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Round Two of the Western States Challenge Series

Round two of the Western States Challenge Series was held at Thunderhill Raceway Park.  Ten racers made the trip out for the weekend, even though the local weather forecast was for rain on Saturday and possibly continuing into Sunday.

Saturday’s warm-up and qualifying saw rain and very slippery conditions.  Even though there were a couple of off track excursions and spins, there was no damage (TC did suffer a broken shock in the warm up).  The grid for the race was: Dave Standridge, TC McNett, Karen Salvaggio, Tom Andrews (first time running with us-Welcome!!!), Robert Walter, Rick Anderson, Rich Norgrove, Paul McGarvey, Mike Beeler, and Tasha Standridge (although running in time trials last year, a first timer racing with us-Glad to have you with us!!).

The race started with a relatively dry track but went away by the third lap when the rain returned. Dave took off at the start with TC, Karen, Rick, Rich, and Paul in hot pursuit.  Tom, Robert, Mike and Tasha stayed right in there until the wet stuff started falling. As the race went on, Dave and TC separated from the rest of the pack to leave Karen and Rick to duke it out for position.  After another off track excursion (!!), Rick could not catch Karen.  Further back, Rich and Robert had their own battle with spoiler Paul ready to pounce.  In the end it was: Dave, TC, Karen, Rick, Tom, Rich, Robert, Paul, Mike, and Tasha.

For Sunday, we decided to change the format a little and have our qualifying race at 8:00 (instead of the warm-up) and the feature race at 10:20 (instead of the scheduled qual.).  That would make the afternoon session optional for those who wanted to test or allow the SoCal folks an early start on their 10+ hr drives home.

For our qualifying race, we gridded up according to Saturdays race results.  With dry and windy conditions, everyone was anticipating a fun and fast race.  At the start, TC led Dave with the rest of the group nose to tail for several laps.  By the third or fourth lap, every one was thinking that their tires were way off in pressures, as the cars got real loose.  Only Dave knew the answer to the problem, he was getting a mist of oil from TC’s motor as it was on its way to self destruction.  After retiring (blown motor), TC watched as Dave motor by for a comfortable lead.  Behind however, there was a major battle for second between Paul, Karen, Rich, and Rick.  All four cars occupied a space of about 50 feet for the remainder of the race.  On the last lap, and on the last corner before the checker, the four cars entered into the turn 2x2, and nose to tail.  As the dust cleared, Karen hit a patch of oil and backed into the tire wall, Paul and Rich had to check up to avoid contact, allowing Rick to sneak by on the inside to take second, followed by Paul, Rich, Tom, Karen (even though her car was mangled!!), Tasha, Mike, TC, and Robert.  Whew!!  I think we are ready for some ice racing!!

For the Sunday feature race, we had Rick on Pole, with Rich at second spot, followed by Dave, Paul, Robert, Tom, Tasha, and Mike.

At the standing start, Dave got a great start and Rick, Rich, and Dave took turn one three wide followed closely by Paul and the rest of the troops.  By turn three it was Dave, Rich (showing his new car set up and Toyo's will be a force to be reckoned with), Paul, and Rick.  As the race wound down, the race for second place was between good friends Rick and Rich with Rich showing he has no problem racing with another car inches from his tail.  However, exiting the esses, Rich had a little trouble with his gear box and Rick made heavy contact with Rich’s left rear quarter.  Fortunately, Rich was able to continue on to place a well earned second followed by Paul, Robert, Tom, Tasha, and Mike.

All in all, a great weekend with a really great bunch of racers/friends.  Next up: May 5-6 at Willow Springs.  Calling all Spec Racers-Be there or be square!!

--Rick Anderson

Page last updated: 07/02/2008

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