September 25, 2017— The Automatic Racing team returned to the top of the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge podium on Saturday, as Steve Phillips and Al Carter drove the No. 99 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin Vantage GT4 to the overall win in a four-hour race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
It was a nail-biter of a final lap for Automatic Racing, who has been the lead car at the white flag twice in the past two seasons without claiming the victory. This time around, though, the last lap was flawless, and closing driver Carter crossed the finish line to claim the first series win for both himself and Phillips.
The team chose to have just one driver change, so both Phillips and Carter drove a double stint. Phillips wrapped up the first half of the race in eighth position. “I’m the oldest guy over there at 66, but I was up for the challenge,” he said. “It’s great to have my first professional win, but not nearly as special as being a part of the team that won the race. Individually, it can’t be done, but as a team, the possibility is there. That’s what we are striving for every time we are on the track. We don’t ever give up.”
Saturday was also Carter’s birthday, and he got the ultimate present in the way of a trophy. “I have won other big races, but this was the first time I was closing driver. So I was responsible to the team to bring the car home and get the win. Getting that win against the competition in this series is a big step for me as a driver,” Carter said.
During the final pit stop, another car stopped partially in the Automatic Racing pit stall, causing some confusion and delay. Automatic got a drive-through penalty for an extra man over the wall during the situation, which gave Carter an extra challenge. “Luckily we were able to get a caution and get back into contention, and I was able to go from the back to the front and stay there for the last 20 minutes,” he said. “We certainly earned our victory and I couldn’t be more proud and excited for the whole team and crew. I’ve been telling everyone that we’re the little team that could. All we needed was the opportunity.”
Fans can watch Automatic Racing’s victory at Mazda Raceway on FS1. The broadcast begins at 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 1.
Stoner Car Care is a brand of Stoner Inc., a family-owned business since 1942, developing and manufacturing high-performance automotive appearance products for auto enthusiasts and the professional detailing market. For more information about Stoner Car Care visit or