The third annual NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires is receiving entries from across the country that will assure strong competition October 14-16, 2016 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park.
Buttonwillow Raceway Park, with its 3.1-mile and 12-turns, will play host to the NASA Championship competitors in two weeks. The track is a favorite among the local racers and will be challenging to those traveling from across the country. NASA is adding a unique flair to the event by using two different track configurations over the three-day event.
Chad Plavan is running his first NASA Championships in the all-new NASA NP01 powered by Mazda.
“Since I live in Clovis, California, Buttonwillow is considered my home track being under two hours from my house,” Plavan said. “I have been racing at Buttonwillow since 1997. In fact, I received my racing license there. The Championships configurations are a little different. I have raced my vintage Porsche 911 there. However, that is a totally different beast from the NP01. I’m still adjusting/learning the set-up of the NP01. I believe Tom Hope and Andy Lee will have the advantage at Buttonwillow. They are great drivers, and Tom has been great in helping me understand the NP01’s set-up.”
Thomas Atteberry will compete with his No. 19 Porsche 944 Spec at Buttonwillow, a track he knows well.
“I have been racing at Buttonwillow since 2008 when I started in club racing,” Atteberry said. “Each year one to three racers show up that prove to be challenging competition. Of the southern California racers, six come to mind who are great competitors: Chuck Sharp, Everett DeLano, Simon Peck, Marcelo Vine, John Niedernhofer, and Jim Hicks. Each of them has the potential to win the event. Buttonwillow is a great track for a momentum race car like a Porsche 944. It is not a horsepower track, so any error in car placement can be costly. Several turns like Phil Hill and the Bus Stop are turns that require speed and accuracy if you want a great lap time. This is the perfect track for the 944 Championship because it lets the balance and handling of the car shine.”
Adrian Wlostowski is doing the bi-coastal NASA Championships coming off of the Watkins Glen Eastern States Championships and heading right to Buttonwillow. He will be running his No. 619 Corvette in the ST2 Class.
“Watkins Glen was a very tough weekend for us, we had a spindle break on the last lap during the championship race causing me to go into the wall at slow speed at the very end,” Wlostowski said. “We finished P3. We are repairing it now to head west. I am happy for John George winning our class at the east. We have always been in tight competition. We seem to always have bad luck at the Championships. Last year, the clutch blew in Saturday’s qualifying race. This year, I had problems with spindles and the front right went due to stress on the last lap. The curbs are brutal at The Glen and I love going over the curbs! We are going to Buttonwillow with all new parts all around which we think we’re due, hopefully we have better luck!
A first time visitor to the southern California track, Wlostowski is in student mode.
“We are going out there to have fun,” he continued. “We want to experience the west coast and the competition out there. For now, we will have our practice day Thursday, study videos, and walk the track. This will also be our test for logistics and new parts for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race later this year.”
NASA Western States Championships schedule: https://nasachampionships.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/WestChampsSched2016.pdf
To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in five regional races around the country.