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ROUSH Performance and Capaldi Racing Place 5th at Circuit of the Americas

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The weekend of March 7th and 8th at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) not only kicked-off the 2015 season of the Pirelli World Challenge, but also marked many new beginnings for Capaldi Racing. This was the first event that Capaldi Racing’s three new drivers (Dan Martinson, Nick Esayian, and Jack Roush Jr.) competed in under the Capaldi banner. It was also the first time that Nick and Dan have competed in Ford Mustangs.

The weather leading up to the event was cold, and freezing rain covered the track with ice on Wednesday night prior to the first day of testing, which meant that the track jet dryers had to be sent out in the morning to melt the ice.

“The weather was somewhat of a challenge leading up to the race weekend, as we weren’t able to get a completely accurate feel for where the balance of the cars would be,” says Leo Capaldi. “This was made more challenging given the lack of available track days for testing due to weather this past winter.  However, the team did a great job in reacting with the information they had to make our cars fast.”

The race weekend consisted of two races, one each on Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying took place early Saturday morning with team results as follows: Jack Roush Jr. in 11th, Dan Martinson in 13th, and Nick Esayian in 18th. Each of the team drivers had moved up by the end of the first race, with Jack finishing 9th, Dan 11th, and Nick 14th. Both Nick and Jack improved their positions once again for the Sunday race, with Nick finishing 12th and Jack in 5th, and Jack set the fastest lap in a Mustang for the race with a lap time of 2:32.67 and the third fastest lap overall that race. Unfortunately, Dan was called in to do a drive-through penalty during the race, which hurt his chances of moving up the field.

“I was excited to fire up the season at COTA with my new teammates,” says Nick Esayian, driver of the No. 34 TravelClean Mustang. “Unfortunately we didn’t have cooperative weather in the run up to test some of the new goodies Leo and company had prepared for us, so the learning curve was steep for me.  That said, the car is fantastic, and I think using what we learned this weekend, we will be contenders in St. Pete.”

“The starts were crazy as usual. I stayed out of trouble, took the points I could, and will move to St. Pete with a trove of new info,” Nick continues. “The team has a good synergy already, and certainly the crew is as good as any I have worked with. Always looking for the incremental gain after each session. When you look at the GT and GTS fields, it is a pretty amazing field of cars and drivers, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Dan Martinson, driver of the No. 33 Gear Tie Racing Mustang, shares his thoughts on the event: “The Capaldi guys did a great job of getting the car ready for COTA and ran a tight ship all weekend. Everybody was great to work with . . . including my friendly competitors Nick and Jack. Couldn’t have asked for a better group to hang out with all season.

“I was pretty happy with my finish in race one given the fact that it was my first time in a Mustang. The learning curve was a lot steeper than I expected. If we can get the brakes dialed in and get a test day before St. Pete, we should be competitive. Overall, I love the series. Can’t wait for the next race.”

And finally, Jack Roush Jr., driver of the No. 60 ROUSH Performance Mustang, adds his own comments about the race at COTA: “I would first of all like to thank the team for a great first outing. Leo has assembled a top-quality group of guys. I’m also very thankful to have some of the team members from my team that have transitioned over with me. It was great working with my new teammates, Nick Esayain and Dan Martinson.”

Jack continues: “A top ten finish was not a bad way to start the season, but obviously, we are aimed at the front, and that’s where we are heading looking at our P5 finish and battle for P3 at the end of the second race.”

No. 60 Mustang driven by Jack Roush Jr.: ROUSH Performance, Performance Friction Brakes, Quarter Master, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Ford Performance, GoPro, Sparco, Meguiar’s, KW Suspensions, PROCAM, PWR Performance Products, RAM, and Eaton Team Sponsors

No. 34 Mustang driven by Nick Esayain: Travel Clean, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and Speed34.com

No. 33 Mustang driven by Dan Martinson: Nite Ize and Gear Tie Racing

Dan Martinson to Race in the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge

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Rogers, MN. (January 26, 2015) - We're excited to announce that Dan Martinson will be joining the Capaldi Racing Team in the Pirelli World Challenge Championships for a full season in 2015. Martinson will be driving the #33 Ford Mustang Boss 302S along side teammates Jack Roush Jr. and Nick Esayian in GTS class.

“As a rookie, I can’t imagine a better situation. Joining an established top team with experienced drivers and a highly developed race car will help me tremendously.”

Martinson began his racing career in the Skip Barber Mazda Speed Challenge in 2011. Since then he has spent the last two years competing in the Porsche Club of America, Intercontinental Trophy Cup, and 944 Cup Championship Series driving a variety of Porsche race cars. In 50 race starts since 2012, he has won 20 times and been on the podium in 35 of those races. 
 
“I was hooked on the Pirelli World Challenge after I raced at COTA back in 2013 in a Pontiac Solstice in TC Class. Now that the series has split GT and GTS into separate run groups and TV broadcasts, it’s a great opportunity for me to make the jump into professional racing while promoting my products and brands.

In addition to his racing career, Martinson is the inventor and manufacturer of the 
Gear Tie Reusable Rubber Twist Tie and Knot Bone Stretch Laces. Both products are made in the USA at his Xtrudex manufacturing facility in Rogers, Minnesota and distributed worldwide by the Nite Ize company in Boulder, Colorado. 

“We plan to set up our Gear Tie promotional tent in the 
Capaldi Racing paddock every race weekend throughout the season. In addition to handing out thousands of free Gear Ties to fans and teams each weekend, we will be announcing a contest sometime before the first race at the Circuit of the Americas. So, if you are at the track, please stop on by and check us out!”

When Martinson isn’t racing, you’ll find him in Medina, Minnesota watching his 15 year old son Noah play baseball, his 13 year old son Jack play basketball, and his 10 year old daughter Ella dancing…or spending some quality time with his wife, Heidi. 

ROUSH Performance and Capaldi Racing Partner For The 2015 Season In The Pirelli World Challenge Series

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Photo by Melissa K. Smith

Chesterfield, Michigan - December 12, 2014 -- Capaldi Racing is excited to announce a new partnership between ROUSH Performance and Jack Roush Jr. for the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge series. This development will move Roush Jr.'s home base from North Carolina up to Chesterfield, Michigan to race out of Capaldi Racing headquarters.  
 
After several years competing successfully in the Continental Tire Challenge Series and finishing with ten victories and 24 podiums, Jack Roush Jr., racing with the ROUSH Road Racing team, moved to the GTS class of the Pirelli World Challenge Series for the 2014 season. In his first year competing in the series, the seasoned driver landed himself in the number five spot with his Ford Mustang Boss 302R, earning four podiums throughout the season. Roush Jr. is a well-rounded driver with experience in circle track, rally, and drag racing.
 
"I have known the Capaldi family for over thirty years," says Jack Roush Jr. "They are both great racers and great people, and I look forward to partnering both with them and the strong line-up of drivers on the team this coming year."
 
Capaldi Racing has substantial experience competing within the Pirelli World Challenge Series. "Our new partnership should really bring us all up a level for 2015. With four podiums in 2014 for our team coupled with Jack's impressive rookie season with four podiums, combining our efforts is only going to make us more competitive as a team," stated team principle Leo Capaldi. 
 
Series veteran Brad Adams returns to GTS and the newly-united team in the crowd favorite #96 Ford Mustang Boss 302S (WHO DAT/DAT DOG/Voodoo Experience).
 
Also new to the Capaldi Racing team for the 2015 season is Nick Esayian - a four-time contributor to Manufacturer's Championships with RealTime Racing with 130 Pirelli World Challenge race starts, and multiple wins and podiums throughout his career. 
 
"I have known, respected, and admired Capaldi Racing since my career started in World Challenge in 2004, so it is a real treat having the opportunity to race for Leo, Craig, and Sandie, and partner with a teammate like Jack Roush Jr.," says Esayian. "I am very confident that we collectively have the experience, resources, and talent to make a solid run for both the Driver's and Manufacturer's Championships."
 
Rookie Dan Martinson is making the jump into professional racing with Capaldi Racing for the 2015 season as well, piloting a Ford Mustang Boss 302R in the GTS class. He comes with a background in Porsche Club of America Club Racing Series and has won 20 races and 35 podiums in just 50 race starts since 2012.

 
Capaldi Racing has also partnered with Wolverine Bronze for the 2015 season as we continue to showcase their Low Volume Casting capabilities through motorsports
 
Capaldi Racing is looking forward to another season in the Pirelli World Challenge Series and is excited about this promising new partnership with ROUSH Performance.

Capaldi Racing's Season Recap

Chesterfield MI – Preparation is underway for Capaldi Racing for their home town event as the Pirelli World Challenge is set to visit the Motor City and the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix for rounds 5 & 6 of the championship. The team is set to return to the track fielding once again three cars in GTS. Brad Adams and Craig Capaldi are both returning to the streets of Belle Isle and hope to help kick start Tony Buffomante's first visit to the 2.3 mile temporary street circuit.

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Photo by Melissa K. Smith

Taking a step back to the opening rounds, getting to Detroit has been full of highs and lows. For round 1, team mates Brad Adams in the #96 (WHO DAT / VooDoo Music / Dat Dog / Capaldi Racing /BOSS 302)and newcomer Tony Buffomante in the #33 Capaldi Racing / Ford Racing / BOSS 302 were set to start the 2014 season off with solid finishes. Adams would qualify in the 15th starting position but after a solid run into the top ten, the #96 would eventually have to pit for repairs after a mid race mistake by a fellow competitor put Adams into a tire wall. Brad fought back to eventually finish the day in 17th. Buffomante started his freshmen year in World Challenge strong putting the #33 in the 5th place starting position during qualifying. Come race day, after battling throughout the top five for the 50 minute race, Tony came just shy of the podium finishing in 4th place. "The weekend was a great start to our championship hunt, the team just got the car finished and practice one was the first time the car had seen a track. Tony had never run here before so coming out of here with a solid finish is great" stated team owner Leo Capaldi.

Round 2 took the team to the historic Long Beach Grand Prix and after promising results in round 1 the team was enthusiastic. Brad Adams returned to the famed circuit which has brought him good results in the past and quickly was up to speed posting the 11th best lap time during qualifying. The team focused on chassis improvements on the #96 for race day but bad luck struck Adams as a mechanical issue halted his forward march. Adams hung onto the pack amidst only having 7 cylinders pumping and brought home a solid 9th place finish. Meanwhile, after a stellar qualifying lap for Buffomante, he battled from his 4th place starting position to a podium finish in P2 after several attempts at the top step. "Just like St. Pete, I have personally never competed at this venue. Having two strong finishes in the first two events with an all new car is amazing, the team is working hard to get us that little bit more we need to stick with these guys up front but we will get there." Stated Buffomante post race.

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Photo by Melissa K. Smith 
 
Most recently, Capaldi Racing headed to Alabama and Barber Motorsports Park, this time with three BOSS 302 Mustangs in tow. Joining Adams and Buffomante would be Craig Capaldi in the #68 Wolverine Bronze / Ford Racing / Capaldi Racing Mustang making his season debut. The trio used practice and shared resources to quickly get the cars up to speed as qualifying quickly approached. The combined knowledge helped each in gauging the new facility added to this seasons schedule. Buffomante would find himself starting in the 12th position followed by Capaldi (13th) and Adams (17th) for round 3. As the race began to unfold, Adams would unfortunately be collected by another competitor in a turn 2 incident which would put him into a gravel trap in need of recovery. Despite the first lap mayhem, Adams would get back on track to bring home a 21st finishing spot. Fortunately, Buffomante and Capaldi were able to get through the first laps and begin battling for positions. At the checkered flag, Tony had made his way once again to the front of the pack coming home in the 4th spot. Capaldi meanwhile, had a race long battle with several competitors and while finishing in the same spot as he started, was optimistic about Sunday's race "I gave a bit up on the first few laps of green and had to really work to track down a couple guys, once we got there I knew the team gave me better overall package and I was able to pick up a few spots I lost. We will have a better showing tomorrow!" commented Capaldi. Race 2 for the weekend would mark round 4 for the championship and the cars would be gridded by the quick laps in race 1, Buffomante 9th, Capaldi 14th, and Adams in 18th. The lights went out for the start of round 4 and the cars raced towards turn 1, but just as fast as the race started it was over for Buffomante. Several cars fought for position entering turn one and the end result left four cars including the #33 damaged at the exit of turn 1. Through the debris and smoke, Adams and Capaldi managed to escape unscathed and would continue to carry the Ford flag to strong 9th and 11th finishing positions respectfully. 

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Photo by Melissa K. Smith

Battered but not beaten, the Capaldi Racing crew is hard at work prepping the trio of entries for the teams next stop at the challenging Detroit Belle Isle. Catch all the action from Barber Motorsports Park starting at 4pm Eastern on NBC Sports Network this coming Saturday, May 10th.

Capaldi Wraps Up His First Racing Season

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Capaldi Racing Team Driver, Chris Capaldi, headed to the Streets of Houston for the final two rounds of the 2013 Pirelli World Challenge TCB Season – his first season of pro racing. Chris teamed up with Wolverine Bronze, Ford Racing, and Capaldi Racing to campaign the Wolverine Bronze Ford Fiesta in the Pirelli World Challenge TCB class.

He started his first pro racing season at Round 1 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. Chris put his front-wheel drive experience to good use, keeping the Wolverine Bronze/Capaldi Racing Fiesta out of trouble and finishing the weekend’s three races 18th, 14th and 15th, respectively.

After the Circuit of the Americas, he traveled to the historic Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. This was his first time at the tight 1.5-mile track. Chris started the weekend’s first race 17th , and was able to stay out of trouble until the second lap when he was hit by a Fiat which killed any momentum he had going. He was able to recover and finished the race 13th. In the weekend’s second race, Chris stayed out of trouble, running with the pack and finishing 15th. The third race of the weekend was a 40-minute race and again, he stayed out of trouble and crossed the finish line in 15th while setting his fastest lap of the weekend.

After a short one-week break after Lime Rock, the team headed to Toronto for his first international race. This was Chris’ first time racing on a street circuit so he had a lot to learn. He quickly learned the tight street course and delivered his best qualifying results of the season coming back with a 7th place starting position his best yet. He did what he had to do to survive a street race, stay out of trouble, and crossed the line in 8th place – his best finish to date in the Wolverine Bronze/Capaldi Racing Fiesta. In the weekend’s second race, he took what he learned from the first race and topped his race one finish, coming home in 7th place. 

With the momentum of his best finish to date, he headed to his home track, the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. He started the weekend’s first race in 15th, and ran the race mid-pack while battling back and forth with those around him. He kept it clean and ended up finishing 13th place. He started the second race in 13th and avoided a multi-car crash on the first lap that put him up to 5th. He then moved to 4th where he stayed until he was hit by another vehicle slipping down to 7th where he finished the race.

For his next race, he headed to Sonoma Raceway in the heart of California’s Wine Country. He spent the practice sessions learning the 2.5-mile road course. He ended up qualifying 12th for the first race but had some contact in the first lap causing him to lose the lead pack. He kept going and ended up finishing the race 11th. In the weekend’s second race, he stayed out of trouble and got his momentum up and finished 9th. 

Rounds 13 and 14 were a tough weekend for Chris at the Houston Grand Prix in the Wolverine Bronze/Capaldi Racing Ford Fiesta. 

The grid for Round 13 was set by points as track alterations and time constraints meant Friday’s qualifying sessions were canceled which put him in 9th on the starting grid but an incident between Davis and Francis Jr brought out a yellow. During the yellow he was passed by 2 cars gaining one of those positions back before the restart. After the restart the #99 car of Alejandro decided to punt Chris into the tire wall damaging the engine & ending his weekend. He took 10th place in the 14-race TCB season which is not bad considering it was his 1st year in the Pro series.
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