Atlanta, GA. (Apr.22). Two weeks ago after finishing first and second at Barber Motorsports Park with Stevenson Motorsports, John Edwards made a remark regarding "the elusive double win." It appears the double win was not as elusive as the young racer thought. Saturday at Road Atlanta, Edwards celebrated wins in both of his GRANDAM races with Stevenson Motorsports.
Due to rain canceling the qualifying session, the starting lineup for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was determined by points, placing Matt Bell with a strong second place start in the No. 9 Stevenson Camaro. Bell ran consistently in the top three for the entirety of his stint, even leading the field in lap 20. As he came in for his pit stop for tires, fuel and a driver change, many of the other competitors declined to pit, putting Edwards in traffic as he rejoined the field. The No. 9 Stevenson Camaro came into the next round of pit stops in second, and due to an excellent pit stop by the crew, John Edwards was able to rejoin the field in first, leap frogging class leader Andy Lally.
"After that last pit stop, we really wanted the rest of the race to run green so we could build a gap," said Edwards. He built a 6.667 second gap before the track went full course caution, closing the gap for Lally. At the restart, Lally put the pressure on Edwards, racing side by side until the final caution of the day came out with ten minutes remaining. Edwards held the lead at the time of the caution, which lasted until the checkered flag.
"It was really great teamwork and strategy that got us out to the front before that yellow," said Edwards. "We really wanted a yellow for the end. We're lucky we got it, because Andy was putting on the pressure." The win marked the second CTSCC in the 2013 season for Stevenson Motorsports, and brings the team just six points away from leading the GS Championship.
With Rolex qualifying also cancelled, John started Round 4 of the Rolex Sports Car Series in sixth place in the GT class. Within the first six laps, he climbed up to third place before pitting and handing the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro to Robin Liddell to take to the finish line. By the one hour mark, Liddell climbed to the top three.
"The team made a strategy call to pit us early because it looked like our tires were going off the same as the 63 Ferrari," said Edwards. With less than an hour to go until the checker flag, Liddell pitted while leading the GT field. The Ferrari took the lead, but with fresh rubber, Liddell soon made a successful pass for the lead. With 28 minutes to go, Robin took the lead. "I was struggling to watch the race for the last 28 minutes," said Edwards. "That was just the longest period of waiting. Robin did a fantastic job."
The double win at Road Atlanta for Stevenson Motorsports, marks the fourth podium in four races for Edwards and the team. The win brings Stevenson to third in the Rolex Sports Car Series championship points. Edwards and Stevenson Motorsports will attempt to continue their winning streak May 31 to June 1 at the Chevrolet GRAND-AM Detroit 200 on Belle Isle.