Saturday’s qualifying at Mid-America Motorplex was wet but drying, but because it had not rained in 30 days, the track was more slippery than olive oil on a Teflon pan!
In Spec Miata, Lael Cleland took pole over rookie Warren Dexter, with Joel Karns, Zane Dexter and Dillon Dexter filling the rest of the field.
An early green flag meant the Spec Miata race started as the field
rounded Turn 14. Opportunity knocked for the second row as Karns and Zane Dexter immediately made the start four wide with Cleland and Warren Dexter. By Turn 1, all four were still in contention with Dillon Dexter making inroads as well. Karns was able to sneak his way through and into the lead. Zane and Warren Dexter battled it out for second. Warren was able to sneak past his brother to chase down Karns when he had to pull into the pits with a flat tire. Dillon Dexter then passed Zane Dexter and caught Karns when he spun off track during an inside pass attempt into Turn 1. Dillon Dexter later had to pit and clean out the radiator. Zane Dexter inherited second, and he and Cleland battled to the finish.
Sunday dawned cool and sunny. Qualifying times would be fast, but would the weather hold for equally quick race times? Yes!
In American Iron, Jim Thomas grabbed the lead and held it till lap 10, when his overheated tires finally gave up and Mark Adams took the lead and the win. Jerry Sarsfield drove to a second-place finish in his first race. Thomas finished second on track but was later disqualified for being under weight.
The PTE battle might have been the race of the day. Cohn found some speed with a setup change and by following Westcott on the opening lap, he learned a few tricks that allowed him to run nose-to-tail with Westcott for the entire race! Cohn led twice briefly but made mistakes that allowed Westcott to retake the lead. In the end, Westcott won by .6 of a second and broke his own lap record with a 1:49.028, a full .5 quicker than ever before. Amazingly, Cohn went even quicker, stealing the lap record away with a 1:48.828. Finding 2.726 seconds in the race isn’t something you see every day! Team Weber rounded out PTE in their Infiniti G20.
In all, 12 new lap records were set, and the events keep growing in NASA Central. With so many new HPDE drivers, the future looks great!