DETROIT, Mich. – Ric Bushéy could feel the improvement in his Nissan 370Z NISMO over the opening rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge season. After a solid seventh place finish at St. Petersburg, the series veteran flirted with another top 10 finish in the GTS class at Barber Motorsports Park and liked the way things lined up for Detroit.
In the first race at the challenging 2.35 Belle Isle street course, Bushéy managed to capture his second top 10 of 2014 in GTS, moving up four spots from his 14th qualifying spot. Despite a good run, he was ready to take a calculated gamble to improve the handling setup for a track where passing opportunities can be limited.
"We had good practices, a decent qualifying and a great first race, but we knew the car needed some adjustments going into the second race of the weekend," said the 45-year old from Virginia Beach.
Despite a disappointing 17th starting position for race two, Bushéy launched his 370Z NISMO off the start, gaining 7 spots on lap one, then patiently made his way up through the pack to finish a very impressive fifth place – his best finish ever in Pirelli World Challenge.
"The crew tweaked the setup and wing angle. We tested it during this morning's warm-up and gave it a thumb's up for the race," said Bushéy. "It proved to be the right decision, because the car ran nearly perfect for the race."
In addition to his fifth place finish, Bushéy was awarded the Optima Battery Fast start award for passing seven cars on the first lap. He also won Sunoco Hard Charger honors for gaining 12 spots on track during the race – an impressive feat at a tight street circuit.
The Pirelli World Challenge teams move on to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin for rounds seven and eight June 19-21.
The Detroit-Belle Isle races will air on NBC Sports Channel on June 15 at 2:30 p.m. ET/1:30 Central.
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