The NASA Southeast 2019 race season has come to an end, and we looked at the points standings and all positions were set, so the Toy Run was going to be a fun, no-stress weekend of racing Honda Challenge. We had an out-of-region racer join us that weekend, Jeremy Zeitler from Texas. He just bought a new racecar in the Northeast, and was passing through on his way home, so he decided to stop and race. He had been to Road Atlanta a few times, knew the track but had a few loose ends to fix throughout the weekend, which is to be expected with any new racecar. We also had the return of Devon Manno, who had been rebuilding his car from a bad wreck from March.
We started the race in H1 with Stephen Pearce on pole, followed by Rob Oxford and Daniel Madamba. In H2, we had Michael Kramer on pole followed by Devon Manno and Jeremy Zeitler to finish up the Honda Challenge fields.
When the green flag dropped, everyone got a good jump toward Turn 1, except Rob Oxford who missed a two-three shift and fell back a few spots as Daniel Madamba and a few others blew past. Stephen Pearce started to set a small gap on the rest of the field until the double-yellow came out. Soon we all bunched up behind the pace car, double yellows were pulled in at all corner stations and Rob Oxford finally got around Daniel Madamba who was asleep on the restart. Soon Madamba got back around Oxford while going through lapped traffic and kept him behind running a defensive line the remainder of the race. Stephen Pearce went on to win with Madamba and Oxford only several seconds behind him.
H2 started well, Kramer and Manno were moving through Turn 1 and up the hill, but Jeremy Zeitler waste no time catching up to them within a few laps. Working his way through traffic, passing both Manno and Kramer to take the H2 lead, Zeitler made a solid charge to remain in front. They also bunched up at the double yellow and restarted, but they maintained their race positions with Zeitler taking the win followed by Kramer and Manno.
The 2019 season shaped up to be a record setting season for us Honda Challenge racers in the Southeast Region. Stephen Pearce set two new track records in H1. The first record was set in January at Roebling Road Raceway and the second in February at Carolina Motorsports Park. Karl Kondor set the new H2 track record in April at Roebling Road Raceway. Congratulations to Stephen and Karl and best of success on breaking more track records in 2020!