On the nuclear end of the American Iron classes is American Iron Extreme. The class posted just five entries, two of whom Speed News readers should be familiar with.
The first is Brian Faessler, who qualified his S197 Mustang on pole with a time of 1:29.055. Posting a qualifying time of 1:19.964, Chris Griswold was just behind Faessler in his older S195 Mustang chassis. Each of the top two competitors had a first-place finish in the qualifying races leading up to the Championship. Jimmy Bost took the third spot on grid.
When the green flag dropped, Griswold jumped out to an early lead, which would be short-lived. By the time they started the fifth lap, Faessler was in the lead with Griswold in pursuit. The contest for the Championship was shaping up just like 2013 at Miller Motorsports Park.
“Brian and I started getting through traffic, and my tires were starting to get a little slippery, and I thought I’d back off a little bit,” Griswold said after the race.
Then, without warning, Faessler suffered mechanical failure and pulled to the side of the track. Griswold took over first position and never looked back. A Championship is a big deal, but this is Griswold’s sixth Championship in American Iron Extreme. Yes, six.
“We had some good battles down the back straight and a couple of close calls with some CMC cars we almost rear-ended, but we got through. We had a great race until unfortunately Brian pulled over. He was a little faster through Turn 1 and probably the last turn, and I was faster down the back stretch, so it was a pretty interesting race.”
Matthew Gaetano powered from last on grid to a second-place finish.
“Car had a lot of grip and lot of power,” Gaetano said. “Brakes were incredible. The last four laps the tires started falling off and the last lap, coming down the front straight, the transmission broke, so we just made it.”
Gaetano finished ahead of the Mid-Atlantic region’s Jimmy Bost in third.
“I started in third and ran pretty consistent during the race,” Bost said. “My brakes to get a little soft toward the end, so I had to manage the car just to keep it on the track and fought hard to the finish.”