The 2018 NASA Great Lakes regional racing season’s final weekend of the year was again held at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park. Saturday gave no rest for the wicked, with two races and the awards banquet that night. Sunday was just a fun run, but it’s a long 45-minute race the day after the big NASA Great Lakes party! For the entire weekend, the Grand Full course was used. It’s the longest track configuration at NCM and it includes the infamous Sinkhole.
In American Iron, Todd Davis scurried to pole followed Jason Lakomiak and Bob Collins. The track was dry, but green from the rain on Friday. At the start, Davis kept the lead, with Lakomiak and Collins following in behind. It was another start where the AI field pushed through the out-of-class cars ahead. Davis got the win, with Lakomiak in second and Collins in third.
The second race of the day started the same way. A big push by the AI field through the cars starting ahead. Davis and Lakomiak took the far inside line, jumping tons of cars with the advantage of American Iron horsepower. Collins lost out in the middle of traffic and was stuck back in third. A couple of laps later, Davis got wide in Turn 6 and Lakomiak got by. Davis soon got on Lakomiak’s bumper looking for a pass. Davis got back by with a great pass in the Sinkhole!
Davis got on the outside going down into the Sinkhole and held his line. This gave him the inside line for Turn 21 and Lakomiak had no chance of staying alongside. As Davis got ahead, traffic got in the mix and created an even larger gap. This gave Davis the win, with Lakomiak close in second and Collins in third. Davis wrapped up the year with his fourth consecutive AI regional championship! Congratulations! Collins finished his first racing season in second in the Great Lakes Regional Championship and Lakomiak in third.
In Spec Iron, Chris Williams cemented his Great Lakes regional championship by winning both races Saturday.
On Sunday, cooler weather and an overnight rain kept the track green and lap times high. Davis and Lakomiak were close on lap times, but Davis came out on top to get pole. This was a longer 45-minute race that combined both race groups. That put a lot of different cars on the track and 20 more minutes behind the wheel then Saturday’s races.
Davis kept the lead at the start, but Lakomiak stayed close, with Collins in third. Davis kept slowly extending the lead, but a red flag halfway through the race bunched up Davis and Lakomiak for the restart. By this time, it started to sprinkle outside, quickly ruining any heat and grip the track was starting to get back.
It was a very good restart for Davis, with Lakomiak stuck between turns 22 and 23 with a yellow flag. Lakomiak pushed hard and stayed ahead of a train of great-handling, lower-horsepower, but quicker-lap-time cars to stay in touch with Davis. The rain was still coming down light and steady. Then they got into a pack of Thunder Roadsters that were having a difficult time getting the power down and racing side by side in the turns.
Davis soon lost a lot of time, and Lakomiak used the traffic as a pick to get by Davis and put a few cars in between. With Lakomiak in the lead, Davis was pushing hard in increasingly wet track to get back to Lakomiak. The two pushed hard to the checkered flag in the slick conditions, but not much time was left. Davis had a big run on Lakomiak in turns 21, 22 and 23 of the final lap. But a lapped car and some power sliding by Davis gave Lakomiak the win with Davis only 0.227 sec behind!