Kent Owens didn’t have time to worry about his race. Owens was serving as race director for the Honda Challenge and German Touring Series races earlier in the day, and that kept him occupied.
“It was good thing I was busy today, so I didn’t have time to worry about my race,” Owens said. “My mind was elsewhere for most of the day.”
As it does each year, and especially in the Great Lakes Region, CMC featured some of the tightest racing of the weekend, with the top five drivers finishing within 2.2 seconds of one another. Owens was first, followed by Derek Wright in second place and John Kelchen rounded out the podium.
NASA Rocky Mountain driver Derek Wright had the lead for quite a while in CMC, but he missed a shift on the front straightaway. That was all Owens needed to capitalize and make the pass that would stick till the end. Wright held on to finish in second place.
“That’s it. That’s how close CMC is, you miss the shift and you lose a position,” Wright said afterward. “I watch the rearview mirror as much as I watch out the front. I could see the four guys behind me, and then one guy in front of me almost the whole race.”
John Kelchen races CMC with Great Lakes Region, but comes all the way from Iowa to do so. He started from third on grid, and held off big-time charges from Bob Denton and Bryan Curtis, who finished second at the 2018 Championships at COTA. Kelchen finished where he started, in a race that went flag to flag with no cautions at all. It was hardcore racing the whole 45 minutes.
“It was hot, let’s put it that way,” Kelchen said. “And, boy, you know, as close as we are, had Brian there breathing down my neck most of the time, and Derek and Kent battling it out in front of me. And Bob started to close the gap and got right on my tail there at the end. And he’s lethal too, so it was a little bit of a heart rate elevation there towards the end for sure.”