MANSFIELD, Ohio – It was a headliner of a day for Ford Mustang GT4 teams at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday. Kyle Marcelli, Nate Stacy and KohR Motosports/Roush Performance earned their second IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race win in a row, after another Ford Mustang GT4 team started on pole.
After qualifying first early in the day, it looked like Ohio native Pat Gallagher and qualifying driver Chad McCumbee would cruise away with the checkered flag, too. With just minutes to go, Marcelli, who had been steadily making up time on the leader, made his move.
“It was one of those never give up races,” Marcelli said. “I just kept telling myself that anything can happen, to keep pushing, and our Ford Mustang GT4 was just really solid today. Really consistent. The tires held up great, the car just didn’t go off on me.
“I knew if I just didn’t make a mistake, that we had the pace to do it. Finally, with just a few minutes to go it looked like I could make the pass and I knew when I finally caught him, I had to make it right away. We went door-to-door in turn two and it was just really good racing. Two-for-two for Ford and Roush Performance and KohR. Our strategy was awesome as well. It was a bit risky. We came in early to make our final stop shorter and it paid off with track position.”
While Marcelli crossed the finish line, Stacy celebrated with the crew in the pit.
“Two in a row is definitely a confidence booster,” Stacy said. “We had momentum coming into the race and Kyle and I tested before this race, so we both felt really dialed into the car. We have a really good longevity car. Big thanks to Scudo, Folds of Honor and Continental Tire. Everyone on the car. The Ford Performance guys have done so much. Multimatic, for not holding anything back, just being as transparent as possible. It’s been really awesome for everyone. I can’t wait for the next race and to hopefully make it three in a row.”
The finish was a heartbreaker for McCumbee and Gallagher, and the many fans at the track who came to cheer for them.
“I thought we were going to get it done there,” Gallagher said. “I just have to learn how to manage my Continental tires a little better. That was my first real long run at the end. I learned a lot. I think I’ll be better next time. Just thanks to the Multimatic guys and ModSpace, my teammate Chad McCumbee ran a hell of a first stint. I just didn’t get it done there at the end. Congratulation to KohR and to Ford for the 1-2.”
Ford Performance NASCAR driver Chase Briscoe made his third start of the year in the No. 15 Multimatic Ford Mustang GT4 and continues to get crucial experience. He and Scott Maxwell finished 22nd, after Ford Mustang GT4 teams AWA (10th), KohR Motorsports's No. 59 car (11th) and VOLT Lighting (16th).