Considering he didn’t set foot in the race car, Bryan Sellers reaped quite the benefit when his team finished second in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event at Lime Rock Park was scheduled for two hours, 40 minutes, but it was halted by lightning in the Lakeville, Connecticut, area with 70 minutes remaining.
To that point, co-driver Madison Snow had taken the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 from fifth on the starting grid to second place. With the race unable to resume before the time limit would expire, the No. 1 finished in the runner-up spot without Sellers taking the wheel.
Snow was the first of the GTD entrants to pit, with the team electing to keep him in the car to save time on the stop. He wound up one of just two drivers not to swap out for a co-driver, along with Trent Hindman in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R. The track position Snow gained through the quick stop proved pivotal to the fourth podium finish this season for the No. 1 Lamborghini.
And all Sellers had to do was watch.
“A race when you can do absolutely nothing and still end up on the podium is special,” Sellers said afterward. “The only involvement I really had today is that they asked me what I thought about strategy, and I said it wasn’t a bad idea.
“The guys on the box did a great job today, and Madison did even better. He drove a perfect race. He put down fast laps when he needed to put down fast laps, and he created gaps when he needed to create gaps. The strategy call put us where it did, and after that it was up to Madison to hold on.”
Snow did just that in steamy, sultry conditions.
“It was incredibly hot and humid before the storm rolled through, and those aren’t easy conditions to work in,” said Mitchell Simmons, team manager at Paul Miller Racing. “I’m especially proud of Madison today. He was out there in the heat, with a malfunctioning drinks bottle, as one of the only drivers double stinting and as an Am driver amongst pros, and he really did a great job.”
Snow took it all in stride, seeming almost oblivious to the unusual nature of his day.
“It was probably a weird race from the outside, but for me – until it ended – it was pretty normal,” he said. “I got in there and drove. We made a strategy call that ended up being great and adapted to the conditions. It really ended up working out for us, the car got better and better as the temperatures dropped and the rain got closer, and we had a good car to begin with.
“It wasn’t quite good enough to work our way through the field, but with the strategy call getting us up there, it was good enough to hold on to second place. Finishing on the podium is always good for the championship, too!”
The result kept Snow, Sellers and the team in the thick of the battles for the GTD season championship and the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup. They sit third in season points, just 70 out of the lead with five races remaining. There are four events left in Sprint Cup, with the No. 1 in fourth place, 218 points back.
The next WeatherTech Championship race is the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race will stream live at 2:35 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 8 on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold, with the NBCSN telecast beginning at 8 p.m.