Fall in Colorado is always spectacular. Our Rocky Mountains are once again brilliantly painted with changing leaves, soon to give way to our winter playground. It’s a bittersweet time, as the summer toys are about to be put away. But before we do, there is one last weekend to race, at the NASA Rocky Mountain season finale at High Plains Raceway. And this time we have a field of six screaming Spec Z cars!
2014 marked the beginning of a fun, intermountain rivalry between the Utah and Rocky Mountain Spec Z racers, starting with Ashley Burt visiting Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park over the summer. This time, racers Tom Kaminski, Erik Hannah and Arthur Golebiowski made the trek over the hill to bring it to us. Hannah drove his Spec Z 1,200 miles round trip without windows in the car. These guys are serious!
David Dirks’ 2:02.6 qualifying time on Saturday earned him the pole for race one, with Ashley Burt a close second and Pete Norman third. The first few turns after the green were tight, with Burt getting along side of Dirks in Turn 2. However, Burt could not hold on. Norman spun in lap three, resulting in Golebiowski, Kaminski and Hannah moving up a spot, and they were quickly finding speed in this tricky 2.5 mile, 15-turn track. Dirks took the win.
The grid was fully inverted for race two. This worked well for Norman, who walked away after the green. Golebiowski and Kaminski caught up after a few laps, battling with Norman, who certainly wasn’t willing to give up without a fight. Golebiowski passed Norman on the outside of Turn 3. Meanwhile Dirks and Burt were working their way through the field. Golebiowski took the win over Dirks by half a car length (0.155 seconds), followed by Burt, Kaminski, Norman and Hannah.
After waking Sunday morning to find Golebiowski’s No. 25 car wrapped in toilet paper, the six grid positions were determined at random for the third and final race. As the Z cars lined up on pregrid, it started raining, which made things interesting after the green flag. Hannah spun gracefully in Turn 4, while Golebiowski shot way out in front. Norman and Kaminski were at it again for second, followed by Dirks and Burt. Fortunately the rain was short-lived, and the 275-wide BFG R1s finally got some heat into them. Dirks eventually overtook Golebiowski, who overcooked it going into Turn 8, for the win.