Ten cars lined up for qualifying anxious to see how they stacked up against each other. Richard Baldwin earned the pole with Jay Pellegrini III to line up outside of him for the start of the qualifying race. Richard Kulach from Nissan Motorsports brought the company Nissan GT-R for use as the official pace car.
Baldwin got a great jump on the field at the drop of the green. Brian Kleeman also got a great start from his second-row position and was able to move into second place by Turn 1. Way out front due to a midpack spin, the top three ran nose-to-tail for eight laps with Richard Baldwin registering the fastest lap during those laps. Baldwin drifted off track in Turn 12 and into the foam lining the guardrail. This moved Pellegrini III in to second and Baldwin, who only glanced off of the barrier, back to third. On the following lap, Pellegrini III spun in Turn 5, allowing Baldwin to regain second and Kleeman to race to victory.
“I really had to work to stay up front,” Kleeman said about his win. “It was a relief to see the guys hand it to me late in the race. Sunday looks to be tougher. Everyone is stepping up.”
In Sunday’s inverted grid, John Baldwin got a jump from the second row and eased in to the lead coming out of Turn 1. David Walsh took the lead by the end of the first lap. Jay Pellegrini III negotiated traffic and made it to second after one lap and into the lead by lap two. He held on for the win.
Walsh held second until Clark Crawford overtook him on lap seven with Brian Kleeman and John Baldwin Jr. following close behind. At the end of the back straight on lap 13, Baldwin Jr.’s car exited track left and headed for the tire barrier, causing Walsh to check up. This allowed Crawford and Kleeman to pull ahead to decide the last two places on the podium between themselves. On lap 14 Kleeman was able to slide through into second in Turn 5 and hold off Crawford for the remainder of the race. Jay Pellegrini III cruised home for the victory with Kleeman second and Crawford third.
“I got a lucky jump through the middle at the start,” commented Pellegrini III after the race. “I threw on a new set of tires and made a few clicks on the suspension and the car was great for the race. I want to thank the Spec Z National Series Director Clifton Winkleman for organizing this event for us. And, a big thanks to everybody that showed up to make this happen.”