Robert Shaw may have won the American Iron Extreme by 43 seconds, but he considers himself lucky to be hoisting the first-place trophy.
“I’m feeling very lucky today, to be honest, because, again, American Iron Extreme cars are all about whose car stays together and today we got lucky,” Shaw said.
Shaw needed a little luck to go his way because his car only completed four laps during Saturday’s qualifying race. He looked unbeatable on Friday’s qualifying session, setting the fastest lap of 1:32.429.
During the race, Team Faessler jumped out into the early lead, but Faessler began to slow a bit on lap seven and by lap eight, Shaw was in command, and his lap times were within .300 seconds of Faessler’s, down into the 1:30s. By lap 14, Faessler had dropped out of the race.
With Faessler out, Billy Griffin also advanced and took over second place. Griffin had been fighting handling issues all weekend, but he finally dialed it in for the Championships race. Griffin took third place in AIX last year at COTA.
“Cortex was an integral part of getting my suspension right,” Griffin said. “They were giving me (advice) over the phone and getting the setup done right. So, the car handled amazing for what the power level it is. The car was a lot of fun to drive.”
Elliott Fisher was in Griffin’s mirrors the whole time, and with Faessler’s retirement, Fisher took over third place, where he finished.
“So I was in the back row, on the start and tried to hang as much as I could with those guys,” Fisher said. “You got to give them a lot of credit. They just ran a really consistent race, and I had a couple of opportunities to get close, but there was a lot of lapped traffic, so no excuses there for sure. Not taking anything away from those guys. They ran a perfect race, and so it was just, there were a couple of times when I caught up there, but just couldn’t quite get it done.”