NASA Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires Is on Pace for Deep Fields and Stiff Competition

The fourth annual NASA Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires is racking up entries from across the Eastern Seaboard that will ensure strong competition October 20-22 at Sebring International Raceway.

In American Iron, a double-digit car count is the order of the day and NASA Northeast’s AJ Hartman is taking it all in stride. Hartman is running through his usual checklist to ready his car, which has been dead-on reliable for going on two seasons. After he competes in a regional event at Watkins Glen International Sept. 22-23, he’ll return home to New Jersey to get ready for Sebring.

AJ Hartman

“I will watch some videos, preferably videos from people with data and maybe jot down some notes that might speed up the learning curve a little bit,” Hartman said. “Other than that, car prep, I’m not doing anything different for that. I better knock on wood when I say this, my car has turned every lap of every race the last one and three-quarter seasons without a single issue. So, I don’t know if I’m running on borrowed time or whether it goes to show that going over the car after every weekend doing preventive stuff helps out.”

In 944 Spec, Jason Stanley is the reigning champion and he’s headed to Sebring looking for a repeat. More than 15 cars will line up for the 944 Spec Championships races this year and Stanley is ready. He’s been reviewing video, studying race craft from pro races and doing some virtual training.

Jason Stanley

“I have an iRacing set up with Sebring on it, which I’ve turned a bunch of laps on in other cars like the Mustang,” Stanley said. “Usually, whenever I go to one of these National Championships events, I pick a momentum car like a Miata or a Solstice and I just turn a bunch of laps to try to get a good estimation of the line and how I can carry apex speed through the corners.”

Cornering speeds are also critical in Spec E30, one of the largest classes at the Eastern States Championships. NASA Southeast’s Sandro Espinosa has two Spec E30 Championships to his name, and earned both of them in 2015 at the Eastern and Western States Championships at Virginia International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, respectively.

Sandro Espinosa

“I’ve been sorting out the new car since my old one got totaled back in May,” Espinosa said, “And I’ve been harassing my buddy Scott McKay on a daily basis since he’s got home field advantage.”

Look for Espinosa near the front in Sebring in October.

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Image courtesy of Brett Becker