Sometimes a little luck is all that is needed to help clinch a Championship. Just ask Tom Paule, who saw his Honda CRX Si was getting low on fuel as he was coming up on lap 13 in the 14 lap race.
That’s when the second yellow flag of the race came out, helping Paule bring home his first Championship in Honda Challenge 2.
“That helped me out a lot, because I was worried about fuel,” Paule said. “After 13 laps I’d start burping on fuel and I think we ran 14 laps and the yellows helped me out a lot.”
Paule was chasing Ken Adelberg around the track but knew the driver was ineligible for the Championship because he hadn’t participated in enough races during the season.
“Rather than battle him hard and try to pass him on the last lap, I said I’ll just play status quo and stay right behind him,” Paule said just after accepting his first-place trophy.
For Karla Pestotnik it was a weekend she won’t forget (see sidebar). The rookie driver was tough on the track, taking home the second-place trophy. Going into Sunday’s winner-take-all final, Pestotnik had collected two third-place finishes in her qualifying races.
“Today was great, it makes it all worth it,” Pestotnik said. “The whole year has been so crazy. I just love it.”
Pestotnik met several of the Honda Challenge 2 drivers last year at the Western States Championships and said they couldn’t be more supportive during her inaugural season racing NASA.
“We really kind of connected throughout the year and they’re a bunch of fun guys, good guys with good hearts. Everybody works together,” she said.
Marcel DeKerpel finished third in the five-team field.