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Kevin Gleason Wins at Mid-Ohio with StopTech
by Frank A. Filipponio | Aug 06, 2012

Kevin Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. had a great race in the Saturday night feature during the Cadillac Mid-Ohio Grand Prix presented by StopTech. He fought through the field and managed a third place finish in his
GTS-class No. 60 Porsche Cayman S fielded by Napleton Porsche.

The car is a derivative of the Caymans that run in the HSR Interseries, and just like all of the cars that run that series, Gleason's car is equipped with a special StopTech Trophy Big Brake Kit.

Not content to call it a day after his impressive third place finish, Gleason was back on Sunday for the second half of the doubleheader.

The 25-year-old driver's pass for the lead earned the "Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race" award from officials of the doubleheader's sanctioning body, the Sports Car Club of America.

Even more impressive, this was only Gleason's third career start in the series and it was the first weekend of competition for the car he drove.

Gleason made his winning move around the halfway point after starting third behind Saturday's winner, Peter Cunningham, and Saturday's runner-up, Nick Esayian.

The start of the race was delayed about a half-hour due to rain, and the track was very slippery. Some cars spun on the pace lap, and almost as soon as the race started it went under a full-course yellow to retrieve Patrick Lindsey's Corvette from a gravel trap.

When it finally went green again on lap nine with about 28 minutes remaining in the 50-minute contest, Gleason was ready. First he passed the Porsche GT Cup car of Jeff Courtney, and then he zeroed in on the second-place GTS driver, Esayain.

"There was a GT Cup car between me and Nick," Gleason said afterwards. "On the restart I passed the Cup car on the outside of Turn 1, and I was able to get a run. I believe I passed Nick in Turn 2. Then on the next lap I passed Peter Cunningham for the lead in Turn 2 too."

After that there was no catching Gleason.

"I made some decisive moves on GT cars that were slower, and that helped me pad my gap," he noted. "My car was really good. I want to thank all the guys at Napleton Porsche for their hard work. They spent a lot of late hours to get this car ready.

"The track was really slick in the beginning," he added. "It took a while for the tires to get up to temperature, which made it even more hazardous."

He had several close calls, but no contact.

"On the first lap I almost hit a spinning Porsche in Turn 2, and on my final lap I was caught lapping a GTS car and a Touring car that didn't want to get out of the way, but I didn't have any contact with anybody," he said.

Esayian fell back in the second half of the race, and Gleason had a 2.043-second margin of victory over Al Carter's BMW when the checkered waved on lap 22. Cunningham, Saturday's winner and the point leader, was third on Sunday in an Acura.

"Al Carter was gaining on me near the end and I had to step it up a bit," Gleason said.

Carter had the fastest race lap for the class on lap 19 but Gleason was second in that category on lap 20.

What does this victory mean for Gleason?

"I think it's kind of turned my whole year around," he said. "I've had a rough year, but this is really exciting. We can approach the rest of the season on a positive note. I think we're going to run Sonoma and finish out the season there."

The final World Challenge event of the year is at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Aug. 24-26.

Both of the Mid-Ohio World Challenge races will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, Aug. 25.


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