Kris Popovic won both qualifying races, posted the fastest qualifying time and won the Honda Challenge 1 Championship.

It’s difficult to imagine things coming together better for Honda Challenge 1 racer Kris Popovic. He scored two wins in the qualifying races and posted the fastest qualifying lap to nab the pole position for the Championships race on Sunday.

Popovic used his position to his advantage and scampered to a five-second lead over David Isbell, who was trailing in second and John Oldt in third. Then, on lap 15, the red flags came out, which ground things to a halt. When the corner marshalls put away the red flags, two yellows came out and it would be a green-white-checkers kind of finish.

“Wow, I swept the weekend,” Popovic said. “I worked hard and it paid off. I have to thank my engine tuner Jason Suge from Suge 1 Motorsports. We built a motor at the last minute on Thursday morning. I had a good gap before the red flag came. I thought  they were going to end the race. At the double yellow I had low fuel. I knew once we went green again that I had the power to get them down the straights.”

Isbell had Popovic in his sights, but a mistake set him back and out of reach. Isbell finished second.

David Isbell chased Kris Popovic after a late-race restart, but went a little wide in Turn 3 and finished second in Honda Challenge 1.
David Isbell chased Kris Popovic after a late-race restart, but went a little wide in Turn 3 and finished second in Honda Challenge 1.

“The race went pretty well,” Isbell said. “I got to the double yellow and I thought I was going to be able to catch Kris in front of me, there. Coming through Turn 3, I came out a little wide and after that I couldn’t catch him.”

John Oldt was holding his own in his S2000, and soldiered on to finish third.

John Oldt piloted his S2000 to a third-place podium spot in Honda Challenge 1.
John Oldt piloted his S2000 to a third-place podium spot in Honda Challenge 1.

“It was tough race. It was a long race,” Oldt said. “Those Integras are fast. I finished third, thanks to HPD and thanks to Toyo. I just wish I had a little bit more speed for those Integras.”

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