Round three of the Southeast Region 944 Spec season included the largest field of 944 Spec cars ever assembled for a Southeast Region race at 11. Saturday qualifying saw Jason Stanley as fastest and Southeast Region veteran Brian Evans on outside pole, but then the next four cars all qualified within a second of each other, led by the rookie Kyle Kimball.
At the start of Saturday’s race, the field went two-wide up all the way up the steep hill through Turn 3 where Stanley maintained the lead followed by Kimball and Joel Barber. Brian Evans fell back to seventh after carrying too much speed out of Turn 7 and losing momentum running down that long Road Atlanta back stretch.
Having caught Spec Miata traffic by lap five, Barber was reeled in by Jeremy Pohlman and Jason Werner. After much dicing, having settled into following Barber around for the final two laps, Pohlman finally got the break he needed when Barber’s car suddenly started misfiring between Turn 5 and Turn 6, handing Pohlman second place in the end. With cars two through six all battling it out with each other, Stanley checked out for the win. Pohlman went on to place second, with Barber in third.
Sunday’s grid was set by a wet qualifying, which was just the right amount of wet that it didn’t matter which type of tire you went out on. Pete Yousko started on pole, beating out the rookie Kyle Kimball by just one tenth. Jason Stanley qualified third.
On the start, Kimball jumped out into the lead, having a little better pace in the dry than Yousko. Stanley played it safe in Turn 1 and found himself in fourth behind Pohlman in third.
On lap three, Stanley got a good run up the hill to Turn 3 alongside Pohlman, causing the pair to take the corner two-wide. After a small side-to-side touch, which folded his mirror in, Stanley fell back in behind Pohlman knowing that the Esses are best taken single file. After the Esses, Stanley set up a pass down the short straight after Turn 5. Kimball then had a 4-second lead in first, followed by Stanley, Pohlman and Yousko. Stanley pressured Kimball for several laps to see if the rookie would make a mistake. On lap six, a gaggle of Spec E30s were caught at the top of the hill in Turn 3. Kimball followed the right lane of cars and Stanley the left. At the exit of Turn 3, Kimball was forced to check up, allowing Stanley to take the preferred line down the Esses, handing Stanley the lead of the race.
Stanley went on to win, with the rookie Kimball taking second, and the Mid-South region champ Pohlman in third.