The second-to-last event of the year brought the core Southeast Region 944 Spec racers to the famous Daytona International Speedway for the first time, meaning a track record was up for grabs. Jason Stanley set the pole time of 2:21.2. He was followed by Pete Yousko and Brian Evans.
Gridded at the back of the 30-car Spec E30 field on the start, Spec 944 racers took the first few corners with caution. In the first horseshoe, a Spec E30 spun at the apex, backing the field up and keeping Stanley, Yousko, and Evans close.
Stanley took a huge lead coming out of the Bus Stop, but due to four-wide Spec E30 and PT traffic, everyone closed back up moving through Turn 1 for lap two.
Then traffic management became key. After some out-of-class bump-drafting up to the Bus Stop, Stanley maintained his lead and got an amazing run out of the Bus Stop where Yousko had to check up on slower cars. This caused the 944 Spec field to string out with Stanley in the lead, Yousko in second and Evans in third. This is how the rest of Saturday’s race played out with no other changes in position.
On Sunday everyone found more speed on the historic 3.56-mile roval. The grid for Sunday was Re same with Stanley again qualifying on pole, breaking into the 2:19s, a time that was 2 seconds faster than Saturday.
The start for the final race was more orderly than Saturday, but the field was still two-wide all the way through Turn 6. Evans got a great start, allowing him to run up on the inside of Stanley and take the lead through Turn 3. Stanley again managed out-of-class traffic better to get the lead back by the second horseshoe. Evans maintained second, always keeping a car between himself and Yousko.
Yousko, however, got an amazing launch off Turn 6, which paid dividends in top speed entering the braking zone of the Bus Stop, allowing him to make a run at second. What Yousko couldn’t control was the bottleneck at the exit of the Bus Stop again making him checkup and since Evans was on the inside line through the complex, he avoided traffic and got a clean exit.
Unfortunately, off-track incidents in the Bus Stop caused some dirt and debris to litter the fast complex, which caught a Honda Challenge car by surprise. A 10-minute red flag ensued.
After the restart, Evans carried too much speed into the first part of the complex and looped it trail braking at the first apex, narrowly missing a Thunder Roadster and giving Yousko second place permanently. Stanley took first and set the track record of 2:19.178 with an average speed of 98.5 mph in the final race of the weekend.