Steve Peterson overcame severe braking issues to take the win and the Championship in Honda Challenge 4.

The Honda Challenge 4 race began with the Hondas and Acuras of the field in stationary position on the grid, each driver anxiously awaiting the drop of the green flag. Terri Rossi, in his street-legal Acura Integra, sat on the outside of the front row, however he bogged the start and immediately lost his position. Manny Coats started in the last position of the five- car field and got a great start moving up from last to first. Unfortunately for Coats, the lead wouldn’t last long because a mechanical issue sent him to the pits and ended his race.

That left the No. 23 Honda CRX driven by Steve Peterson and the No. 17 Acura Integra driven by Gus, of Team GH Racing, to battle it out for the lead in H4. The CRX looked like it was towing the Integra. The two drivers were within inches of each other through turns 3, 4, and 5. Gus looked inside in Turn 11 but couldn’t get it done. On the second to last lap he tried an outside pass in Turn 11 but couldn’t make that stick, either. Peterson in the CRX wasn’t going to give up the lead. It finally came down to the last lap, last corner and Gus went for it in Turn 11, going wide and ending up in the gravel. He managed to get himself out of the gravel and back on track to hold his second-place position.

When the checkered flag fell over Honda Challenge 4, it was Peterson in first, Team GH Racing in second and Carlos “Twins Turbo” Valenzuela in third.

“I lost my brakes halfway through the race,” said H4 winner, Peterson. “Normally I can out-brake the heavier cars, but not today. It made heading into every corner pretty hairy. As Gus was on my bumper toward the end of the race, I was thinking, ‘I don’t think I can go anymore laps.’ I kept asking my wife on the radio, ‘How many more laps?’ I was thanking God the race ended finally.”

“I had to try,” said Gus. “I tried so many places, but I just couldn’t make it work. I definitely tried really hard on the last lap, but it didn’t stick, so I had to settle for second place.”

Team GH Racing tried and tried to get around Peterson, but couldn’t make a move that would stick, and finished second in Honda Challenge 4.
Team GH Racing tried and tried to get around Peterson, but couldn’t make a move that would stick, and finished second in Honda Challenge 4.
Carlos Valenzuela held on to take third in Honda Challenge 4.
Carlos Valenzuela held on to take third in Honda Challenge 4.
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Image courtesy of Rob Krider