NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires Sunday Winners
The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) eighth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires closed out their Championships by crowning Sunday's race winners.
Group F German Touring Series GTS2, GTS3, GTS4, GTS5
Early morning rain over the Miller Motorsports Park 3.048 miles long 15 corner Outer Course greeted the competitors for the warm-up. Group F opened the final day of the NASA Championships. At the start Tony Colicchio in his No. 331 BMW GTS3 entry took over the lead from his eleventh place qualifying position. Colicchio was pursued closely by Michael McAleenan (GTS4) BMW M3 in the early going. On lap four McAleenan took over as the overall leader of Group F. Steven Streimer was the early leader his No. 02 Porsche 997, but was passed on lap six by the overall pole sitter Peter Spencer in his No. 89 Porsche 997 Cup car. Spencer kept his charge going and passed McAleenan on lap 16 to take the overall Group F win.
89 Peter Spencer, No. 89 Porsche 997 GTS5 and overall class winner, "I was on pole. At the start of the race in the drying conditions, it was like driving on grease. We were on brand new slick tires. We set the chassis up for rain, but kept the slicks on it. The first few turns and laps I couldn't turn, I couldn't accelerate or brake. The BMW guys were bullying me a little. As it dried out I started to get some grip and was able to pass all of them back. It was a good clean race."
3 GTS4 winner Michael McAleennan, "it was a little tricky at the beginning with the track still drying. Every session we have gone faster and we peaked at the right time in the final race. The car handled like a dream, turned-in perfectly and was really well balanced. My crew worked tirelessly on the car all week. On Wednesday we had to rebuild the whole front of the car, on Thursday we lost the transmission, and we put a new differential in it yesterday to finish out the weekend."
331 Tony Colicchio won GTS3 in his No. 331 BMW 325, "I think we changed tires in our mind about a thousand times before the race. We finally made the decision to go to slick tires on the pre-grid. It was a little slippery on the start. I have pretty good car control, so I was able to get through the first few laps. The car was great, we did some suspension tweaks for the changing weather and it worked out awesome."
58 In GTS2, Dick Hunter took the win his No. 58 BMW, "we practiced in the rain with wet tires. But for the race we decided to go on slicks. We took loosened up the shocks with the compression all the around which turned out to be a really good set-up. The first lap I did a tank-slapper in the last turn. That got my attention. After that I settled in and everything was fine."
Group G PTB, PTC, PTD, PTE, PTF, Spec Z
David Dirks led the Spec Z field to the green in his No. 76 Nissan 350Z. In PTB David Schotz in his No. 34 Pontiac Formula was the class pole sitter. In PTC Dennis Holloway in the No. 5 Mazda RX8 was the fast car all week. In PTD James Rowen was the early leader in his No. 9 Honda Civic, on lap six, Sonny Watanasirisuk took over in his No. 18 Mazda Miata. Both would be beaten by the No. 117 of John Matthews. In PTE Timothy Reger paced the field in his No.19 Mazda Miata and was in a battle with the No. 71 Miata of Andrew Kidd. In the waning laps Jason Kohler, No. 848 Miata took over the lead of PTE and drove to the win. On lap 17 David Schotz passed Dirks to take the overall class win.
34 David Schotz, PTB and overall winner in his No. 34 Pontiac Formula, "My Hoosier Tires and CarboTech brakes were the secret today. I was fast and just kept putting down consistent times. We got blessed with great weather and the car held together for 45 minutes. The car was great all week. I was here in 2009 and the competition had 7 mph on me down the straight. It was nice to have the speed on them today."
76 David Dirks, No. 76 Nissan 350Z, Spec Z winner, "I want to thank my wife Michelle, my kids Erin and Matthew and my Dad. It was a nice ride. I was fortunate to break away early. I just focused on being consistent to maintain the gap. We have been racing 944s here for a long time so we know our way around this place. I am absolutely thrilled to take the win today."
5 Dennis Holloway, No.5 Mazda RX8 PTC winner, "I was lucky. Normally I don't get this lucky. I have been chasing a Championship win for a number of years. My car was really good in the corners. I didn't have a lot of torque coming out of the turns. I had a good day and was able to win."
848 No. 848 Jason Kohler won PTE in his Mazda Miata," it was an amazing race. I started back in fourth and had some amazing battles with Andrew Kidd and Tim Reger. I got by them and I thought I was in second, but it ended up I was in first. I had a good car in the infield and I was able to get a good draft down the long front straight to keep my speed up."
117 John Matthews won PTD in his No. 117 BMW, "I've had a lot of races and I have never worked so hard in my life. There was great competition and I had a photo finish with No. 2 Josh Allen to take the class win. I had a little bit more horsepower down the straight, he had a little better car in the infield. He caught me on the last lap and we took it to the last foot, a great race."
Group D ST1, ST2, ST3 STR1, SU
The fastest group of the day took the green under near perfect 75 degree temperatures. Jon Van Caneghem, No. 7 Elan DP02 SU, had a near 30 second lead when a full course yellow came out on lap six. Local racer George Smith led STR1 early in his No. 73 Corvette. In ST2 Chuck Matthews led to the caution in his Corvette, until he was passed on the last lap by local racer James Burke in his Corvette. In ST1 Pratt Cole drove his No. 88 Dodge Viper to the win. In STR1 Smith came from 20th on the grid to win the class in his Corvette. Ken Smith added another Cuvette to the top podium in his No. 557 ST3 car. Van Caneghem won the class by a margin of 23 seconds.
7 Jon Van Caneghem, No. 7 Elan DP02 SU, "it was great. I had a lot of fun out there. My car has an amazing amount of grip through turns one, two and three. It is really fun to go through those turns in this car. After my competition broke a couple of laps in, I was able to take it a little easy. My fast time of the weekend was a 1:49 which we put down earlier in the week."
240 James Burke, No. 240 Corvette ST2 winner, "it was pretty tough. There were other cars that were faster in my class today. We decided to sacrifice horsepower for slicks and it hurt us early on. They would pull away from us on the front stretch, but we had a more consistent tire throughout the race. On the last lap we pulled up on the inside of the Attitudes, made the pass and took the win."
73 George Smith, No. 73 Corvette STR1, "I had a little infraction on Friday which sent me back to 20th at the start. I had some fast cars in front of me. People were good sports during the start keeping their line. Once I got ahead of the ST field, I went from 20th to third. I had nothing for the next two cars. It was good clean racing today. NASA does a great job with this event. I had a lot of fun. This is my second NASA Championships trophy, the first was here in 2009. I want to thank Jordan Priestly and JD Motorsports for doing a wonderful job with the car."
557 Ken Smith, No. 557 Corvette ST3, "the double yellow really helped me. We are running sticky tires, so the caution helped me to cool them down. It was a great weekend. We really ran consistent the whole week. The car was handling and hooking well out of the corners. I want to thank Greg Dansbury and Power Grid for their help. It was a great run, everyone ran clean, I am really excited."
NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires 2013 Champions:
American Iron, Alec Udell, No. 16 Ford Mustang
American Iron Xtreme, John Miksula, No.42 Ford Mustang
CMC, Aaron McSpadden, No. 75 Ford Mustang
Spec Miata, Matt Schultz, No. 11 Mazda Miata
944 Spec, Tyler Palmer, No. 4 Porsche 944
GTS2, Dick Hunter, No. 58 BMW 325
GTS3,Tony Colicchio, No. 331 BMW M3
GTS4, Michael McAleenan, No. 3 BMW M3
GTS5, Peter Spencer, No. 89 Porsche GT3 Cup
PTB, David Shotz, No. 34 Pontiac Formula
PTC, Dennis Holloway, No. 5 Mazda RX8
PTD, John Matthews, No 117 BMW M3
PTE, Jason Kohler, No. 848 Mazda Miata
PTF, Walter Carlos, No. 81 Mazda Miata
SU, Jon Van Caneghem, Elan DP02
STR1, George Smith, No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette
ST2, James Burke, No. 240 Chevrolet Corvette
ST3, Ken Smith, No. 557 Chevrolet Corvette
ST1, Pratt Cole, 88 Dodge Viper
Group C - Time Trials:
TTB, David Schotz, No. 34 Pontiac Formula
TTC, David Schotz, No. 34 Pontiac Formula
TTD, Sonny Watanasirisuk, No. 18 Mazda Miata
TTE, Jason Kohler, No. 848 Mazda Miata
Group H - Time Trials:
TT1, Shawn Murphy, No. 667 Subaru STi
TTU, Kyle Schick, No. 23, Nissan GT-R
TT2, James Burke, No. 240 Chevrolet Corvette
TT3, Christopher Mayfield, No 194 BMW 325
The NASA Championships will be broadcasted on SpeedcastTV.com, use the link http://www.speedcasttv.com/NASA to view all the racing action from Miller Motorsports Park this weekend. Live steaming will begin on Sat., Sept. 7 at 11:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. MT and Sun. Sept. 8, 10:20 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. MT.
Miller Motorsports Park (Tooele, Utah) is located just 35 minutes west of downtown Salt Lake City. Miller Motorsports Park is a state-of-the-art road racing facility and is widely considered to be one of the finest road racing parks in North America. NASA competitors will be using the track's Outer Course which measures 3.048 miles long with 15 corners that will sure to be a challenge for the 300+ Championships competitors.