Teen Mazda Challenge racers returned to SoCal in June for rounds three and four of their 10-race series. David Dodge was leading Joey Jordan by 15 points, followed by Matt Million. Nova Brown, Noah Grey and Garrick DeLaFuente rounded out the teen roster.
Saturday’s schedule included practice, two qualifying sessions and a heat race that afternoon. If competitors were going to post quick qualifying time, they needed to do it in the first session because the temperature did nothing but rise that day.
Joey Jordan qualified on pole, followed by David Dodge and Rob Burgoon. When the green flag flew, Jordan and Dodge took off and fought their own battle up front. The duo exchanged the lead a couple of times, but in the end, it was Jordan who came out on top.
“He got around me a couple of times, but I was able to pass him right back both times,” Jordan said. “I was able to get a big lead at one point toward the end of the race, but I ran up on a 944 at the Bus Stop and there was a yellow flag, and I couldn’t pass him. So I had a five-second lead shrink down to nothing. So he was right back on my bumper, but I was able to hold him off. I think he made a couple of mistakes, but it was a really hard-fought battle, though.
On Sunday, Dodge earned pole position, followed by Jordan and Burgoon in third. When the green flag dropped, Dodge, Jordan and Burgoon were off on their own till Burgoon bobbled and dropped back. Jordan tried to take the fight to Dodge, but the pair were off racing on their own, with none of the out-of-class traffic they had to deal with the day before. Being on pole had its advantages, Dodge said, but there was also the matter of engine size.
“He got close a couple of times, but a 1.6-liter versus a 1.8-liter, it’s really hard for a 1.6 to pass,” Dodge said. “I pretty much drove under my skill level and made sure I didn’t make any mistakes and kept the race as drama free as I could.”
In the end, it was Dodge for the win. Dodge arrived at the top of the points charts, and after splitting wins with Jordan at Buttonwillow, who is second in points, he left in the same position