Crouse and Bailey Split Wins at Road Atlanta in June 2019

No. 28 Aiden Baker Crouse leads Jose Garcia, Kyle Kimball, Vinnie Barratta, and Grant West through Turn 12 at Road Atlanta in June, on his way to a Spec Miata win on Saturday.

NASA Southeast Spec Miata finally escaped the cloud of rainy race weekends and also got one of its biggest fields, with 25 cars taking the grid for qualifying. Aiden Crouse grabbed pole position with a 1:46.370, followed by Bradley Miller, Jose Garcia, Ben Rook and Keith Williamson.

At the start, Miller got a good run to Turn 1 and started up the hill trailed by Rook, with Crouse dropping in behind for P3. In Turn 10a/b, Miller got loose, but as he gathered it up, Rook pulled him up the hill for P1. Crouse got beside Miller in Turn 12 but gave up as the pair went into Turn 1 leaving Rook P1, Miller P2 and Crouse P3. Rook caught the first back marker Spec E30 at just the wrong moment entering Turn 7 and had to check up giving P1 back to Miller as they tracked out. On the back straight, Crouse with Jose Garcia pushing, got around Miller with Garcia dropping in behind Miller for P3 as they went into Turn 10a.

A couple of laps later Yan Dia, Vinnie Baratta and Jake Bailey got in on the action and the three got around Miller as he was defending against Rook. This action repeated as the eight lead cars kept racing until Miller, who had gotten back up to P3, tried to pass a Spec E30 back marker at Turn 5, and with contact, wrecked out of the race. (see the video below). Dia then got around Crouse for the lead only to lose it on the last lap when Crouse got to his outside tracking out of Turn 7 and pulled him for the lead going into Turn 10a giving Aiden Crouse the win with Yan Dia P2 and Jose Garcia P3.

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On Sunday, Jake Bailey laid down a 1:47.689 for pole followed by Grant West, Jose Garcia, Keith Williamson and Yan Dia. At the start, West and Williamson pulled Bailey and Garcia through Turn 1 and up the hill for P1 and P2. On lap two, the race went full-course yellow with West in P1 followed by Williamson, Bailey, Garcia and Crouse. On the restart, West got a bump from Williamson to keep the lead going up the hill, Bailey had a run and got to the inside of Williamson in Turn 1 but got pulled going up the hill to leave the order unchanged.

On lap six, Williamson got a little loose tracking out, allowing Bailey and Garcia to get a run on West and Williamson as they headed in to Turn 10a. Bailey and Williamson split West, with Bailey taking the lead followed by Williamson West and Garcia. Dia picked off Garcia going into Turn 1 and started to pressure West going up the hill from Turn 1.

Two laps later Crouse pushed Dia past West to give the pair P3 and P4. Williamson gave Bailey a push on the front straight but got loose entering Turn 1 and lost a position to Dia. Now Dia, Williamson and Crouse tried to chase down Bailey who had gotten about four- to five-car gap on them. On the last lap, a waving yellow at Turn 6, slowed the four leaders as they navigated through car parts of three wrecked E30s.

Passing Turn 7, it was game on again as the four headed down the back straight toward the checkers. Bailey weaved a bit down the back straight trying to break the draft to Dia, but Dia had a good run and closed up as they approached Turn 10a. Dia got to Bailey’s inside slowing the pair down through Turn 10a and now Williamson had a run.

Williamson gave Dia a tap as they headed under the bridge, but it was not enough. Jake Bailey brought home the win, with Dia on his left quarter panel as the pair crossed the finish line with Williamson P3, Crouse P4 and Kyle Kimball P5.

No. 131 Jake Bailey brought home the Spec Miata win on Sunday, with Dia on his left quarter panel as the pair crossed the finish line, with Williamson P3, Crouse P4 and Kyle Kimball P5.

RESULTS

Image courtesy of Jim Voss

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