Round two of the 2013 SoCal racing season brought out 15 Spec E30 racers to their home track at Buttonwillow Raceway Park under perfect weather conditions. Series rookies JoJo McKenzie, Andrew Clark and Nick Steel would take their first Spec E30 green flag during what promised to be an epic weekend.
The prior Spec E30 track record for the No. 13 CCW configuration (2:27.245) was set back in June 2007. However, every driver in Saturday’s morning warm-up beat that time! Steffen Thompson claimed pole position with a blistering 2:07.215. Team Sykes Racing and Mitch Pepper would round out the top three spots for Saturday’s flying start.
The top eight drivers ran nose to tail for the first few laps. Team Sykes Racing pressured Thompson for the lead at every corner until an overheating problem took Sykes out of the race. From his sixth-place start, Steve Stepanian passed Thompson going into the sweeper in the closing laps for the win. Pearson claimed the final podium spot, however the post-race inspection found him to be underweight, giving the third-place finish to Frank Reed. Stepanian won the race, set the new track record with a 2:08.495 and earned the Midnight Oil Motors Hard Charger Award.
Sunday’s qualifying race was a standing start with the top seven, and remaining eight, cars inverted. Pole sitter, Erick Strong, couldn’t seem to find second gear, which made the start even more exciting. Consequently, Sean Trapp’s immediate lead would quickly become a first-place finish. Trapp captured his first pole of the season for Sunday’s feature race and Frank Reed sat on the outside pole slot for the best starting position of his career. Steffen Thompson reset Stepanian’s new track record by .03 seconds, posting a 2:08.106.
In the feature race, Trapp rocketed off to a five-second lead after the first couple of laps. Respectively, Thiemann, Reed, Stepanian, Pearson and Thompson gave chase. On lap two, Thompson passed Pearson while Reed spun off track. Stepanian then passed Thiemann on lap five, as would Thompson a lap later. Stepanian then caught Trapp on the white flag lap, but Trapp would take his first official win of his seven-year career! Stepanian came in second, a mere 1.4 seconds back, and Thompson claimed third.
Stepanian again won the Midnight Oil Motors Hard Charger award. Trapp won the Mothers car care products “Clean Start” award for the win from the pole. Mothers generously presented Mark Powell an award for avoiding contact by taking his car off track twice this weekend and losing position to avoid contact with his fellow drivers. Rookie JoJo McKenzie took the Midnight Oil “Save of the Race” award.