Newsmaker: Bob Snodgrass

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2004

Bob Snodgrass has been involved with road racing for 32 years, first serving as general manager at Brumos Racing in Jacksonville, Fla., and now as the team owner. His teams once dominated the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, but it's been 25 years since one of his cars rolled into Victory Lane. He will send two Porsche-powered Fabcars to the Daytona International Speedway this weekend in an effort to break the streak. He talked about returning Brumos Racing to the podium in sports-car racing and the state of the sport itself.

Question: Brumos Racing remains the most-successful team in the history of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, but the last overall victory came in 1979. A year after that last victory, team owner Peter Gregg killed himself and the team hasn't won a 24-hour race since. Was his death that critical to the team's success and how do you feel about your chances with two cars in this year's race?

Snodgrass: I think the reason why it's been so long, with the death of Peter (Gregg) and when Deborah (Gregg, wife) came on, our racing went in a totally different direction. It's been such a shake-up in the company. We went racing in a lot of different areas. Now we've built it back up and we have a fabulous chance. We had a setback (Monday) when Scott Goodyear had a hockey accident in Indiana and broke his ribs. Now we've got our No. 1 backup, Tommy Riggins, in there with Hurley Haywood, J.C. France and Scott Sharp in the No. 59 car. We've already had our drama, so hopefully that's out of our way. We needed somebody who can bring this car home, and Tommy can do that.

Question: sports-car racing has broken off into two organizations the Grand American Road Racing Series and the American LeMans Series. Can the sport survive with two groups?

Snodgrass: We have always respected what Don Panoz has attempted to do with ALMS. He has a vision, but it's something that we respectfully don't accept. So we drive on, but we still respect what he's trying to do. We have to have some cost containment. Grand Am is focused on the people; ALMS is focused on technology. We have one car that already has 55,000 racing miles on it from last year, and we're going to use it all this year. As a car dealer, that's excessive mileage.

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