NASA SoCal’s Josh Allan has had his eye on nabbing an invitation to the Mazda Club Racer Shootout for the last couple of years, so he was looking good with his pole position for the Championship race. NASA Florida’s Eric Powell also has made it clear he wants to got to the Mazda Shootout, and he traveled all the way across the country to make amends for coming up short at the Eastern States Championships at Road Atlanta.
Powell, had quicker lap times, but started from last, so the stage was set. Powell picked his way through the field and set his sights on Allan, whom he passed about a third of the way through the race.
“Once Eric got around me, I was just doing my best stay up with him and he just kept pulling a gap,” Allan said. “We’ve got to make some changes. Seeing the working formula, I’m going to have to consider whether I want to go that direction, with putting aero on and moving points around to optimize the PTD points system.”
Lee Papageorge started right behind Allan in second with Shawn Sampson right on his tail running within a second of his lap times.
“After a couple of laps, we all sort of found our space, and then it was really just about managing the gap over Shawn and working traffic without losing too much time,” Papageorge said. “It was definitely a 45-minute sprint. It was a great event. Thanks to NASA and thanks to Mazda and Hawk Brakes and Hoosier Tires.”
Not content to just win PTD, Powell also passed Ricky Johnson in PTB to take the overall win and the Championship.
“I started from the back and picked my through there, tried to be as clean as possible and got to the front and put it on cruise control to be honest,” Powell said after the race. “But it was a lot of fun, and I’m really excited. This is a lot of hard work paying off.”