TJ Bain scored three second-place finishes at Gingerman.

June 22 and 23 marked the third race weekend for the Midwest and Great Lakes regions this season. Saturday qualifying had a five-car field in AIX, the largest of the year. Chris Griswold took the pole with a 1:37.170, followed by John Miksula, John Jung, Scot Young and Jeff Henderson. The eight car AI field had Leo Wanstreet in his fox body Mustang on pole followed by Jeff Wood, Todd Rogers, TJ Bain, Steve Post, Jason Lakomiak, Todd Davis in his Buick Grand National and Jerry Sarsfield.

The AI race started clean with Rogers in his Mustang getting the edge on Wood into Turn 2. Wood and Wanstreet would battle for a few laps with Wanstreet moving into second place. Wanstreet then challenged for the lead with an aggressive move on Rogers into Turn 1. The move did not work. He bounced over the inner curb and had contact with Rogers, spinning him. After the incident, Wood then took over the lead, with Bain following. Wanstreet took fast lap with a 1:43.085, but it was Wood who took the checkers. Bain took second with Post in third, followed by Davis, Lakomiak and Rogers. Sarsfield retired early with a with a broken clutch, which ended his weekend.

The AIX race had Griswold take the lead with Jung following closely into Turn 2 on the first lap. The battle, however, was for second as Jung and Miksula diced for the entire race. Miksula took the second position late in the race. Griswold had fast lap at 1:38.705, followed by Miksula, Jung, Henderson and Young, who retired early with a mechanical.

Sunday featured a two-race format with the first session of the day used for qualifying. Bain took the AI pole with a 1:43.415 just .1 seconds quicker than Post. Scot Young lost all brakes and contacted Davis in qualifying, damaging Davis’ car and ending Young’s weekend. Davis would get the car back out for race two — after some pit work with a BFH. Griswold again took the AIX pole at 1:38.782 in the shortened session.

The AI race two would have Wood and Rogers battle to the front. Wood had a pass under yellow that ruined an otherwise great run. Rogers sailed off in front over Bain in second, Post, Lakomiak, and Davis.

Race two of three once again had Griswold off in the AIX lead until lap five, when a broken control arm caused a very large “moment” exiting Turn 9. Griswold gathered it up and exited the track, leaving Miksula and Jung to battle for first. Miksula ultimately pulled away and Jung was having some brake issues and settled for second followed by Henderson.

Race three in American Iron had Jeff Wood recover from race two to take the overall win in the last race of the weekend. Bain and Lakomiak battled for a while the first few laps, which eventually settled out with Bain in second, followed by Lakomiak and Davis. Wanstreet retired early with a mechanical, but set fast lap with a 1:42.801.

Race three in AIX was much more uneventful as Griswold took the lead and worked his way through the ST field to take first in AIX and fourth overall. Miksula took second, followed by Jung and Henderson.

Jeff Wood scored two victories at Gingerman and was DQ’d in race two for passing under yellow.
Jeff Wood scored two victories at Gingerman and was DQ’d in race two for passing under yellow.
Image courtesy of Tom Hitzeman

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