WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 25, 2021) Syracuse native Brandon Kidd impressed the hometown fans at Watkins Glen Friday, putting the Stoner Car Care Racing fielded by Automatic Racing team in the seventh starting position for Saturday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 (2:05 p.m. Eastern, NBC Sports Gold’s TRACKPASS) at historic Watkins Glen International.
Kidd will join Rob Ecklin Jr. and Ramin Abdolvahabi behind the wheel of the No. 09 Stoner Car Care Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for Saturday’s four-hour endurance race. The drivers shared the two one-hour practice sessions on Friday, learning quickly that the car had rolled off the transporter with a setup that suited all three drivers – and had plenty of pace.
Both Kidd and Ecklin have ties to the Watkins Glen area, which makes the race weekend just that much more special. Kidd now resides in nearby Rochester, NY, and will have dozens of family and friends in attendance. Ecklin was born in nearby Corning – and his father, a former Corning Enterprises executive, was part of the team that worked with the International Speedway Corporation in 1984 to relaunch Watkins Glen International and return it to racing prominence.
Kidd battled traffic and rapidly warming temperatures on the 3.4-mile road course for the afternoon qualifying session, setting the team’s best qualifying result of the season. He will take the green flag for tomorrow’s race in good position to move to the front.
“It was great to roll off the truck with a car that didn’t need many changes,” said Kidd. “I think I got the most I could out of the car, even though I lost a few timed laps when I hit traffic. We’re starting P7, so the plan tomorrow is to stay out of the early trouble, let things settle in and see what we can do. We have a good race car, I’m looking forward to sharing the day with Rob and Ramin. It’s great to have the fans back, it feels like a real racetrack again – we really missed them! I’m local, so I have a lot of family and friends here, and it’s great to be able to share this with them.”
The Tioga Downs Casino Resort 240 takes the green flag Saturday at 2:35 p.m. Eastern. The race will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass, while international viewers can watch via IMSA.tv. IMSA Radio will also be available at IMSA.com. NBCSN will broadcast a two-hour race recap, currently scheduled to air Wednesday, June 30 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern (check local listings).