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IMSA: Rolex 24 GTD class winner Paul Miller Racing to skip July races

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Paul Miller Racing, the GT Daytona class winner in January’s Rolex 24, will not run next month’s IMSA WeatherTech Championship races at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway.

Team owner Paul Miller first confirmed the news to SportsCar365.com.

Miller cited economic issues related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly among his group of car dealerships in New Jersey.

“A high percentage of our employees are still on furlough here in New Jersey, and obviously I like to have everybody back before I consider a direction for our little racing program,” he told SportsCar365. “That’s kind of the big-picture view of it. To go racing and not have our staff all recovered and pulled back and working, it would be a real slap in the face to a lot of our employees.”

Earlier today, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) lifted his state’s stay-at-home order, which should help Miller in bringing back personnel.

Miller also confirmed his Georgia-based PMR team was furloughed, too. However, he hopes to return to action later in the season.

“It’s possible we’re going to be race-to-race after July and hoping we can move forward with the race effort,” he told SC365.

Paul Miller Racing fields the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO with full-season drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow.

Sellers and Snow, plus Corey Lewis and Andrea Caldarelli, gave the team its first Rolex 24 win in January. The quartet turned in a near-flawless drive to give Lamborghini its third consecutive GTD victory in the event.

But any chance to keep momentum was dashed when the 2020 season was put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, IMSA released a revised schedule with Daytona leading off again on July 4 and followed by Sebring on July 18.

IMSA’s fourth race of the season is scheduled at Road America on Aug. 2.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.