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NorCal Race 4

Thunder Hill, August 12-13: 7 Challenge Series racers arrive at this terrific facility expecting some triple digit heat, but much to the racers delight the weather was great mid 80ís clear and bright.

This event, being the 4th Nor-Cal  points only event, found the field short of all the So-Cal racers choosing not to make the trek north. Dave Standridge (#83 Rennwerks car) made it clear that his recent success at the last event was no fluke, by setting the pace a full 1+ second ahead of his closest competitor.

Time to grid up and only 5 cars, Robert Walter #3 with tranny problems, Tim Treat #17 after qualifying 3rd finds multiple rear break problems and decides to park it for the weekend. The field lead by Dave takes the green, Donny and Dave, inches apart, drag race towards the first turn. Donny manages to force Dave so far to the inside of the track by the time they reach the braking zone Dave is out of pavement, not giving in Dave out brakes Donny and takes the lead through the first turn.  The two leaders enter turn 3 with a car length between them and Dave begins to spin, Donny chooses the outside but canít avoid contact with the 83 car and both end up in the dirt. Rick and the rest of the field slip by unscathed. Donny and Dave, minus a few body parts, set off to run down the pack

Rick Anderson leads the field for the first lap; follow by Paul McGarvey (#85 Rennwerks second car) Rich Norgrove, Donny and Dave. Dave for the second time spins in turn 3 and Rich spins in turn 5, not the kind of excitement we where hoping for. Donny has manage to pass all but the lead car of Rick, pressing hard Donny finally completes the pass going into 14 and leads the field for the third lap. The group settles down with Dave working hard to make his way back to the front, passes everyone but Rick, coming out of turn 15 Dave gets a run and completes the pass on lap 5, sets out to run down Donny.

A full course yellow to clean up of debris, as the field grids up behind the pace car Dave fines 1 CMC car between himself and Donny. Green flag waves and Donny taking advantage of the traffic puts a few cars between himself and Dave, working hard to stay with the leader Dave fines he canít shake Rick who is putting pressure on from the 3rd position. White flag flies with Donny in the lead, but Dave has cleared traffic and is closing the gap, Rick after losing touch with Dave in traffic is in 3rd followed by Paul and Rich. Looking like the order would not change Donny gets sideways in turn 5 and Dave trying to avoid contact spins along with Donny, they both gather up the cars without losing a position. Finally the checker waves with Donny 1st followed by Dave, Rick, Paul and Rich.

Sunday morning, looks like another near perfect day. Ed Gavin #62 has arrived to join the group and Robert Walter has installed a new tranny (on loan from Lawson Bros. Racing) and is ready to go. After the morning sessions the times are posted, with a few surprises. After making some minor changes the LBR entry has set the fast time follow by Standridge, Anderson (improving his time by 4+ seconds) Norgrove, Walter, McGarvey and Gavin. Just to keep it interesting the race director has inverted the field in both groups; FFR will take the 2nd flag behind CMC.

Gavin brings the field around for the start but, before they get the green, the CMC group has a 12-car melee in turn five with 7 cars sustaining damage. Finally after 2 laps of yellows, FFR gets there green flag, Edwards from the back gets a great jump up the inside and is behind the front row at the S/F line, splits those two and takes the lead into turn 1. Standridge determine to catch Edwards has passed all the field but Anderson by the 3rd lap, Rick determine to hold on to the 2nd spot holds off Dave for 2 laps but, Dave gets a good run out of 15 and takes the position. Meanwhile Edwards has taking advantage of the battle behind him opening up a straightaway lead. Dave charging hard and is slowly making up some ground on Donny, but finds he canít shake Mr. Anderson who is keeping the pressure on from behind. At the finish line it is Donny first, Dave a couple of car lengths ahead of Rick, Paul, Rich and Ed.

All in all an outstanding weekend with everyone heading home cars intact ready to head east for the Nationals. With only 1 race left Donny has locked up the Nor-Cal championship but the WCS is still up for grabs.

See Ya In Ohio

Bob Lawson                     

Page last updated: 07/02/2008

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