Final race of the NASA Utah 2013 Championship. I only needed to take a start to win Spec Miata for the year, so despite being on outside pole, I opted to start from the rear and let others battle it out at the front. Plan didn’t go exactly as I expected since it is hard to see the flag on the West track and some people missed a shift. I ended up in 2nd in turn one (the black car of Jon Lee is in PTE, a different class and wasn’t directly racing us.) More people missing shifts as they tried to stretch their hammered transmissions for one final race made for some interesting “bump” drafting. And for those not familiar with the SM hand signals, a thumbs up is usually thanking someone for pushing/bumping you and the karate chop is a sign to let the person know that you will stay in line and not try to pass.
It was a long week at the 2013 NASA National Championships. I chased electrical and power issues non-stop. I thought I finally had it licked and had a great start in the race. Unfortunately being run wide and then hit on the first lap seemed to tickle the problem and I lost power throughout the rest of the race. I still had a blast and it was great to meet so many fellow competitors from around the nation. The camaraderie in Spec Miata cannot be beat. Congrats to Matt Shultz for his hard earned win and I’d like to thank my sponsors RaceCo, race-co.com, and Bountiful Mazda bmazda.com for all their support this year.
Here are vids of the quali and main races:
This one gives you and idea of how much I was down on power unfortunately:
Unexpected events meant that I was only able to get my new motor in and car put together the night before the races. Some vacuum leaks and other issues meant I was down on power, but the car was cornering on rails thanks to the great setup from brraceco.com. Watch as I run with the 2nd place car of Chris Bond in the corners, but have trouble keeping up down the following straights. Still I was very happy to have finished the weekend running and even managing to get the last step on the podium for Bountiful Mazda, bmazda.com! Shout outs to Chris Haldeman, Bill Agha, Alex Whetman, Tyler Dahl, and Mike Kreiberg for all the help trying to get the motor sorted during the weekend!
Round 4 of the Utah NASA Championship thankfully saw pleasant temps (for June) and new faces from Cali. Mark Drennan narrowly beat me out for pole by .1 seconds with me starting on the outside of the SM front row. I got a great start and unfortunately Mark missed a shift, so I was able to pull out a healthy lead before he cleared the slower traffic. This let me have some fun racing with Glen in his PTE Miata. I was psyched to come away with another win and good points for the Championship. Thanks to Bountiful Mazda, bmazda.com, and RaceCo, brraceco.com for all their support! And of course the Guivers for all their help crewing during the weekend!
A pleasant change from the last event had us racing under a warm sun with no threat of hail this month! The only threat was from the swarm of fast Oregon drivers, including the winners of the 25 hours of Thunderhill in the E3 class. Watch the video and see how the local competition stacked up against drivers who will surely be vying for the NASA National Championship in September. I’d also like to thank Bountiful Mazda for coming onboard as a sponsor for TAG Racing and the #60 RaceCo Miata. Of course special thanks always goes out to the Guivers for all their help and dedication to the region every weekend!
The weather was a bit different this weekend, being in the 40′s with rain, but the outcome was the same. Two more poles and two more race wins. Pretty sure I also set the fastest Spec Miata lap on the East track with a 1:49.451. It was good to see Chris Bond back out racing with us. It’d been too long 007! Thanks to the Guivers for their tremendous help and RaceCo for their support.
Great first round of the season with two class poles, fast laps, and wins! Many thanks to Matt Guiver for helping me swap out a blown shock late on Saturday to keep me running on Sunday. I look forward to racing with everyone again next month.