States Challenge Series Season Opener
Race Report Sat 3-17-07
California Speedway and So Cal NASA
was host to the Western States Challenge Series season opener. A
fantastic facility that features a road course utilizing the front
tri-oval, turns 1 and 2 on the NASCAR, and an interesting infield
layout before returning to the banked tri-oval.
Saturday qualifying saw Dave
Standridge setting fast time with a 1:59.187, with Rick Anderson,
Karen Salvaggio, T.C. McNett, Robert Walter, Mike Beeler, Ron Morris
(rookie), and Paul McGarvey rounding out the field. For the race,
the FFR group was placed by time and not by group, in the 54 car
grid. At the drop of the green flag, the orderly 2 by 2 line
erupted into a 5 wide race to turn 3 which requires hard braking and
second gear to negotiate. Dave was off like a shot and took an
early lead while T.C. and Karen were in hot pursuit. The remaining
Challenge Cars settled in among the multitude of CMC cars. Rick managed to
pass T.C. and for the next several laps fought it out with Karen for
the second spot with multiple position changes and plenty of door to
door racing. In the meantime, Dave was running away from the
field. At the finish it was Dave, Rick, Karen, T.C., Paul, Robert,
Mike, and Ron rounding out the field.
For the Sunday race, it was decided
that we would adopt the CMC race format with a qualifying race (for
season points) to set the grid for the Sunday race. Everyone at the
race was in favor of the format change and seem to have liked the
way it worked out for our first time at it.
The grid was set by the Saturday
finish and we were given space to group together for the start. At
the green, Dave took off with another great start with Karen and T.C.
battling over second spot. Back in the pack, everyone settled in
and drove good clean races without incident. At the checker it was
Dave, Karen, T.C., Rick, Paul, Robert, Mike, and Ron to set the grid
for the race.
Once again, we were positioned in the
grid among the CMC cars by time from qualifying. Being able to work
heavy traffic became a hot commodity. At the green, Dave was off
again (does this sound kind of familiar??) with Karen and T.C.
battling for the entire race over the second spot. Not far behind,
Robert and Paul were having their own epic battle for position, and
further back, the ever improving Mike and Ron were also vying for
position. In the end, it was Dave, Karen, T.C., Rick, Paul, Robert,
Ron, and Mike for the checker.
All in all, it was a fun weekend for
all and hopefully we can have even more racers at T-Hill for the
One final note on the weekend: Fast
lap and new record on TOYO tires goes to Dave Standridge with a time
of 1:56.757!!! Congratulations!!