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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.

Happy Holidays

-Bob Lawson

Page last updated: 07/02/2008

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