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Buttonwillow Race Report

Nine challenge series drivers made the trip to Buttonwillow Raceway for the final race of the California Cup Series; Karen Salvaggio, TC McNett, Dave Standridge, Rich Norgrove, Robert Walter, Mike Beeler, Ron Stebles, Tom Coon, and Rick Anderson.  Also joining us: Ron Morris (Should be racing with us!!), Victor Penner (will be racing with us), Jeff Awender (HPDE, will be racing with us), John Tongish (HPDE), Bill Robertson, and Pete Goglia.

With only five points separating leader Karen and Dave, it was anticipated that this would be a lot of fun to watch!  As it turned out, Dave’s motor didn’t “get the memo” and was down on horsepower (way down!).  Soooooo…. The winner is Karen!!!  With two race wins and a second for the weekend, no one but TC got to watch her in their mirrors!

On top of that, Karen also drove the GTM-R the first hour of the 3 hour enduro and handed the car off to co-driver Chris Durbin (Pittsburg, PA) who went on to finish first overall and first in class!!  Owner Rich Migliori and his crew of Ted, Tom, Kevin, and Don have put together a very “pro Team”.  Congratulations to all!!

On the Saturday race, Karen started at pole with TC next to her. It was quite a battle between those two with Karen finally getting the best of TC near the end of the race and holding on for the win.  TC took P2, followed by Rick, Mike, Ron, Rich, Tom, and Dave.  Good battles were had all through the pack!

One note, during the morning warm up, Robert’s motor tried to re-organize it’s internal parts.  Didn’t work!  Connecting rods should never exit the side of a block and there never should be metal parts “burped” up into the intake!!

Sunday’s qualifying race had TC at the front (with a new Track record: 2:11.103. Way to go TC!!) followed by Karen, Rick, Rich, Mike, Dave, Ron, and Tom.

For the Sunday feature race, TC and Karen resumed their battle from Saturday with the rest of the pack doing their best to keep up.  There were many battles going on throughout the group making it very exciting for the spectators as well as the drivers.  Late in the race, Rich had to retire because there was a bad vibration (broken Motor mount).  In the end, it was Karen for the win, with TC taking a close second, then Rick, Dave, Mike, Ron, and Tom.

After Saturday’s race we all sat down to a great potluck BBQ and enjoyed each others stories of the day (read: bench racing).

One final note: Temps were around 114 for the 2:00 PM race!!  That made grip real interesting.

Rick Anderson

West Coast Race Director

Page last updated: 07/23/2009

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