The Banner Engineering Racing Team won the final race of the 2007 season, the Grand-Am Rolex GT Sunchaser 1000, on Sept. 15 at Miller Motorsports Park. Paul Edwards, driving the #07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, started the race from the pole position and, with co-drivers Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim, kept the lead on each lap throughout the race. With this win, Edwards and Collins finished second overall in the Drivers Championship standings.
The win came after a few close calls during the final lap of the seven-hour race. Edwards was blocked by one vehicle and passed by another during the final turns of the lap. After these vehicles collided, one spun into the #07, almost sending Edwards off the main straightaway. With quick thinking and reaction time, Edwards regained control of the vehicle and finished in first place by 6.493 seconds. With a dominating performance and a vehicle that ran well all weekend, Edwards and his co-drivers ended the season with a strong finish that was a testament to the teamwork and skill demonstrated by the Banner Racing team"”and its dedicated crew and sponsors"”throughout the 2007 season. Leighton Reese and co-driver Tim Lewis Jr. also achieved a 5th place overall ranking in the Drivers Championship standings, after a series of setbacks led the team to a 16th place finish at the Sunchaser 1000. Veteran Reese and his rookie co-driver Lewis Jr., driving the #06 Banner Racing Pontiac, won the Lime Rock earlier in the season, and Lewis Jr.'s demonstration of skillful driving throughout 2007 led him to a fourth place finish in the Mesco Building for the Future Rookie of the Year Award. At the Sunchaser 1000, the duo, along with co-driver Johnny O'Connell, started the race in seventh position and was up to fourth place early in the race. However, the vehicle suffered damage that resulted in an 11 lap loss, placing the #06 out of contention. The team rallied to regain some lost ground in order to finish 16th in the race, a result that granted the team a respectable 5th place in points standing after a strong season.
Although Rockwell Automation's entry in the NASCAR Busch series gets a lot of press, other automation companies sponsor cars in motorsports. Here's a press release from Banner Engineering on their hot win this past weekend. Check out Banner Racing for more racing news.