Brothers Al and Paul Keiser, and
standout Kevin Eves joined Riha, Cates and Tony Buffamonte in the
Pete LaRose showed strong gains in
speed over last season and newcomer Tony Johnston jumped in with
both feet, mixing it up early with midpack drivers. Lars Lattstrom
and Harry Elam drove well, but Harry lost his ride when his son Dan
Elam’s newly built car
(completed the week before)
lost an engine and Dan asked dad if he could take his ride for the
The engine failure with Elam was just
the latest in a bizarre string of engine failures that has plagued
Dan without exception in the series. No one really knows why Elam
and Elam alone, seems to eat engines… New car suspension changes and
teething pains left Dan struggling to learn the car in the practice
session, but it was the engine failure that put the car back on the
trailer for good.
At one point it was just amazing to
watch as the fast group of Challenge cars (keep in mind 225 hp!)
were slugging it out with stock cars over the long circuit. The
speed of the challenge cars is really amazing given their cost and
(Ohio-Indiana Regional Director) set personal records at Road
Atlanta and Ed Boothman picked up the pace early and showed he had
improved over the lay-off.
The race on Saturday was challenging
as the field was strung out at the start and no-one really got a
chance to catch Buffamonte on his way to setting new track records.
The East Coast drivers got a chance
to try out the brand new for this year V710 Kumho tires and everyone
felt the new rubber was seconds faster than the old Victoracers used
Tony might not have been caught until
his third gear failed and he was forced to run in 2nd and
4th for the last part of the race. This allowed Brian
Cates and Kevin Eves to close quickly. Cates would pass Tony with a
few laps remaining. Without 3rd gear, Tony was still
able to adjust his driving and finish just behind Cates for second
place, Eves rounded out the top three.
without too much drama. Second year driver Philicia Gray (That’s
her in the number 69 car) spun and hit the wall on Saturday.
Inspection of damage at the track suggested that the damage was
mostly fiberglass repairs with only some minor support pieces. The
damaged parts are covered under Factory Five's $25,000 replacement
parts contingency program for drivers at series points races.