Grant West Takes Final Spec Miata Win of the NASA Southeast 2019 Season

Grant West started from second and took the last Spec Miata win of the NASA Southeast season at Santa’s Toy Run at Road Atlanta in December.

Seventeen Spec Miata racers rolled into Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to wrap up the 2019 season at the Santa’s Toy Run event. Teen Mazda Challenge racer Aiden Crouse had already locked up the Southeast Spec Miata championship. However, it was still a four-way battle for second place with Keith Williamson, Yan Dia, Teen Mazda racer Grant West and Brad Miller dueling for the last two podium spots in the Southeast Region championship.

Aiden Crouse showed the class how to do it in qualifying by winning pole position with a 1:46.132, followed by West, William Cox, Williamson, Dia and Miller. On the start, the outside group got a good run, with Miller giving Williamson a good bump and in turn launching West into the lead as the outside trio made it to the top of hill at Turn 3 first, with Cox P4 and Dia/Crouse going through Turn 3 side by side. Dia and Crouse continued side by side through the Esses until Crouse backed out entering Turn 5.

By the time West reached Turn 6, he had already gapped the field by six car lengths. On lap three, Williamson caught a back marker Spec E30 entering Turn 7 and lifted, which slowed up Miller, letting Cox, Crouse and Dia to get a run on him coming out of Turn 7. Dia had a little run going on Cox, but that put him on the outside behind Crouse approaching Turn 10a, where Cox took P3 from Crouse and Miller got beside Dia. The two went through 10a and 10b side by side. Now Miller and Cox start into Turn 12 side by side and Miller got the short end of traffic again when he was boxed in and went to the grass to pass another back marker Spec E30 as they tracked out.

On lap five, Williamson caught a 944 near the bottom of the Esses and lifted in Turn 5 and pinched the turn to get to the inside of the 944. This made Cox and Crouse brake hard to follow through left on the inside of the 944. Dia went right and completed his pass on the 944 with two wheels in the grass as Miller — the last of the five-car group — kept his momentum up to get a run and pass Crouse for P5.

Dia used his momentum to get beside Cox and take P3 entering Turn 6 and Miller got to the inside of Cox in Turn 7 for P4, leaving Cox P5 and Crouse P6. On lap seven, Dia and Cox bump-drafted up to Williamson and passed him on the inside at Turn 10a, and on lap nine, Crouse got a run on Williamson to pass going into Turn 10a for P4 while Miller dropped out with a blown motor. Dia and Cox then tried to start gathering West in while Crouse pushed hard to catch them.

On lap 14, Crouse got up to Cox and the pair bump-drafted past Dia on the back straight. Then Crouse got to the inside of Cox in Turn 10a, but Cox got loose and went through the corner of the gravel trap leaving Crouse P2 and Dia P3. Crouse and Dia kept pushing for the next two laps, but never threatened West. Grant West won the final NASA Southeast Spec Miata race of 2019, with Aiden Crouse P2, Yan Dia P3, Will Cox P4, Keith Williamson P5 and Scott Carlisle P6.

Congratulations to Aiden Crouse who won the NASA Southeast Spec Miata championship with Grant West second and Yan Dia third.

Here’s how the Southeast Spec Miata regional championship played out, with No. 28 Aiden Crouse in first, No. 505 Grant West second and No. 97 Yan Dia third.


Image courtesy of Jim Voss

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