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West Coast Challenge Series Race #4

Buttonwillow Raceway

June 10-11 2006

First time back to BW since Danís accident (although a difficult time for most) a great turn out. Saturday morning finds 12 spec racers ready to do battle.

Saturday Qualifying and Race:

After the morning practice session it appeared that Donny, driving Lawson Bros / Dymond Services #1, might have another easy weekend. Times go up and what's this, Langley (LK Motorsports #101) is on the pole with a blistering 2:08 with David Standridge (Rennworks #83) second a few tenths behind. Donny 3rd,  John Joyce (Slightly Dangerous Racing #88), Karen Salvaggio #28, Rick Anderson #6, TC McNett #33, Mike Joyce #44 (SDR second car), Paul McGarvey #85(Rennworks 2nd entry), Mike Beeler #10 (driving a LK Motorsports built car), rounding out the field, Robert Walter # 3, Mike Easton #31.

At the drop of the green flag, the 12 spec racers head for turn 1 (counterclockwise course) with Langley holding off hard charging Standridge, Donny goes by the start finish line with a big thumbs down (apparently the fuel gremlins had not been fixed). Taking advantage of the #1 problem, John Joyce takes 3rd into the first corner. Karen on the other hand loses several spots due to the slow moving  #1. For the first 3 laps the 3 lead cars could have had a blanket thrown over them with Donny struggling to keep touch with the leaders. Standridge gets a good run and makes a bold move underneath Langley entering the Talladega sweeper, and never looks back. Behind the leaders some great battles are entertaining the spectators, TC is putting pressure on Anderson and after 3 laps finally gets by. Mike Joyce after fighting his way thru traffic is closing the gap on Karen, Karen pushing hard is closing the gap on Rick. In the back of the group Mike Beeler is battling with Mike Easton for several laps finally making the pass, but on lap 7 goes off entering the main straight. He tries to save it but over corrects and shoots across the track into the tire wall. With only a few minutes remaining the group is black flagged and then sent to the paddock. The final order Standridge, Langley, John Joyce, Donny, TC, Anderson, Salvaggio, Mike Joyce, Paul McGarvey, Mike Beeler, Mike Easton, Robert Walter.

Mike is checked out and is released, thinking his weekend is done. But not with this group of racers, everybody pitches in and in a few hours (before Mike gets back the parts store) has his car back together ready to run Sunday. This is why people are drawn to our series, truly unlike any other race group I know of. Thanks to Diane (Rickís wife) we had dinner together and finished the day with a little drinking and a lot of bench racing.

Sunday Qualifying and Race:

Qualifying started off with Donny charging out the first lap only to find him in the pits before the 2nd lap was complete. The top three Standridge (having mechanical problems with the #83 qualifies in the #84 car), John Joyce, and Langley are within a few tenths of each other, follow by Donny, Anderson, TC, Mike Joyce, Karen, Paul, Walter, Easton and Beeler. Standing start today and at the drop of the green Langley gets a great jump and makes an aggressive move (hitting the front of Donny) splitting the front row, three wide into turn one with Langley in the lead with Standridge, John and Donny is close pursuit, headed for the star Mazda corner, it was evident that John was not going to make the turn, off he goes, Langley follow closely by Donny and Standridge. John gathers his car and finds himself back in 6th place. Donny filling Langley mirrors makes his move coming out of the bus stop to take the lead; Langley keeps the pressure on Donny but gradually loses touch with the #1 car. On the second lap Dave breaks his 2nd car and is force to retire. Meanwhile John charges back thru the field and settles in the 3rd position, many battles behind the 3 leaders especially TC in hot pursuit of Rick, finally on the last lap Rick makes a mistake and TC charges past. At the Checker Donny (finally getting a car that runs) Langley, John Joyce, TC, Rick, Mike Joyce, Karen followed by Robert Walter in a photo finish (less than a Ĺ a car length), Paul, Mike Easton and Mike Beeler.

Another fun filled weekend with everybody cars in one piece.

Bob Lawson

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