Competing in his first NASA Championships, John Hyer took the big win in ST3.

When the green flag waved on the 12-car Super Touring 3 field, it looked like everyone in the front of the pack was attempting to win the race in Turn 1. Cars were getting pinched into the pit wall and pushed into the entry lane.

Justin Bordonaro locked up momentarily and crop-dusted the field. Dave Schotz just missed his bumper and Scott Smith came in so hot he had to run inside Turn 1 to keep from hitting the “turtle.” Smith ran wide at the exit and Schotz and Bordonaro came out even.

Bordonaro had the lead going into the Esses, but Schotz was trying to take the shortest route possible without “cutting the course.” By the time they crossed Start/Finish, Schotz was just ahead of Bordonaro, and in Turn 1, John Hyer put a great move on Bordonaro to take second place. Just a couple of laps later, Hyer got around Schotz, who eventually fell to third behind Smith.

About two-thirds of the way into the race, the red flags came out, halting the race. Then the black flags came out, which meant the finishing order was set. Hyer was first, Smith was second and Schotz third.

“I drove 16 hours to get here, we just wanted to do it as a bucket list kind of thing,” Hyer said. “I wanted to gain more experience and compete with the best in the nation.”

A veteran endurance racer, Smith credited his finish to tire management.

Scott Smith credited tire management for this second-place finish in ST3.

“Everyone else’s tires started giving up and I was on the slicks and I just picked them off one by one,” Smith said. “Actually, I had a couple of good back-and-forths, where I’d try to get it and they get it back, and tried to get it and I was able to make my way back to second.”

Schotz, who is accustomed to standing on the top step held on for third in ST3.

Dave Schotz led the first six laps, but fell to third at the finish in ST3.

“The car was good for the first four or five laps, and then it just starts losing power. It’s an L98, an original 1991 OEM motor with 68,000 miles on it and she’s great if I can be powered down a little bit, but at this power level it’s just working too hard,” Schotz said. “Hoosier Tires, G Loc brakes, it was great racing with John and Scott and Justin. Clean races, clean passes. I’m happy to be third with such a great group.”

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