In the months leading up to the 2019 NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires, ST6 driver Nolan Feathers didn’t think he was going to attend. He just couldn’t afford it.
That’s when his friends, specifically Rick Young, initiated a GoFundMe campaign to get Feathers the money he needed to register for the Championships. Young started it one morning at 9 a.m., and by noon enough money was collected so Feathers could race at the NASA Championships. There was even money left over, so they threw a party Saturday night at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
When the race began, Feathers was trying to keep up with Luke Wilwert. His shifter kept popping out of gear, so he steered with one hand and kept his other hand on the shifter to hold it in gear. Feathers nursed it through a double yellow in lap 14, then hung it out in a mad dash to the finish. In the end, it was all worth the trouble and the expense.
“It’s really neat to be a national champion, and I almost didn’t make it here at all,” Feathers said. “I was funded by all my friends and family and everybody that wanted me to be here, and I came here to do what they wanted me to do, and what I wanted to do, of course, but yeah, it’s a great feeling.”
Wilwert finished second after a long battle with Feathers, but traffic ended up playing an outsized role.
“Nolan and I had a really good race. Unfortunately, the traffic kind of decided it in the end, but you know, congrats to him,” Wilwert said. “He drove great, and he deserves it. I’m happy for him. I had a little bit of a messy race, so I could be happier, but hey, it was fun.”
Jason Walsh finished third, and also remarked about how the traffic and incidents playing a role in his battle for the last step on the podium.
“It was exciting and we were duking it out for third place, and right at the end all the way to the last a carousel,” Walsh said. “So, the car handled great. My guys got it together after Spec Miata. We crashed at the end of the Spec Miata race and they, within two hours, they had the car back together and we made grid. So, to make grid and to get to third is amazing.”