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2014/8/5 10:20


SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (August 5, 2015) – Trading in his Manhattan business suit for a race suit at the famed Watkins Glen International, Phillip Smith picked up an SCCA class victory recently in his blue third gen 1991 Chevrolet Camaro.  The nationally ranked American Sedan racer has seen his program grow leaps and bounds in 2015 with suspension setup help from Ron Sutton Race Technology (RSRT).

The win helped propel Smith to sixth in the national American Sedan standings as he prepares to travel to Daytona International Raceway for the SCCA Runoffs September 21-28.

PhilipSmithlg1.jpgSmith has made his mark as a strong qualifier but could never get that perform to translate into race trim until this season.

"I could always qualify well but the car was miserable to race," Smith said.  "The tires were blistering and nobody had insights or thoughts on what was wrong.  I called Ron (after seeing his posts online) and he was the first guy who could answer questions and make the car better."

Smith spent two days underneath the car making measurements, which Sutton used to make suggestions on set up changes.  "I was surprised by how good the car was and how much was Ron was able to help."  A previously loose car that overheated the rear tires was now capable of running strong lap times late in the race.  At Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in late May, Smith ran his best lap of the Sunday feature on lap 17 of 18 for example.

At the Mid Ohio SCCA Major, Smith qualified first and fourth over the weekend and put together a pair of fourth place finishes.  The results improved at Watkins Glen in July where he missed the pole by only three one hundredths of a second.  He went on to lead all 13 laps of the Saturday feature for a 1.5 second victory.  He overcame a pair of on track incidents to bring home a successful third place podium on Sunday as well.

Moving on to Road America in late July, Smith took the pole by a whopping 2.5 seconds and won the Saturday feature by a narrow .686 seconds.  He also finished third in the Sunday race as well.

"For the first time in my life, we are having the same lap times at the end of the race as the beginning," Smith said.  "I really wish I had more time or more money to race because I'm having way more fun!  The car is second and a half faster everywhere we go (in 2015)."

Smith shares a shop with three other teams that have taken notice of his performance.  One of them is a fellow American Sedan competitor (who happens to be an engineer for Honda) outfitting his Ford Mustang with a larger swaybar to try to mirror the "high travel, low roll" set up.

The high travel low roll should be a boost to Smith's performance when he hits the high banks at Daytona, diving into turn one off of the super speedway or heading into the bus stop as well.  Like many other customers at RSRT, it has been a combination of Smith's hands-on sweat equity in the shop along with Sutton's advice that has made the difference.

"I've always liked solving the problems," Smith said.  "I like working on the car and making it better.  I've been a car guy taking stuff apart as long as I can remember."  From tinkering with bikes, lawnmowers, and motorcycles, to racing autocross and now a 15 year career in Road Racing, Smith has always been up for the challenge.  His next challenge is Daytona where he looks to make waves in car 54.

Philip Smith would like to thank Ron Sutton Race Technology, Hoosier Tire, and Phil Harper at Ilmor Engineering for their support in 2015. 

For more information on Ron Sutton Race Technology, visit them online at


Ron Sutton Race Technology is a one-stop resource for winning car building or improving performance for Autocross, Road Course Track Days & Pro Touring Cars. Ron offers suspension, brake & aerodynamic optimization services, complete chassis/suspension designs, cutting edge suspension packages, consulting services, books, workshops & an online store with 600 brands & over 90,000 parts. 

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