Jim Thomas notched three wins in American Iron at the Central Region season opener at Gateway Motorsports Park in March.

It was an exciting season opener for NASA Central and Midwest regions, joined by Mid South drivers at Gateway Motorsports Park. American Iron and AIX drivers enjoyed great competition in three races during the weekend of March 29-30. With six AI and two AIX cars entered, this year’s event was creating excitement long before we all loaded up to head to the track.

Friday’s practice day unfortunately ended the weekend early for Team Sarsfield with a brake malfunction going into Turn 1 and some contact with the wall. Jerry and team will be back soon with the No. 29 Mustang ready to race.

For Saturday’s race, Mark Adams’ captured the pole by a narrow margin over Jim Thomas in the AI No. 76, who jumped into the lead by Turn 2. Midway through the race, Mark Adams in the No. 75 tried for a pass, but spun and shuffled back in the field. Adams battled back for a second-place finish and a new NASA AI track record of 1:07.99. Close behind were Steve Post in third, Shawn Taylor in fourth and Jeremy Moen in fifth battling fuel pressure issues.

For the AIX racers, Chris Griswold’s No. 71 came in first with a new track record, followed a few seconds behind by Jeff Henderson’s No. 19. Sunday welcomed warmer weather and more exciting races! In the second race, Thomas’ No. 76 Mustang won from the pole, with Jeremy Moen’s Chevy coming in a close second. After another spin, Adams finished third, with Taylor in fourth. Post suffered from not having enough breakfast when his No. 97 Mustang was found to be underweight by 12 pounds.

In AIX, Griswold finished first with Henderson pulling in early for a mechanical problem, which put him out for the third race. The AI drivers kept it interesting for the third race. Thomas finished .3 seconds in front of Post for the win. Adams with another spin pulled in one second behind Post for third. Taylor and Moen brought in the finish close behind.

This event should be a sign of a great season ahead for the Central and Midwest regions. The regions will meet up again at Road America August 1-2, promising high car counts and great racing!

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