Brian Faessler was feeling snake-bitten Sunday morning when his car broke during a Time Trial session about 40 minutes before the Championship race. His father, Paul, loaned him his 1965 Ford Mustang, and the younger Faessler drove it home to a National Championship.
Faessler was going to run his 2015 monster Mustang in Super Unlimited, but by swapping seats with his dad and running in American Iron Xtreme, he had to start at the back of the group. It didn’t matter as Brian Faessler finished ahead of second-place finisher Robert Shaw for the checkered flag after some very close racing before and after the restart.
“It feels good to finally have some good luck,” said Faessler of Cincinnati, Ohio. “I’ve usually had pretty bad luck here at the Nationals, so it feels good to finally bring a Championship home to Paul’s Automotive Engineering.”
A solid performance in the rain-soaked qualifying race put Griffin on pole. Underpowered compared with his competitors, Griffin was in second by Turn 1 and by the time the track went yellow due the Super Touring melee in Turn 1, Griffin was third in AIX, which is where he would finish.
“I was underpowered for sure, but I did what I wanted to do,” Griffin said. “I was going to go into the second AI race. I’m just not feeling it today, so I just let it go. The car gave me a hard time yesterday. I couldn’t get the setup right, so I’m just going to let it slide at this point and enjoy the day not that I’ve got a podium.”
Last year’s AIX Champion from Sebring International Raceway, Robert Shaw was running lap times within one second of Faessler and went on to finish second.
“We were in the lead at the beginning and then at the restart, I didn’t expect the green to come out so quick,” he said. “Brian got the jump on me and it was a race to the end, man. I run two different tunes. I was running a 900-horsepower tune to run with him the whole time. I almost ran out of gas at the end, lost it a little bit at the end, and happy to get second.”