The field was made up of a mix of Great Lakes and Mid-South drivers, with one brand-new racer, Sean Foltz, having completed his comp licensing the day before. Saturday’s qualifying session and race took place in a pouring rain.
Race one started off with Dan Piña and Michael Cooper on the front row, Tara Brewster and Manny Moody in row two, Christopher Simmons and Paul Davison in row three, and Sean Foltz and Michael Morris in the fourth and final row.
The group was just getting their legs beneath them when a stranded NP01 brought out a long full-course caution. As the race restarted, Piña made the biggest move, passing seven cars on the front straight, thanks to his spotter calling the green long before he could see the starter stand. Brewster in P2 held Cooper off as long as she could, but Cooper’s courage in the wet shone through as he drove by her, and the finishing order was Piña, Cooper, Simmons, Brewster, Moody, Davison, Morris and Foltz.
Sunday’s race took place in optimal conditions, chilly with no rain and a dry track. The drivers were back at full song, but the fastest among them was relegated to the back of the field because an inverted start. This put the newest driver Foltz on pole alongside Brewster, Simmons and Morris in row two, Moody and Davison in row three and Cooper, and Piña in the final row.
As the green flew, Morris got the best start from row two. He had enough momentum to get around Brewster by Turn 1. But Brewster wasn’t rolling over, and fought back to retake the lead exiting Turn 2. Davison was busy making moves from the second-to-last row and slid into P2 entering Turn 3. Meanwhile, Cooper and Piña were waiting to pounce. As they entered Turn 5, Moody and Piña came together, but Piña was able to pull ahead. Cooper was hot on Piña’s heels.
With only two laps remaining, As the front three racers reached the white flag heading into Turn 1, Piña caught newcomer Foltz. Foltz succumbed to the pressure, and spun entering the corner. Piña was able to evade, but Cooper and Davison both had to short-cut Turn 1 to avoid contact with Foltz’s spinning car. Davison was able to get back up to speed quicker than Cooper, taking back the second position on the final lap. The finishing order was Piña, Davison, Cooper, Brewster, Moody, Morris, Simmons, and Foltz.