What a great weekend for racing! Hurricane Sally just moved out Thursday leaving behind a cool front with temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s and no clouds. With seven Honda Challenge racers on grid, we ended up at the tail end of our wave of 30 plus cars making the first two full laps packed nose to tail and door to door, with the occasional three-wide through some corners.
In H1, we had Jeffrey Bankston on pole, followed by Daniel Madamba, Andrew Hicks and Rob Oxford. Jeffrey Bankston wasted no time moving through the slower traffic on the first two laps placing a good 4- to 5-second gap between him and the three following H1 cars. As the race went on, there were several local yellow flags making passing difficult, with limited opportunities, but the racing was still good between Daniel Madamba and Andrew Hicks. Rob Oxford was never in striking distance.
In H2, we had Shane Lovely on pole, followed by Michael Kramer and Andrew Meek. When the green flag dropped, Shane Lovely got a great start and jumped on the tail end of one of the H1 cars, almost passing one of the H1 cars but found the road ahead is jammed. At that point he backed off, an ST Unlimited Class car tried to pass him, made side contact with him putting doughnuts down the full length of his wife’s racecar. No dents or crinkles, just black rubber doughnuts, so all is good. Being directly behind the H1 field, they too raced nose to tail and door to door for the first two laps before we thinned out.
Toward the end of the race, all the followers in H1 caught a break. An off-track car was stuck in the sand in a bad spot so we went full-course double-yellow bringing out the pace car to bunch up the field. All the work of the leader Jeffery Bankston was reduced to two cars between himself and the other three Honda Challenge cars. When the race resumed green, most were sleeping at the wheel, allowing Rob Oxford to pass Andrew Hicks and almost Daniel Madamba too. One of the ST3 class cars passed Daniel Madamba on the restart, putting second, third and fourth place H1 cars together chasing Jeffery Bankston now just a few seconds ahead. Two turns later, Rob Oxford got around Daniel Madamba, moving into second. How quick the tables can turn.
Jeffery Bankston was on a good pace that none of the other H1 cars could keep and took the win. Rob Oxford was able to fight, slipping and sliding to capture second place and Daniel Madamba third place and Andrew Hicks fourth, all three within .25 seconds of each other.
Even though there were several local yellow flags, Shane Lovely, Michael Kramer and Andrew Meek in H2 traded places one to two times every lap. It was nonstop passing, back and forth until the full-course double-yellow. When the race resumed green, so did the passing. When the checkered flag waved, we had Shane Lovely with Team Moar Door in first place, Michael Kramer in second and Andrew Meek in third. In addition, Ron Zappendorf at Discovery Parts awarded Team Moar Door with a new 5-gallon fuel jug for the most passes in a single race. On a side note, there were rumors that Michael Kramer allowed Shane Lovely to win for his birthday gift. We reviewed race footage and were unable to confirm nor deny this rumor.
Sunday’s H1 and H2 race had less congestion at the start, and the field spaced out quicker. Michael Kramer was on pole in H2, followed by Melissa Lovely and Andrew Meek. Directly in front of them were the H1 pole sitter Jeffrey Bankston followed by Daniel Madamba, Andrew Hicks and Rob Oxford. Sunday’s race was long, a few local yellows, but nothing to bring out the tow truck. After 45 minutes of green-flag racing, Jeffery Bankston won H1 again, followed by Daniel Madamba in second and Andrew Hicks in third. In H2 Michael Kramer took first place, Andrew Meek in second and Melissa Lovely with Team Moar Door in third.
The H2 regional championship between Michael Kramer and Team Moar Door are only separated by 20 points. The next three races are critical for both so it may come down to the Annual Santa’s Toy Run. Stay tuned and what these two battle to the end.