Wednesday, Dec 08

Gimme a Break: Injury Forces Murillo Racing to Shift Lineup

Wednesday, Oct 06 426
By Godwin Kelly
IMSA Wire Service

 

 After a solid fourth-place finish driving the No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca last month, Jeff Mosing broke his right foot in a freak accident.
 
“It broke bad enough that I can’t use my foot,” said Mosing, who co-drives the Grand Sport (GS) class machine with Eric Foss. “It’s unfortunate. I rolled my foot over and thought I had injured my ankle at first. When I got home and had an x-ray, they found the broken bone.”
 
 
Mosing and Foss, who scored their first Michelin Pilot Challenge GS victory at Lime Rock Park in July, are seventh in the GS standings with two races remaining – including Sunday’s Virginia Is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway.
 
“Once you taste that victory or championship, you keep wanting it and Murillo Racing has done everything they can do to get us here,” Mosing said after the team’s historic victory.
 
The victory was welcomed by Murillo Racing. The series’ 2014 and 2017 Street Tuner (ST) class champion team and its two drivers had not won a Michelin Pilot Challenge race since Foss and Mosing took the ST checkered flag at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2017. 
 
With Mosing out this week at VIR, Kenny Murillo, the 25-year-old son of team owner Ken Murillo, will take his place.
 
“I look forward to having Kenny drive for me,” Mosing said. “Kenny has raced VIR a lot. He should be really good there with Eric.”
 
Now the emphasis shifts to Foss, who could score a top-three finish in the GS championship with strong finishes at VIR and next month at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. He and Mosing are just 120 points out of fourth place in the standings and 290 from the lead. With a GS field of 20 cars this week and a comparable field expected in the finale, huge points swings are possible.
 
Foss said he has the wheels to accomplish that mission.
 
“The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is such a great car,” he said. “It’s super consistent, it’s very drivable and inspires a lot of confidence.”
 
Foss can also lean on his new co-driver, an accomplished racer. Mosing and Foss have been with Murillo Racing for a decade and watched Kenny mature behind the wheel.
 
“Jeff has been in my life for 10-plus years,” Kenny Murillo said. “My original thought was to feel bad for Jeff because he brings so much life to the team, so I was a little sad he wasn’t driving. Now my attitude has changed to bring him a good result. I am fully motivated.”
 
Kenny Murillo has competed in three Michelin Pilot Challenge races this season in the team’s sister car, the No. 65 Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 
“I’m pretty familiar with the car and with Eric,” he said. “Eric has been a huge mentor for me for 10-plus years. This is all really exciting. It seems like all the stars are aligning for some good results.”
 
The younger Murillo is also looking forward to VIR, which measures 3.27 miles and boasts 17 turns.
 
“We always thought Mercedes used Virginia as its test track,” Murillo said with a laugh. “We always seem to do fairly good there, which is pretty rare in IMSA. We have really high hopes.”
 
Mosing hopes to heal in time for the season finale, the Fox Factory 120 at Michelin Raceway in early November. “I’m going to take care of it and see if it gets well enough for me to compete there,” he said.
 
If not, no worries.
 
“Kenny is a talented little driver,” Mosing said. “He understands, along with his dad, they know how to engineer the car properly. They should be strong for sure.”
 
Bill Auberlen and Dillon Machavern, co-drivers of the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, are the GS points leaders, 40 points ahead of teammates Robby Foley and Vin Barletta in the No. 96 BMW. Michael Lewis and Taylor Hagler of the No. 77 Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Veloster N TCR head up the Touring Car (TCR) standings, 170 points ahead of teammate Parker Chase, who shares the No. 98 BHA Hyundai Elantra N TCR this weekend with Ryan Norman.
 
The Michelin Pilot Challenge schedule at VIR lists a practice each day on Friday and Saturday. Qualifying is set for 8 a.m. ET Sunday, with the race streaming live later that same day, at 2:05 p.m. on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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