Team Sahlen, presented by honeybeeBase.com, has celebrated Memorial Day for 6 years at Watkins Glen International – to compete in the Sahlen’s Champyard DOG at the Glen event with the Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance Series. The team has had heartbreaks and jubilation at the event through the years. Although hopes were high for success, the team well knew how treacherous a long enduro at the Glen can be.
For 2022, Team Sahlen brought 5 race cars to practice on Friday. This included #941 “Charcoal” Mazda RX7, #942 “Ketchup” ECS Tuning Porsche Boxster, #943 “Mustard” ECS Tuning Porsche Boxster, #945 “Dijon” Mazda RX7 and #41 “Chili” Porsche Boxster. Although the day was very rainy, all 6 Team Sahlen drivers had a chance to get behind the wheel to be prepared for the Saturday race.
Saturday dawned with continued rainy skies, putting the drivers and crew on notice to be prepared for difficult conditions throughout the day. With 90+ race cars on track, the rain mist on track made for near invisible driving conditions at times. The Team Sahlen drivers took their time working through traffic, and soon both “Ketchup” and “Mustard” were racing at the sharp end of the pack. Taking advantage of great pit strategy by the crew, both cars soon leaped into the lead at the mid point in the race. This sequence continued forward, with both ECS Tuning Porsche Boxsters running 1st and 2nd OVERALL, until a slight electrical glitch put “Ketchup” in the pits for a quick fix. At the checkered flag, “Mustard” secured the OVERALL Victory, with “Ketchup” coming home a credible 6th place.
Wayne Nonnamaker shared his thoughts after the race – “The crew really did an amazing job of pit stops and strategy today. We took advantage of many of the yellow flags to advance ourselves in the front end of the field. Then at the end of the race, it was just a matter of holding pace at the front end of the field to the checkered flag”
And incident on track for the #941 “Charcoal” saw the Mazda having to be retired at the end of the day. The Team Sahlen crew jumped into action, and worked into the evening to race prepare “Dijon” to run on Sunday. The prep completed at 10 pm, with all team members putting in the extra effort to accomplish the task.
Sunday dawned with clear blue skies, which was a welcomed site by all after the dreary rain soaked Saturday event. Both “Ketchup” and “Mustard” moved forward very rapidly at the start of the race. And by 2 hours in, both Team Sahlen racers were in the top 3 on the track. Very strong competition all day kept the ECS Tuning Porsche Boxsters having to lay down solid lap after solid lap to stay near the front.
At the 5 hour mark, Team Sahlen had risen to 1st and 2nd OVERALL. And just like Saturday, a mechanical glitch put the dual threat on hold, with this time “Mustard” suffering issues. This left “Ketchup” to hold the Team Sahlen banner high, to cross the line 1st OVERALL for the day. At the end of the weekend, it was a very amazing result to secure the OVERALL Victory on both Saturday and Sunday.
Will Nonnamaker shared his thoughts after the race – “Joe Sahlen and Joe Nonnamaker drove amazing races today. They both drove the penultimate stints, and during their drives they extended our lead over 3rd and 4th.”
Joe Sahlen shared his thoughts on the Sahlen’s Champyard DOG at the Glen – “Sahlen’s really values partnering with the Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance series for this Memorial Day classic. Its funny, there are as many starters in this one race, than the Indy 500, Monaco F1 and Coca Cola 600 combined. I think that goes to show what a great bucket list event the Sahlen’s Champyard DOG at the Glen has become.”
2022 Team Sahlen Campaign Partners
honeybeeBase.com, Porsche Beachwood, Audi Mentor, ECS
Tuning, Tarett Engineering, Guard Transmission, , HubstandsPRO, Maxima Racing
Oil, Brothers Grimm Landscaping, NGK Spark Plugs, CM Racing Products, Mothers
Polish, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Design Engineering Inc., Hard Brakes,
Forgeline Wheels, Optima Batteries, All-Fit Automotive, Mazdaspeed, Winding
Road Racing, Performance Friction Brakes, WIX Filters & Capri Tools.