In February, NASA Arizona returned to Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, a challenging track located in Desert Center, a remote little ghost town in Southern California. A combined event with NASA SoCal, the February races brought out the hardcore enthusiasts from both regions.
Eight competitors took the green flag Saturday in 944 Spec in the Small Bore run group. Young gun Tyler Palmer was just flying all weekend, and he scampered away from the rest of the pack. Jim Hicks came in second place and crossed the line about 40 seconds after Tyler Palmer, with Jim Richmond finishing in third.
In Honda Challenge, Robert Rose got a good start in his first NASA race, driving the Team FTW car, but mechanical difficulties slowed him down and he pulled off early. Eric Dayton started laying down quick laps and slowly ran away from Team LBR to finish first.
In Saturday’s Big Bore classes, the fastest qualifier, Team ArizonaPain.com, in a Radical SR8, lurked at the back of the pack. At the green flag, the Radical carved through the field, passing everyone and catching Mark Alger in his Dodge Viper. The Radical made the pass, but due to mechanical difficulties wasn’t able to put much distance on Alger, which made for some great racing. Alger finally got around the Radical, and during that time Craig Ames in his Porsche GT3 Cup Car caught them, but he was unable to capitalize. Alger was first to cross the line followed by Team ArizonaPain.com and then Ames, all within .06 seconds of one another. Talk about a close finish!
In Sunday’s Honda Challenge, Team FTW overcame Saturday’s mechanical difficulties gridded third. Eric Dayton walked away from his fellow competitors for another win, with Team LBR finishing 35 seconds behind him and Team FTW one lap down in third.
In 944 Spec, Tyler Palmer started from the back, but passed the entire field to finish in first place! Darren Griffith finished in second, a nice improvement from his fourth-place finish Saturday. Jim Richmond again finished third.
For a video of Sunday’s 944 Spec Race, visit:
With the Radical out of Sunday’s Big Bore races, Alger led from pole and was careful not to leave the door open for Ames in his Porsche GT3 Cup Car. When the two made it around to lapped traffic, they split a slower car coming into a corner, Alger went inside and sacrificed speed while Ames rocketed around the outside. After that, Ames put some distance between the two, finishing in first, 20 seconds ahead of Alger.
For full race recaps and details, visit: