Paul Miller Racing announced Friday (Nov. 30) that defending GT Daytona co-champion Madison Snow has chosen to leave the team, effective immediately. He does not intend to drive for another team at the moment. Instead, he plans to work in his family’s business full-time in 2019.
“I had a great three years racing with Paul Miller Racing and Bryan Sellers, especially now that we all share a championship together,” Snow said in a press release. “Racing has become as much about politics as the team and drivers getting the car to the finish line every weekend. After a lot of broken promises and false hopes on the path to next year, when it became final that Bryan and I wouldn’t be able to defend our championship together due to my upgrade in IMSA driver rankings, I finalized my decision that I didn’t want to continue in IMSA. I want to thank Paul and the team for everything they’ve done, and I wish them the best for 2019 and beyond.”
To expand on Snow’s statement, IMSA has instituted stricter rules on driver eligibility in the Pro-Am classes (LMP2 and GT Daytona) for the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. GT Daytona lineups can contain no more than one full-time Pro driver in sprint races (meaning one driver with a Platinum or Gold rating). The other driver must be an amateur driver (Bronze or Silver-rated).
Snow raced in the 2018 season as a Silver-rated driver and won the GT Daytona championship with teammate Sellers, who is Gold-rated. After the season, the FIA released a new set of Provisional Driver Rankings for the 2019 season. They chose to keep Snow as a Silver-rated driver (they also downgraded his mother, Melanie, from a Silver to Bronze). However, IMSA has new oversight over rankings for drivers that compete in their series for 2019. Normally, they’ll rubber stamp the FIA rankings, but they can make their own changes. IMSA has chosen to promote Snow to a Gold rating. As a result, he cannot stay with the team and defend his championship with Sellers.
For Sellers, he’ll miss racing alongside Snow.
“From the moment Madison and I first drove together there was an immediate connection,” Sellers stated. “Over the three years we drove together we accomplished a lot of great things including the 2018 GTD Championship, and a win at the [Mobil 1] 12 Hours of Sebring. I got the opportunity to see him grow as a man and as a driver. His effort and determination to continually improve is and was inspiring. I am sad that the opportunity for us to drive together no longer exists because he is an extremely talented driver, and most importantly he is one of my best friends. I support him in any decision he makes, and am thankful to him for helping me grow as a person and a driver as well.”
Snow’s family runs Universal Industrial Sales (UIS), a Utah-based steel fabrication company. They manufacture a number of products used on roadways, such as overhead gantries and guardrails. UIS has also served as an associate sponsor in Snow’s racing endeavors.
Paul Miller Racing still intends to race full-time in 2019. That said, they have not announced their plans for the upcoming season as of yet. That announcement should be made soon.