It would be difficult to understate Tim Barber’s dominant performance in Spec E30 at the NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. Rocking an old-school Miller High Life livery on his car — with a matching driver’s suit and Bobby Allison’s name above the door — Barber leapt from his pole position at the start and established a quick gap over Sylas Montgomery in second and Steve Stepanian who jumped into third by Turn 1.
By the entrance to the Esses, Alex Barroso had overtaken Stepanian for third and the hard racing we have come to expect in Spec E30 began.
As the race progressed, Barber began to inch farther and farther out front. He had made a lot of changes to the car. The rain setup from the day before wasn’t going to work on Sunday, which was hot, but dry. In the end, Barber finished way out front of Sylas Montgomery to take the Spec E30 Championship.
“He hung with me closer than I wanted him to, actually, for the first six laps or so,” Barber said. “He kept getting hosed by lappers and yellows, so I’d get by them just before the Esses and he’d have to sit behind them all the way to, like, Turn 8 just because of the flags were out, so that kind of really put the gap in.”
Montgomery finished well behind Barber, but a post-race inspection revealed a rules infraction that resulted in his disqualification. That moved Barroso up into second and Carlos Mendez into third.
“I’ve been having car issues all weekend,” Barroso said. “We spent a lot of time on the car getting it prepped and the setup was awesome, but it’s been intermittently cutting out all weekend. So, the whole race, I had to keep off the curbs to make sure it wasn’t cutting out, and I was short shifting, but it would still cut out, so unfortunately I didn’t have anything for the NorCal guys this weekend.”
After the race, Barber waxed sarcastic about the trouble his team went through to give his car the Miller High Life theme.
“I hope the wrap on the car and the suit gets a lot of press, because it was a big waste of money,” he said with a laugh.