American Iron returned to Pittsburgh International Race Complex for the halfway point of the season. This season continues to have close battles on track between many racers, making it thrilling for drivers and an exciting series to watch for the fans. A steady rain on Saturday may have slowed the lap times, but not the competition.
Elliott Fisher grabbed the pole with a 1:11.963 in a steady rain and only 0.034 seconds from being the fastest car on the track! Jeff Wood, driving the FordRacingParts123.com Mustang and Jerry Sarsfield, in the Sarsfield Racing Mustang were both within 1.5 seconds of Elliott’s time. The conditions for the race remained wet, with steady rain. Fisher and Wood battled the entire race. Wood took the lead over Fisher early in the race and they were pushing each other hard, resulting in a gap well ahead of the rest of the AI field.
Wood kept the lead and finished 0.387 seconds ahead of Fisher! Jason Lakomiak took third, followed by Jerry Sarsfield.
In Spec Iron Audrey Zavodsky took the win. She used the rain to her advantage, demonstrating her skill while passing in traffic and finishing in the middle of the AI field.
Pittsburgh International Race Complex proved to be a great place to race in the rain. The track’s surface has a lot of grip when wet and remains consistent. Drainage is good with no big puddles, and racers are able to use the same line they would run in the dry except making sure not to touch the curbs.
It continued to rain for Sunday’s qualifying. Wood took the pole with a 1:08.670, Sarsfield second and Fisher third. The top three qualifiers were within 0.3 seconds of one another, and again, American Iron had some of the fastest cars on the track. Fisher earned the lead midrace using traffic, which seems harder to deal with in the wet, putting Wood in second. Lakomiak and Mike Sarsfield were battling for third. Lakomiak passed Sarsfield and used traffic to gain a gap. Fisher and Wood were fighting for the lead and continued to pass each other throughout the race. They were forced into dealing with traffic, and Lakomiak was closing the gap in third. With the checkered flag out, Fisher and Wood were neck and neck coming up the hill out of Turn 10. Wood looked to have the lead by a fender, but after a gear shift by Fisher, it put him ahead by .202 seconds, an exhilarating finish to witness! Lakomiak finished third, with Sarsfield in fourth and Brian Ehmer in fifth.
Brian Faessler returned to American Iron for two races. He was breaking in a new American Iron car built for a customer by the family business, Paul’s Automotive Engineering. The car proved to be competitive and this series will see more of it later this year. For the third race of the weekend, Faessler unleashed his high power AIX car on the dry track. He nearly lapped the entire field by running lap times of under a minute, setting the AIX track record at 0:59.123!
Sarsfield won the second Sunday race on a dry track. Ehmer came in second. In Spec Iron, Audrey Zavodsky won both races on Sunday. Charles Watson came in second while struggling with car issues all weekend.