NASA Pro Racing Series News

10 06, 2019

Grisham and Pond on Top at Auto Club Speedway

Auto Club Speedway is an interesting racetrack. A roval, it has two personalities and if you want to win there, you need to have a drafting partner. Short of that, you can partner up with whoever is around you and hope it works out for you in the end.
Justin Crickenberger tried to work with Ryan Pond in Saturday’s race, and even though they tried to work together, they didn’t get the order of operations right. Crickenberger’s 1999 Miata has the torque and horsepower to push Pond’s 1.6 car on the high banks, but Crickenberger was ahead, so the two tried to change places to take better advantage. It didn’t work, and the two found themselves fighting other drivers for position late in the race.
“We decided to make the change without realizing how close and how quickly everyone else was coming up to us, so that ended up hurting both of

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10 06, 2019

Forenz Arabian Takes First Spec E30 Win at Auto Club Speedway

Drivers returned to the high banks of Auto Club Speedway to take advantage of the great weather in an effort to beat one another, once again, as well as better the previous track record set in 2016 by Steve Stepanian, who laid down a blistering 2:00.808.
A couple of interesting front air dams showed up, and drivers wondered if they would have any effect on the race. These were removed after the warmup because they either failed completely or created overheating problems. The racers undoubtedly didn’t go out for Saturday morning warmup on older practice tires and it appeared that a few drivers might have figured things out early, because they were able to surpass the previous track record, but could they repeat it in qualifying, let alone the race?
That question was answered quickly as in qualifying. Seven drivers were not only able to beat the 3-year-old track record, but three

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3 06, 2019

WERC Teams Take on the High Banks of Auto Club Speedway

For the first time in the history of the Western Endurance Racing Championship, the field of 31 cars gridded up at Auto Club Speedway for round three, a three-hour enduro.
Auto Club Speedway presented challenges to WERC teams, but unlike Buttonwillow Raceway, massive clouds of dust and pitch blackness weren’t among them.
For one, the race was run during daylight hours. The race began at 4:45 and ended at 7:45. Sunset was at 7:46. Two, Auto Club Speedway’s roval design has the longest stretches of wide-open-throttle of any track on the NASA SoCal schedule, so fuel consumption was greater than other three-hour enduros. Three, the pit lane at ACS is long, and with a 25-mph speed limit in the pits, stopping for fuel or tires or a driver change takes a lot longer than at other tracks.
Caution periods disrupted the race a bit. Pit stops shuffled the order around and the usual

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27 05, 2019

Teen Mazda Challenge: National Roundup May 2019

The NASA Teen Mazda Challenge is under way for 2019, so it’s time to check in on the competition around the country. TMC drivers have a unique racing season, essentially two seasons in one. They compete with other TMC drivers within their regions for TMC points, but they are also part of the broader Spec Miata class, so they have another venue in which to make their mark.
In terms of sheer numbers, NASA NorCal has the greatest number of TMC drivers, with nine young drivers competing.
By late May, Roy Fulmer IV was firmly in control of the points race in the NorCal TMC. Fulmer IV picked up a Spec Miata class win at Sonoma Raceway in March along with a fourth- and a third-place class finish. That gave him three first-place finishes in TMC. In April at Thunderhill Raceway, Fulmer IV finished second and scored two third-place finishes in Spec

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20 05, 2019

Aiden Crouse Aces Spec Miata Field at Carolina Motorsports Park

Seventeen Spec Miatas rolled into Carolina Motorsports Park in May to fight it out for the top spot on the podium. On Saturday Keith Williamson set fastest time for pole position with a 1:52.997, followed by Aiden Crouse in P2, Pat Smith P3, Grant West P4, Brad Miller P5 and James Harrell P6.
Williamson got a good run through Turn 1 after the green flag, followed by Crouse and Smith, who quickly began to gap the field. For the next six laps, the three worked their way through traffic as Crouse hounded Williamson, waiting for his chance.
That chance came on lap seven when Williamson got a poor run through Turn 3 and Crouse got to his inside for the pass at Turn 4. Smith then got a run on Williamson coming out of Turn 8 and got on the outside of him approaching the kink. The two then went through the

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13 05, 2019

Baumann Wins Super Touring at Las Vegas and Rydquist Wins GT

After an exciting inaugural weekend of the 2019 United States Touring Car Championship at Las Vegas, the title contenders made themselves apparent.
Starting with the ever-growing Super Touring class, Swiss driver, Reto Baumann in his Revo/Current Graphix Volkswagen Jetta GLI grabbed pole position in qualifying. Then, after losing two places on the start, drove his way back through the field passing eventual third-place finisher Larry Bani’s GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels BMW M3 and second-place finisher Mike Sekhon’s ARG Motorsports BMW M3 on his way to his second win so-far in USTCC.
Swedish driver, Carl Rydquist, had an easy victory in the Myraceshop.com/Ridetech FFR GTM after his closest rival Rob Harper’s AP Racing Chevrolet Corvette had issues and had to start from the back.
Dutch driver, Pete Bovenberg, had a fantastic battle in the Sportsman class with his teammate, but managed to take the win in the Rota Wheels/Supertech Honda Civic. Dan Zargham finished second in the Stevens Creek Dodge

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6 05, 2019

Steven Stepanian and Andrew Clark Battle for One Win Each at Buttonwillow

Fifteen teams showed up ready to compete at the technical and challenging Buttonwillow Raceway Park, considered by many SoCal racers to be their home track. Right off the trailers, the cagey veterans and feisty rookie drivers wasted no time in laying down some seriously fast laps. Three new drivers made their Spec E30 racing debut at this event.
The attention to detail that Andrew Clark puts into his car also showed up in his ability to qualify 1.4 seconds ahead of his closest challengers. His blistering lap time, a 2:03.529, was more than enough to secure the pole position on lap two of qualifying. Behaving more like Lewis Hamilton, Clark pulled off track and parked the car in his garage while the rest of the field tried to wrangle more speed from their cars. Steve Stepanian tried, but was unable to get close to Clark’s outstanding qualifying time. However, he was

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29 04, 2019

Crickenberger and Grisham on Top Again in Spec Miata at Buttonwillow

Hannah Grisham continued to show the NASA SoCal Spec Miata field that she can lay down some fast laps in qualifying, which put her on pole position for the start of Saturday’s race at Buttonwillow Raceway in April.
At the green flag, Justin Crickenberger got a healthy jump from P2 and took the lead as the field exited Turn 3. Grisham said she didn’t get the push at the start from Ryan Pond behind her. Crickenberger led from that point on, but the race was anything but a gimme.
Grisham bided her time and when she attempted to put a pass on Crickenberger, she lost pace, and that’s when Pond pounced and passed her to take second place.
“It’s a tough track to pass on half the track in a 1.6 car,” Pond said. “I kind of had to be strategic. I knew I could be a little quicker through some corners, and

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29 04, 2019

Teen Mazda Challenge Mid-Atlantic Tips Off at Virginia International Raceway

The first event in 2019 for Teen Mazda Challenge Mid-Atlantic was held at Virginia International Raceway. Two Teen Mazda Challenge drivers, Zach Rubin and Andrew Balgoyen, competed against 11 other Spec Miata drivers, including former Teen Mazda Challenge champion, and current IMSA driver, Brian Henderson.
Zach Rubin qualified second with a 2:17:910, only .2 seconds off polesitter Brian Henderson, with Andrew Balgoyen qualifying eighth. On the standing start, Rubin dropped to fourth on the first lap and Balgoyen had to retire due to a mechanical issue. Rubin battled veteran driver Aaron “Old Man” Johnson for several laps. Johnson and Rubin swapped positions several times during the race, including going side by side through turns 2 and 3. Johnson was able to pass Rubin going into Turn 14, on the penultimate lap to claim fourth place, putting Rubin into fifth. Henderson maintained a steady lead throughout the entire race and took the

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29 04, 2019

WERC Racers Face Off in Round Two at Buttonwillow

By the time drivers in the Western Endurance Racing Challenge arrived at Buttonwillow in April, they had shaken the offseason cobwebs loose and focused on the task at hand: winning.
Teams that struggled with setup at the first WERC event of the season at Willow Springs in March had gotten things dialed in. But that doesn’t mean the race went exactly to plan. Some carnage early on and a late-race, full-course caution mixed things up a bit.
For example, contact early on between the Team USRD Ginetta G55 ES car and the Team HQ Autosport E2 car, knocked the Ginetta out of competition and brought out caution flags.
ES

In addition to the mixed-class contact incident, Team Valkyrie Autosport blew its engine 10 laps into the race, ending its bid for an overall podium. Being the only car in ES, though, the team still took first place and collected the valuable points associated with

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