West Coast Wraps Up Season with Three Titles
NASA had scheduled us to run
with PRC, but with the chance of rain, the Porsche cars stayed home in
their garages. So the 8 Challenge Series racers have the track to
themselves. For the west coast gang it is an opportunity to use up those
rain tires they have been carrying all season, but is not to be, by
qualifying, the track is dry and back on go the Kuhmo’s.
When the grid is posted, the
#83 Rennwerks (Standridge) entry is on the pole. Everyone is in shock as
Dave is 6 seconds ahead of TC #33 and Donny #1. Due to being scheduled
with the PRC group, we will not use the bypass; instead we will go over
turn #5. This proves to be too much for Donny to deal with, as he goes
the wrong way several times and has to start in the back of the field.
The 8 Challenge racers line up
for a standing start with Standridge and TC on the front row. The green
flag drops; TC takes the lead thru turn 1 as Standridge misses 3rd
gear. Donny from the back row makes an aggressive move, up the inside,
passing 3 cars before turn 1, Determined to make up for his brain fade
in qualifying, he dives under the 28 car but drops a tire in the dirt
and around he goes. As the leaders come onto the front straight,
Standridge has regained the lead. That is the last the field will see of
the 83 car. Meanwhile the race for the 3rd spot has 3 cars
(Karen Salvaggio # 28, Paul McGarvey # 85, Rick Anderson #6) nose to
tail for several laps with multiple position changes. TC, in second, has
the first of 3 spins while Rich Norgrove # 5, and Robert Walter # 3 are
having there own battle.
I’m not sure, perhaps the lack
of sunlight has had a negative effect on a few drivers, TC and
Norgrove’s struggles don’t add up to the day Donny has had. After being
DQ’d in qualifying and chastised by the team owner (me), he manages to
make the same mistake not once but twice during the race for a last
place finish. The terrific battle for 3rd turned out to be
the battle for first, due to Standridge being DQ’d for his rear track
being too wide. The final order, Anderson (1st win) follow by
McGarvey, Salvaggio, TC, Walter, Norgrove and last but not least Mr.
Edwards. Some great racing added with a little comic relief courtesy of
Donny turns out to be another fun day.
Sunday morning no rain, the buzz
in the pits is the point’s race for 2nd, 3rd, and
4th up for grabs. Even with Donny’s struggles Saturday, he
has all but locked up the WCS. Standridge will run but he declares it
to be a fun run. Dave shows everyone that he will be a force to reckon
with next year by setting a fast time of 2:00.9, only a few tenths off
of the track record held by Bryan Dobyns. I not sure what happened
overnight, maybe the weather or something in the water, but all the
drivers end up breaking there personal best times, showing there ready
to do battle.
Donny and Dave move themselves
to the back row, leaving Rick, TC and Karen right together up front. The
green flag flies for another standing start; TC takes the lead followed
closely by Rick. Behind them is Karen with Donny inches behind pushing
the 28 car to get into the mix for the lead. Standridge politely works
his way through the field and checks out leaving clear track behind for
the rest of the field. Paul and Robert where having there own battle
trading places several times during the race, but the real battle was up
front between TC and Rick and like the season, it came down to the wire.
As they entered the front straight, it was a drag race to the finish and
it was Rick at the line by a matter of inches. TC nips Rick by only 1
point for the 2nd spot in WCS and only 5 points separated
them for the SoCal championship with TC coming out on top.
What a way to finish an
outstanding season for the whole group. I think Donny and Dave will have
their hands full next season with this group coming on strong.
I want to thank everyone for
letting me be a part of this.