Payne Finishes 21st at Indy
Indianapolis, IN: Byron Payne joined Tony Buffomante to pilot the #68 Capaldi Racing/ Sikku.com, Garvin Brown, Team Fella Mustang Boss 302R in the first ever Brickyard Sports Car Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This event would mark the very first sports car race to ever be held at the famed speedway along with Payne’s return to racing after over a year’s hiatus.
The team recently completed a weekend of testing at Indy to prepare for the race, utilizing Friday’s practice session to finalize the car’s setup for qualifying. Immediately following practice, the #68 Mustang would qualify for the race with Payne at the wheel. Byron’s efforts netted Capaldi Racing the 23rd starting position in the 70-car field.
Payne would start the race and hand the car over to Buffomante near the midpoint of the race. Making a terrific start, Payne made up several spots at the green flag. “I think it was the best start of my career.” Commented Byron. “We had a good run and I was able to pick off quite a few cars right away.” Unfortunately, Payne suffered slight damage and a spin when making contact with another GS car on lap one. Eventually rejoining the field, Byron again began to move forward with a somewhat wounded car before handing over to Buffomante at about the one-hour-fifteen minute mark.
Soon after the pit stop and driver change, the skies opened up for the second half of the race, bringing massive rain and forcing most teams to go to rain tires. Shortly after Tony began his stint, the #68 Capaldi Mustang lost power due to an electrical issue, forcing the Mustang to the pits to fix the problem. While the team worked to correct the problem, the race was red flagged due to standing water on the track from the torrential downpour. The race resumed with 38-minutes remaining and Tony reentered making up for lost time, crossing the line 21st.
“It was a special moment in my career to be racing at Indy. We had a few problems, but came through to finish in the end.” said Payne. “I was great working with the Capaldi team and I’m thankful to everyone that helped make it happen.”
Byron Payne would like to thank Sikku.com, Garvin Brown, EPRODIUS, and Team Fella for the support at the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge.