The Midwest season championship remains a tight three-way battle entering the final event in October. Neal Agran leads with 925 points, followed by Dan Piña at 920 and Eric Kuhns at 909. This is the closest points battle in the NASA Midwest or Great Lakes regions and any podium order is possible.
Eric Kuhns earned the pole in the first race Saturday with a near supernatural 1:39.2 in qualifying — well under lap record pace. He was followed on the grid by Dan Piña and Neal Agran, who were separated by .06 seconds.
In a twist, Angel Blazquez and Ken Frey started on the front row after the balance of the class reported late to the afternoon drivers meeting and were penalized. Kuhns and Piña, starting in the second row, attacked on the inside and outside into Turn 1, emerging from a four-wide melee in first and second place. Sadly, Kuhns soon retired from a 2-second lead with a failed throttle cable.
Piña drove to his second victory in as many weekends, with Agran chasing close behind at a 5-second gap. Blazquez held onto third to round out the podium.
On Sunday, Kuhns again took the pole, followed by Agran .5 seconds behind and Piña a mere .07 seconds further back. Piña slipped by Agran at the start, as Kuhns emerged with the lead. Agran retook second in Turn 8 after Piña ran wide.
After a 40-minute pursuit, Kuhns emerged with the win by 10 seconds over Agran, who eluded Piña by 7 seconds. Blazquez maintained fourth over a disciplined Ray Freundt by 8 seconds, who held off rookie Gary Barton in the opening laps. Barton then fell into the clutches of Sudhir Chhikara and Kurt Ristow. Barton gamely held off the pair to lap 18, at which point Chhikara and Ristow both slipped by in traffic. The three finished in close proximity in sixth, seventh, and eighth, with Frey close behind on fading tires.
The entire field in 944 Spec this weekend had the tightest spread of lap times of any class with more than three drivers — a testament to the hard work of the field and its coaching program. A 4-second margin separated a field this weekend, and that includes a former professional and drivers with podium finishes in the most competitive of national club motorsports events.