Sebring International Raceway is known for its rugged racing surface, which presents challenges for race teams used to dialing in race cars on smooth surfaces. That’s why KohR Motorsports’ team owner, Dean Martin, was so bold. He bet on conserving tires and only pitting once during a two-hour, 47-lap race.

The car has been awesome every time I have driven it and the Ford Performance guys have really given us a great car to work with… — Nate Stacy, Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports

That gamble paid off for drivers Nate Stacy and Kyle Marcelli, who piloted the #60 Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 to the first position in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport race on Friday March 16, 2018.

Thanks to a bold pit strategy laid out by team owner Dean Martin, the #60 Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Mustang GT4 driven by Nate Stacy and Kyle Marcelli, took home the win at the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport race held at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. (Photo Credit: Ford Performance)

“The car has been awesome every time I have driven it and the Ford Performance guys have really given us a great car to work with and the KohR guys have really wrapped their head around it,” Nate said to Ford Performance. “We planned a one-stop strategy, and that’s what we did. We didn’t need a splash because we had enough cautions. We really worked it all out. Dean Martin called it perfectly on the strategy. We were set up for longevity and didn’t need to have a giant flier lap there at the end. And Kyle did a great job bringing it home. That was the second-longest race I have ever been in, so the last 10 minutes today seemed long. I just know the Fords are awesome.”

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It was a nice change of pace for the Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Mustang GT4, which had a disappointing result at the season’s first race at Daytona International Speedway.

“If you look at it as a whole, we started strong at Daytona, qualifying third and running in the top five before a race incident took us out,” Kyle said. “So we came here this weekend with a ‘win or don’t finish’ attitude. We wanted to show what we are capable of, and what this Mustang is capable of.”

That capability was definitely not in question in Sebring, as the SCUDO-backed Mustang GT4 held onto the lead for the final 20 laps of the race!

“Then we lucked out with our race strategy. At first, I wasn’t so sure about the one-stop strategy. The team was confident with it and it paid off, because that’s what inherited the lead with track position,” Kyle explained to IMSA. “Then it was just about managing the Continental Tires on our Ford Mustang. We had about a 55- or 51-minute green-flag run and it was just about managing tires, really, managing tires and conserving the car. We were a little bit tight on fuel as well. It just worked out. Big thanks to Roush Performance and KohR Motorsports.”

“I was nervous when all the leaders came in early but it worked out and I have to credit (team owner) Dean Martin, Roush Performance and KohR Motorsports for that call,” driver Kyle Marcelli (right) said of the team’s one-stop strategy. “After that, it was just up to me to manage the tires and the car and the race. I asked my crew chief to just give me the second-place car’s times, so I just wanted to match or beat those times and it helped us open up a four to five second lead and won us the race.”

The Mustang GT4 teams will try to build on that momentum at the next IMSA CTSC Grand Sport race, which takes place at the to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Couse in Lexington, Ohio, on May 5.

CTSC Alan Jay 120 Mustang Finishing Order

1. 60 N. Stacy/K. Marcelli Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4

6. 59 J. Roush Jr/J. Atterbury Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4

14. 80 M. Barkey/B. Sandberg AWA Ford Mustang GT4

19. 8 C. McCumbee/P. Gallagher Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4

22. S. Maxwell/C. Briscoe Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4

26. A. Brynjolfsson/T. Hindman VOLT Racing Ford Mustang GT4

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