James Vance finished 15th with teammate Jon Miller in Round 6 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on June 28 at Watkins Glen International. Although he was able to improve upon his starting position of 22nd, he wasn't able to find the momentum needed to compete at the front of the Street Tuner (ST) class in his No. 74 ExpoSystems Honda Civic Si fielded by Compass360 Racing.
"The race was very frustrating," Vance said. "I tried to be as consistent as possible and move forward during my stint."
Both teammates fought to gain position when they received a pass-around under caution, a call from officials that allows a car to advance to the tail end of the field on a restart if the class leader was behind it at the time of the caution. The team reacted quickly and gained position during the pass-around. Later in the race, Miller served a drive-through penalty for a pit speed violation, halting any further progress.
"Jon did a great job despite receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits," Vance continued. "That was probably the most frustrating part of our day, as we nailed the strategy and the got the drive-through, but then we got that penalty, which ultimately took us out of a possible top-10 finish and concluded with us finishing P15. From the get-go we were struggling, as nailing the setup for my teammate and I seemed a lot harder at WGI than any other track this year."
Brushing off the difficulties of the weekend, Vance looks ahead to Round 8 at his home track, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, only 45 miles from his home in the Toronto suburb of Stouffville. Racing on a familiar track where he has proven speed will shrink his to-do list for the weekend.
"Home races are always awesome," Vance said. "Having friends and family come out to support me as we travel to all the different destinations throughout the year is never easy. Having more people there is definitely a positive going into CTMP. Also, I love the track, and I have always been quick, which is comforting. And it also means I do not have to learn the track, which takes a lot of uncertainty out of the weekend."
The event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - the only Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race of the year in Canada - also is big for Vance's sponsor ExpoSystems USA. The sponsor has created a state-of-the-art, unique pit setup for C360 Racing.
On-track action for Vance begins at 1:40 p.m. (ET) Thursday, July 10 with the first practice session of the weekend. Qualifying takes place at 2:40 p.m. Friday, July 11. The green flag drops at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, July 12 for Round 8 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The race will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 20 on FOX Sports 1.