Mark Drennan was able to pull off a spectacular victory in Spec Miata at the NASA Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. The massive 33-car class of Mazda Miatas looked right at home at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Drennan managed to be the only car to run in the 1:45s the entire weekend. Drennan started his weekend strong when he won Friday’s qualifying race by 8 seconds. Drennan was well on his way to winning Saturday’s qualifying race too, but with six turns to go on the final lap his car shut off.
“I had over 5 seconds of a lead, and on the last lap at Turn 5, the car shut off,” Drennan said. “I was trying to restart it, recycle it. It wouldn’t restart. I came to a stop, got passed by 12 cars and then the car started again so I finished 13th.”
Luckily his car troubles hadn’t cost him too many positions and that meant he had to start fourth. In only about five laps after the restart due to a melee at the beginning, Drennan was able to move back up to first.
“On the restart, I got from fourth to third in the first few corners,” Drennan said, “and then passed for second into The Corkscrew and then passed for the lead in Turn 5.”
Matthew Cresci had by far the most interesting weekend and race. In Friday’s qualifying, Cresci qualified fifth and was within a second of first. Later at the first qualifying race, he only completed nine laps when his engine blew up and finished 32nd. Then on Saturday, he was able to fight his way up to 10th. That meant he would start the Championship race in 20th.
“Absolutely an immense race,” Cresci said. “I can’t believe it. I started 20th and got a really good start and I made my way up to about 15th by the top of the hill. I took a glance in the rear view mirror, and I see all sorts of carnage about a foot off my bumper so I just got super lucky. On the restart, I was 11th and from there I just slowly worked my way up.”
Cresci was pressuring Mason Filippi for second but was unable to make the pass. Luckily for Cresci, Filippi was penalized post race. The final spot on the podium went to Tim Weaver. Weaver finished fourth, but was moved to third after Filippi’s penalty. Weaver had been fighting to hold off Steven Powers for a majority of the race and crossed the line only .092 seconds ahead of Powers.