Coming off a two-win weekend in March at Willow Springs, SoCal standout Ryan Pond scored another double tap at Buttonwillow Raceway in April.
Starting from pole on Saturday, Pond made some errors in the opening moments of the race, which allowed Rob Burgoon squeak past and take the lead. Burgoon held the lead for most of the race when the front runners hit lapped traffic. A 944 Spec was shown a blue flag, but the driver was unpredictable and Burgoon lost a position.
“I lost control of the car, flew off the track and Ryan got past me,” Burgoon said. “Then I was overcome with a horrible case of red mist and worked on running down Ryan and was just about catching him at the white flag and then one of the E30s let him by but did not let me by on the way into the Esses, so that was pretty much the end of that.”
That left Pond on his own to take the win on Saturday.
“I followed Rob for 90 percent of the race, and lapped traffic just saved me,” Pond said. “Rob went to pass traffic on the outside, and the 944 went with him, and pushed him off. I was on the inside taking the other line and I got by and stayed in front him, but he was closing on me every lap.”
For Sunday’s race, the field did a standing start, a first for the SoCal region drivers. Hannah Grisham started from pole and she took the lead into Turn 1 followed by Pond, Dennis Holloway and Burgoon.
Burgoon got around Pond in the Sweeper on lap two and then passed Grisham when she locked up in the Off Ramp. The three traded positions the whole race as they dealt with lapped traffic. In the end, it was Pond on top again.
“I held it at 4,500 and I kind of slowly let the clutch out. Not slowly, but not just a drop. It was awesome,” Pond said. “The race was such a rush I really don’t remember much. Traffic was insane.”
Burgoon was right on his bumper in second at checkers, with Grisham just behind him.
“For the race, it was pretty much the three of us all switching back and forth who was in front,” Grisham said. “Then we caught up to lapped traffic and that was an issue. It didn’t work out in my favor and I ended up in third.”