NASA Mid-Atlantic’s Jon McAvoy went into the 2015 Eastern States Championships a heavy favorite and it was looking pretty good for him when he earned the pole position by more than .600 seconds. He was trailed in second by Justin Taylor, followed by Simon Kim and Robin Sparrow.
When the green flag dropped on the standing start, McAvoy must have been dozing because he dropped back to fourth and left Taylor to take the lead in Turn 1.
“These guys just shot out of the hole,” McAvoy said. “I don’t know what happened to me. I guess I should go back and check the video. I figured it’s a 45-minute race. Lap one, Turn 1 ain’t going to do it.”
By lap four McAvoy had gotten by Sparrow and then Taylor to take over the lead. McAvoy then began stretching the gap between the second-place car. Taylor stayed with McAvoy, hoping for a mistake or something that might give him an advantage, but nothing materialized.
“I got a good start. I pulled out into P1 for a few laps,” Taylor said. “John dropped back to fourth, so I was hoping he’d get tangled up with some of the other Spec 3 guys, but he moved through them pretty quick. He got on me, and I was able to hold him off down the back straight, but he got a run on me coming onto the front straight, so from then on I was trying to chase him down, hoping traffic would hold him up a little bit. He was in my sights the whole time, but I couldn’t quite get the pace to get him.”
Taylor finished in second place behind McAvoy. Sparrow finished third.
“I got a great start and made it by our champion here at Turn 4,” Sparrow said. “He made it by me after about the second lap, and it was dicey there for a while. I was pushing hard to stay up with him and Justin. Then we kind of settled into a rhythm, which was good because I pulled away from the fourth-place car. And then once we got into traffic, it was a matter of hitting my marks and maintaining my concentration. I wasn’t going to catch unless something really happened.”