Donkey Bop #003 Shows True Grit In Amazing Win At Daytona! DB #001 Brilliant In Superb Podium Finish
January 21, 2023
(Daytona, FL) – As Donkey Bop driver Milt Minter, Jr. got in the DB #003 car for his final stint in the iRacing 2023 24 hours of Daytona, the race was on the line. As the years have taken its toll on Milt, he doesn’t race that much these days, only running 3 official races since the 2022 24 Hours of Daytona a year ago. Imagine the pressure he felt. His knees ached and were creaking. His hands were puffy and scarred from decades of being a craftsman. His back hurt. He was worried to the core that he would let his team down. The #003 was in the lead as time was running down in the race. They were two laps ahead of the P2 car. But the P2 team put in a young, quick driver who was hell bent on blowing the ”old man Milt” and the #003 off the track.
As the tire change and refueling finished, Milt’s eyes lit up, just like the old days. He moved around in the seat trying the get that old feeling at the wheel. As Milt drove out of the pits, you were reminded of old Marshal Rooster Cogburn from the movie True Grit facing off against 4 young outlaws. Putting the reins in his teeth and grabbing his Army .45 caliber “Peacemaker” in one hand and his Saddle Ring Winchester Rifle in the other and yelling “Fill your hands you Son of a B—h!”
Milt drove the fragile BMW Hybrid Prototype like he was 20 years younger. Fast, expertly passing traffic, keeping his fast pace for 50 laps. All the racing over the years prepared him for this moment. He held off the young gun and pitted keeping his team at the front. When he was done with his double stint, he was completely drained. He didn’t have a feeling of triumph, he just felt deep relief and gratitude to the almighty that he didn’t let his teammates down. This kind of moment is why Milt Minter Jr. is the heart and soul of Donkey Bop Racing, and why his teammates love him.
Team Principal Jim Ray commented “The #003 seemed destined to win this race. Everything went right, and you had 5 guys who worked with each other like a finely tuned watch, like brothers. They were all old friends from a decade ago racing on our old FSB team.”
Milt wasn’t the only hero on the #003 car. Larry Krupp, Jerry Foehrkolb, Ken Soszka, and Jordan McGregor all drove flawlessly, each playing a key part in the win. McGregor had the fastest lap of 1:32.592, and a superb average lap time of 1:35.798 over 133 laps. Krupp was the Ironman running 225 laps, with Foehrkolb running 214 laps. Soszka was the safest driver with only 4 incident points over 202 laps. An amazing finish by 5 superb Donkey Bop drivers.
Larry Krupp had to go to extraordinary lengths to even be able to race. A few weeks ago, his pedal set computer cable broke. As every driver knows, the “feel” of your pedals takes a long time to get used to. Larry worked day and night to get his rig in operating condition. Finally, two days before the race, he got it working, jury-rigging the cable. I added him to the #003 roster at the very last minute, when another driver had to drop out. He really came through with a 5 a.m. triple stint as P2 buckled under the pressure Larry put on them.
Donkey Bop #001, also driving the BMW Hybrid Prototype, with global simracing superstar drivers Carlos Plaza and Zachery Robinson, along with Danny Falcon and Chris Phillips running their first ever race in the top Donkey Bop entry, also had an amazing race, finishing on the podium in split with a strength of field of 2434. Carlos Plaza, as usual, drove lights out with a fastest lap of 1:31.647, and average lap time of 1:34.998. Young racing phenom Robinson was right behind with a fastest lap of 1:31.846 and an average lap time of 1:35.090. Robinson was also the Ironman, driving 293 laps. Phillips won the safe driver award with only 1 safety incident over 155 laps. Phillips and Falcon showed off their skills in their maiden race in the top DB car – both within thousandths of a second of each other on fastest lap and average lap time. And both handled the graveyard stints without slowing down, while Plaza and Robinson rested up for the race finish.
Ray summed up the #001 performance, “With the level of competition the #001 was up against, I am so proud of these guys. We have come so far as a racing team, and our #001 drivers put on display for the entire world how fast we are. Like the Carrol Shelby comment in Ford v. Ferrari, we have the other teams exactly where we want them. We are faster than almost all the teams we face, and they know that.”
The other three Donkey Bop entries had a tough day getting a handle on the Hybrid.
Jim Ray talked about how DB Racing will improve in the future.
“After the buzz wears off from the win and podium, we can look forward to our next race and how to improve overall. We could prepare a little better. Ensuring we run a sprint race or two at the special event track during the week. Practice in traffic. We need to be mindful when other cars are quicker and coming in behind us, we need to be better at getting them by us safely. The more fragile the car, like the hybrid the more room we need to give them. Every one of cars could have finished on the podium, if you analyze the lap times, we just need to keep the car clean and out of the pits.”
But you could see the pride in the Captain’s face. “I will have to check the DB Racing archives, but I believe today might well be the most successful day in the history of Donkey Bop Sim Racing!”