INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Kerry Steed, Nathan Gardiner and Larry Frank were crowned champions of the recent inaugural 10-hour TireRack Champcar Endurance Series Indy GrandPrix race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Steed, Gardiner and Frank — The Premium Dudes Racing Team — beat 100 other teams to the checkered flag.
Starting their day from the 38th position, the team steadily carved their way through the field avoiding contact, debris and yellow flags. At the four-hour mark, a perfect pit stop for fuel and tires had moved the team into 5th place.
“We put Nathan in the car and he did everything right. He really knows what he’s doing behind the wheel and he drove hard and fast while bringing the car back in one piece,” said Steed.
Due to attrition of other teams and fast driving, the Premium Dudes, in their orange BMW, were slicing through the field and at the seven-hour mark and had taken the lead.
“Larry’s driving skills put us in the lead and he kept us there. His cool-headed nature made it easy for him to handle the pressure of being pursued by all the other teams,” Steed added.
The last pit stop came at the eight-hour mark when the team fueled the car, replaced a worn tire, belted Steed in the car and sent him on his way; but due to a pit lane violation, Steed was held at the exit of pit lane for one minute allowing the second-place team (Crank Yankers Racing) to take a commanding lead.
With the win almost out of reach, Steed was released from the pits to begin the chase.
“Each lap the radio would crackle and the team tell me I was catching the leader,” Steed said. “Nathan and Larry providing positive encouragement, after that huge mistake, emboldened me to not let them down. My singular purpose in the car, at that moment, was to give the team a win at Indy.”
Chasing down the leader by seconds each lap Steed quickly caught and passed the Crank Yankers Racing BMW and crossed the finish line with over a minute lead.
“Becoming a champion and ‘kissing the bricks’ at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a dream come true but there is no way I could have gotten here if it weren’t for the skills and expertise of Nathan and Larry. Those guys deserve all the credit for the win. They built great car and made sure we were close to the lead at the end.”, Steed added.
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