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SELLERS: Roller Coaster Wave of Results

Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers files his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Paul Miller Racing

I feel like our Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini team has been riding this roller coaster wave of results all throughout the 2021 season. We had a good Daytona, and then a difficult Sebring with the failure, and then Mid-Ohio was a bit of a bounce back race for us.

We went in there with the mindset of trying to turn our season around and getting ourselves back on the right track. We did a pretty good job there!

The team was able to execute from top to bottom and Madison [Snow] and I were able to perform well in our given stints, and what really put us in position at the end of the day was that our strategy was strong.

When you get put in a position where the strategy is going to work out for you, as a driver, you have to make sure you take advantage of it.

The guys made what might have been a risky call on the pit box, but the race really ended up coming to us. Madison and I both had to battle to make it work, but we got into that podium spot and I was able to hold onto it until the checkered flag.

Photo: Paul Miller Racing

Madison, in particular, drove a great race at Mid-Ohio. He had a really difficult first stint, he was up against a car, the No. 23 Aston, that, if you look at the entire race, appeared to have more pace than we did.

He was on full attack mode in defending, and for me sitting on the pit box, it was really fun to watch! It was a constant battle and a chess match between the two of them lap after lap.

It was two of the really great young drivers in this series going at it, and that’s what this sport is about. It was a really good fight, a clean battle, and full credit to Roman De Angelis. He’s a great talent and really pushed Madison, and Madison did a fantastic job keeping him at bay.

He knew where his strengths are and I think it really showed Madison’s abilities as a racer as opposed to just a driver.

For me at that race, there’s nothing quite like being the guy that gets to finish these races. They can’t all be a win, but podiums are still huge for us.

Photo: Paul Miller Racing

If you can come home with a podium every weekend, that’s what leads you, hopefully, to championships.

Everyone puts in so much work on these weekends, and it’s not just our team, it’s everybody in IMSA, and to be able to drive the car back in after the checker, after a good result, is so rewarding—and not just for you as a driver, it’s the most rewarding to share it with everyone else on the team.

But, like I said, this year has been a roller coaster and as great as Mid-Ohio was, Detroit was not so great.

Detroit was a weekend that was really riddled with problems. I try and constantly be a glass-half-full kind of guy in the harder situations, but there just wasn’t a lot of positives from that weekend.

We had an issue with a water hose in the first practice that led to the guys changing an engine and we missed Practice 2. Really, the shining light of that weekend was that the crew got that engine changed and turned around for qualifying.

Photo: Barry Cantrell/IMSA

And then Madison stepped up in qualifying and put down a great lap despite not getting much track time. It’s been really fantastic to see the strength in him and watch him grow as a driver. Those moments are the moral victories.

The race itself was difficult. We didn’t get the result we wanted, and sometimes that happens. Now we just move on and prepare as best we can for the next one, and Detroit highlighted some of those areas where we can improve for the remaining races.

Next, we move on to Watkins Glen, and I’m so excited. It’s great to go back to Watkins Glen, especially for an endurance race, after we missed out last year.

Endurance races are my favorite races of the season, I love how it turns the race into more of a team event, and we have a great team.

Corey [Lewis], Madison and I have been racing together for what seems like forever now. And that continuity, with the drivers and with our team, is important.

It will be a difficult weekend, undoubtedly— we weren’t fortunate enough to test there like some other teams, and with IMSA’s new revised scheduling, there’s very little track time to run three drivers through the car in just two hours of practice, and the level of competition in GTD is so high.

But, we’re really hoping to work our way into a result at Watkins and learn even more to make our car stronger for the rest of the season.

Bryan Sellers (@BryanSellers) is one of America's leading GT racers, driving the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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