Justin did ahead of that is what I remember as being the thing that put the team where it needed to be to let AJ go fight for that win. (notwithstanding Ozz ahead of him and Pew keeping exactly on plan as the team had laid it out…)
And its so typical Justin—-he did I think one or two (it was a mega hot day..and those DP’s, well you remember the heat…) extra stints to do like 3 hours and get us that track position, I think he was hugely cramped up after that. But typical amazing contribution from Justin that made the whole thing possible in the early morning hours.
For us at Sunday Group, once that win was in the books, we focused on making the absolute most of every opportunity to maximize the chance to promote MSR and leverage this into more opportunity for the future.
Which turns out to have been a great blueprint for us this year as we have that same aggressive approach for the team following the Indianapolis 500…