Roebling Road Raceway is one of those tracks that can deceive a driver. It’s relatively easy to learn the basics, but mastering those nine corners is very different. Drivers of the Spec Miata Championship gave it their best shot at NASA Southeast’s Spring Brake event held April 11 and 12.
On Saturday the concern was weather. The forecast was changing often, but always with a substantial risk of rain. While the entire field had the rain tires handy, in the end the day stayed dry and the Toyo RRs got a workout. Starting from pole, 2014 Champion Jose Garcia led the field to the green … then everything got exciting! There were two distinct battles: Garcia and 2013 Champion Jake Bailey, and Traqgear’s Roger Burdette, then Dave Johnson, John “Hammer” Palazzolo, Dylan Stancil and Yan Dia battled it out for “best of the rest.” The unofficial move of the race had to go to Stancil, who passed three cars on a brilliant restart after a red flag. When the checkers fell, Bailey won, with Burdette in second even after a spin, with Garcia finishing third. However, after the race, Bailey was DQ’d for passing under yellow, moving the entire field up a spot and handing Burdette the victory.
Sunday was fast. The track had rubbered in and everyone was quicker. Bailey and Burdette at the pointy end qualified just .047 seconds apart, setting the stage for a fierce battle. Midpack was thrilling too, lots of bump-drafting up Roebling’s long front stretch. Early on, Johnson and Hammer worked nose to tail to break away, then Hammer and Stancil got into it … literally. Stancil just nudged Hammer’s right rear on the exit of Turn 9 and they drag raced to the finish with Hammer holding off the hard-charging youngster by a fender. This time Bailey wasn’t going to repeat his mistake from Saturday and led flag to flag.