Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 Recap

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Better, but not yet where they want to be.

Drivers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson and the Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) Team showed improvement and made it through a race without penalty but couldn’t quite break through the podium ceiling, guiding the No. 54 Universal Coating Hyundai Elantra N TCR car to a   fifth-place finish on Saturday at the Tioga Downs Casino Resort 120 at legendary Watkins Glen International.

“I thought our race at Watkins Glen went fairly well,” said Johnson. “Of course, I wanted us to get on the podium or win it but coming out with a fifth place finish is the best we have had all season. I’m looking forward to getting back into it at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park this weekend and see what we can do.”

Johnson and Simpson earned 260 points with their fifth-place finish at Watkins Glen, giving them a total of 1020 for the 2022 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season.

“All in all, it was one of our stronger weekends of the year,” said Simpson. “We had no dramas in the race. Our crew did a great job and Michael did really well; his qualifying was another solid performance. The fifth-place finish was a strong one. If one or two other things had kind of gone our way, we would have been in contention for a podium finish. But it was nice to have a smooth, fairly uneventful race under our belts.”

The 2022 edition of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge continues for Johnson, Simpson and the BHA team when they head north of the border to Bowmanville, Ont. for the Canadian Tire Motorsport 120, part of the Chevrolet Grand Prix. The race will mark the series’ first visit to Bowmanville since 2019.

The two-hour race on the 2.459-mile, 10-corner Canadian Tire Motorport course is set to begin at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 2.