Team Sahlen has become synonymous with Close Finishes in the ChampCar Series

Team Sahlen, presented by, is celebrating their 40th Anniversary of Endurance Sports Car Racing.  And 12 of those seasons have been racing in the super competitive Tire Rack -ChampCar Endurance Series.  To emphasize how close the racing action is the long 7, 14 and 24 hour events, Team Sahlen has found themselves in the battle for the Victory go all the way down to the checkered flag.

This close action at front was epitomized in the most recent event – the Daytona 14 hours.  In this race, Team Sahlen’s Porsche Boxsters drew the random starting position of 98th and 99th out of 100.  The team battled hard to race to the front in an event that saw ZERO Full Course Pace Car Cautions.  And as the race went into its final hour, Team Sahlen was in a dogfight with the #32 Premium Dudes BMW for the top spot.  The lead changed hands over a dozen times in this 90 minute battle.  And as the cars crossed the finish line, Team Sahlen found themselves just an incredible 0.134 seconds behind.  This result is most likely the closest finish in the history of the series that has spanned over 15 seasons and 300+ races. 

This close action in the series for Team Sahlen even spans all the way back to 2018, at the Pittsburgh Grand Prix.  In this 7 hour event, the Team’s Mazda RX7 found itself in another dual with the BMW of Team Troxell.  In this event, Team Sahlen secured the victory by 0.143 seconds.  A margin that was only .009 bigger than the recent event at Daytona

Another close finish was at Mid-Ohio in 2021 when the gap was only .0174 from 1st to 2nd place, with the Team Sahlen Boxster taking the victory that day.

In what might be the closest 1st – 3rd finish in ChampCar series history, Team Sahlen was 1st and 2nd last year barely beating out the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Mazda.  The hard charging Mazda was giving it all it had to get to the victory, setting fastest race lap in the process.  The margin between 1st to 3rd at the checkered flag was just a mere 2 seconds. 

Close finishes with the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Mazda has happened on more than one occasion, with the team being only 2.756 seconds in front at checkered flag at Pittsburgh in 2021. 

Wayne Nonnamaker shared his thoughts on the close action in ChampCar – “We have had some very close racing through our 40 year history in Endurance Sports Car Racing.  And I have to say that some of the best racing we have had has been in the Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance Series.  To imagine these close finishes have come in races that are 7 to 14 hours long is truly incredible.  A lot of the credit has to go to the series officials and the board members who ensure that all the cars are so equally balanced in performance.”

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