Michael Valiante is showing the heart that the HART Continental Tire sports car racing team hoped he would.
Valiante drove the Honda of America Racing Team No. 93 Honda Civic SI to a second straight podium finish at the Road America 200 in Elkart Lake, Wisconsin on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Valiante took over the car from driving mate Chad Gilsinger on the 15th lap and raced from well back in the pack to finish in second place overall, just 0.133 seconds behind behind race winner Aleks Altberg in a Volkswagen GTI.
Earlier this month, Valiante scored a rare race double in the Grand American sports car series, winning a Rolex race in a Daytona Prototype for the Spirit of Daytona team and taking the checkered flag in the Street Tuner class for HART at the EMCO Gears Classic in Mid-Ohio.
After a driver change, Valiante began his day behind the wheel in 30th place and avoided four full course cautions before moving up to third place on Lap 40.
After a fifth yellow flag event in the race on the very next lap, Valiante was duelling for second place with Terry Borcheller in a BMW 128i.
The runner-up finish for Valiante helped boost the HART team to 13th place overall in the sports car challenge Grand American race series standings.
In the second practice session, Valiante posted the fastest two laps in the 40-car field in the No. 93 Civic and HART's second car, a Honda Civic.
Burnaby's Remo Ruscitti helped qualify the Compass360 Racing teams' Honda Civic SI in 13th place in the street tuner class.
During the race, Ruscitti went into the gravel in the No. 77 car on Lap 17, causing a full course caution. The Compass360 team finished in 21st place overall.
Valiante's next race is this weekend at the Continental Tire 150 at Watkins Glen, New York.