When the American Iron field lined up for its standing start, Cody Powell had the prized pole position, followed by Corey Weber, Michael Patterson and Michael LaPaglia. When the green flag waved, Patterson got the holeshot of the century and was around Powell by the time he grabbed second gear.
That was what Patterson needed to break away from the field. What he didn’t need was a Spec E46 collision one lap later, which disabled a car and produced a lot of debris and radiator fluid on the track — and a full-course caution.
When the race resumed, Weber tried to make a big move on Patterson, but it didn’t stick. Those two battled back and forth, which took its toll on their rear tires, and the two began slide around a bit. The move that did stick was LaPaglia’s pass on Patterson in Turn 1 on lap eight.
“I just tried to focus on that, and every time they broke loose I would just close the gap, and surprisingly when I passed them I was able to just like have an instant gap, like a second or two, and that just allowed me to take these fast lines and I was able to stretch it,” LaPaglia said. “My tires were amazing.”
Patterson filed paperwork after the race because he felt LaPaglia had punted him, but officials ruled that the video evidence was inconclusive, and Patterson placed second.
“It’s all good. Racing is racing and that’s the way it sorts out sometimes,” Patterson said. “Michael LaPaglia did a great job and got behind me, then got by me and had a slightly better car at the end of the race. That’s the way it sorted out and kudos to him. He did a great job.”
With LaPaglia pulling away and Patterson firmly in second, Weber was trying to hold onto third place. He had a mirror full of A.J. Hartman’s EcoBoost-powered Mustang.
“AJ was all over me. I was worried,” Weber said. “I thought he was going to get around me, but I held him off, luckily. I hope I put on a good show for you guys. I think we’ve got to do a little more shock tuning. We’re not too good at that. I think if we spend a little more time there, we’ll be good.”