Dean Martin got past Al Carter in the Esses in his No. 59 KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang on the final lap after the Aston Martin driver ran wide and went on to win Saturday’s Continental 120 at The Glen.
When Martin took over at the controls of the Mustang from co-driver Jack Roush Jr. with the car well outside the top-five after a lengthy red flag due to lightning in the area around the track, but the owner/driver quickly charged back up through the pack.
Carter found himself in the lead with just over 10 minutes to go when Matt Plumb in the then-race leading No. 76 C360R McLaren 570S GT4 ran off course in the Bus Stop on the race’s final restart.
That allowed Carter to slide into the top spot which he held until the final lap.
The opportunity for Martin to take the lead came when Carter, who was still on the same tires that Stephen Phillips had started the race on, slid out of the racing line and opened the door for Martin to charge through.
Martin and Carter made door-to-door contact which sent the Aston Martin into a wild spin, but somehow he managed to keep the car off the wall and continue on to a seventh-place result.
Race control reviewed the contact but deemed no further action was necessary.
Post-race, Carter came to victory lane to congratulate the KohR drivers, and told IMSA Radio that he viewed the contact as a racing incident.
The win snapped lengthy winless droughts for both KohR drivers. It was the first win for Jack Roush Jr. since Lime Rock in 2013, while Dean Martin’s streak stretched back to Barber in 2010.
Nico Rondet and Matthew Keegan in the No. 77 and Matt Plumb and Paul Holton in the No. 76 McLarens completed the GS podium for C360R.
The race was turned on its head when it started raining just 30 minutes in. Several cars spun in the rapidly worsening conditions before they could get on to rain tires, forcing the first safety car period of the race.
Before the race could be restarted lightning was sighted nearby, bringing out a red flag which took more than 30 minutes to be lifted.
When the race resumed under yellow, all teams opted made the switch to slicks and everyone who had not made their driver change did so, creating a sprint to the finish when the green flag returned with 43 minutes to go.
Penalties for both class leaders, an improper waive-by for the MIA McLaren of Chris Green in GS and a penalty for working on the race car under the red flag for the ST-leading No. 65 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman of Tim Probert, reshuffled the running order once again.
Two further full course yellows for cars suffering mechanical failures set up the final, dramatic dash to the checkered flag.
ST saw MINI sweep the top two spots, with the No. 73 MINI JCW Team machine of Derek Jones and Mat Pombo lead home the sister No. 52 of Mark Pombo and Jared Salinski.
Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing claimed third in class in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman.
Spencer Pumpelly and Nick Galante entered the weekend leading the ST points standings for RS1, but were denied a solid finish when their Cayman slowed on track in the final minutes with an reported fuel pressure issue.
Results: Continental 120 at The Glen