Week Ending 8/26/2021

Premier Series
Darlington truly lived up to its title of “Too Tough to Tame” Sunday night as the third race of the season ended on time, with drivers completing only 86 of the slated 100 laps. The dominate Nick Nickerson #2 would find himself bit by Darlington leading 71 laps, but with only a couple laps to go he would brush the wall and settle for third. Christopher Hamilton #64, who fell as low as 12th during pit stops, would sneak by Nickerson to take away the win.
A miscommunication between Carl Handwerk #18 and his pit crew would see him double pitting during the first round of stops, sending him back to 14th spot. Handwerk would bounce back to finish 4th. Paul Butler #77 had a mixed bag of an evening, starting from 21st and working his way to 6th before a couple scrapes with the wall and a black flag would end his night. “I was pissed off and got caught speeding in the pits.” Butler would finish 18th.
John Nobinger #44 closed the gap on Patrick Shelton #04 for the rookie of the year race, while the fight for third heated up with only a couple of points separating 3rd and 5th. Dylan Ashley #24 was the lone D series driver in the race, running 14th when the checkers fell.

Hamilton survives a night out with “The Lady”.


GT3 Road to Rio Challenge
Sprint Race
A quick start to the Sprint race by leaders Nick Nickerson #02 and Adam Jones #46 spaced the field out well for the 20-minute Road America race providing a clean race for most of the leaders. Many of the Rookie drivers struggled in the sprint race, running wide on exits or blowing their breaking points. Jeremy Line-Watkins #71, John Nobinger #44, Abhi Visuvasam #08 and Dane Simpson #96 would all find trouble during the race. The big upset of the race was Nathan Medina #06 and Marc Gonzales #88 of Team Dynasty both sitting out the end of the race.

Another Sprint race, another Nickerson victory


Endurance Race

The endurance race inverts the finishing order from the sprint race, and thus places many of the faster cars at the back of the pack. A stark contrast in terms of start to the race as Kevin Foster #8 and Marc Gonzales #88 crept their way to the start line for the green flag, keeping the field tight. The opening laps of the endurance race were undeniably more exciting as the faster drivers feverishly ripped their way through the field. The impetuousness of some would not be to their advantage as Carl Handwerk #18 and Nick Nickerson #02 would both suffer race ending damage early in the race.

Fuel strategy would be key on the night as Adam Jones #46 was able to save enough in the first half of the race to keep it a 1 stop race and earn himself the victory over Christopher Hamilton #64 who pitted twice.

Matthew Goering #07 attributed his 3rd place finish to “Just staying consistent and taking advantage of other drivers mistakes.” Road America is a track that Goering enjoys and “Had a great battle with Nick Brown #92 (finished 10th).” Brown had speed on the straights but ultimately Goering’s corner speed would triumph.

Another driver who saw success in patience was Brandon Devos #37 “I knew I wasn’t the fastest car on the track by any means.” He did concede that “There was one instance where I let the competition in me get the best of me and followed Paul Butler right off the track.” Devos would end the race in 8th place five spots ahead of his brother and teammate Nicklaus Devos #39. Brandon gave his brother a shout out for providing his livery this week.

Disaster struck Team Curb Cutters as Derek Sherman #42 spun in the final turn of lap 6 before being T-Boned by his teammate Jimmy Covert #14 for what was probably the biggest crash of the race. The teammates would limp their way to 11th and 9th place finishes, keeping them only 2 points back of 7th place in the team championship.

Next week the teams travel south to the classic Sebring International Raceway for round three of the Core GT-3 Series. Jones has opened up a significant lead as many championship front runners struggled in the endurance portion of Road America. The battle for 4th place separates Nickerson and Handwerk by only a couple points and will undoubtedly produce some great racing.


Jones pulls away for the victory and in the points


Developmental Series
This week saw the 1st ever Developmental Series race in the popular Formula Vee. Abhi Visuvasam #008 and Sean Goodwin #66 would lead the field to the green flag. Goodwin would suffer some unfortunate netcode in the opening turn ending his race, while Visuvasam would go on to finish 4th (the 3rd place D-Series driver). Staying consistent and clean in a race that saw no full course cautions would be essential and both Nicklaus Devos #39 and Marc Gonzales #88 showed they were up for that challenge each leading a significant portion of the race. David Peplinski #846 kept his race the cleanest of any driver scoring bonus points that could ultimately be the difference in the championship. Marc Gonzales #88 Todd Caudle #30 and Marc LaPierre #08 sit 1/2/3 in the points after 3 rounds with only 11 points separating them. Next week…..Rallycross!

Up and down race, but Gonzales still emerges as top D-driver

TNT Late Model Series
Race #1
“Its Bristol Baby!” Known for high banks and tempers, Bristol hosted a triple header Thursday Night. Race 1 would see a dramatic finish, as john Nobinger #44 and David Gargaro Jr. #042 fought for p1, wrecking across the line and letting Nathan Medina #06 sneak by to lead the only lap that matters.

Medina squeaks by to win race #1

Race #2
With the starting grid inverted, and tempers primed from a bumpy first race Eric Andrews #9 brought the field to the green flag. Paul Butler #77 would take an early lead, and not look back, leading 49 of 50 laps. A threat lurked just below the surface as Gargaro climbed his we up from 17th for his 2nd podium of the night.

Butler shows up strong for his first win of the season

Race #3
Race 3 ready to roll, and inverted again, would it be smooth sailing to the final checkers of the night or would we get to see the famous shot track tempers erupt? The final race of the night would see some great battles as the faster drivers worked their way through the field for the final time. When the dust settled Medina and Gargaro Jr would find themselves at the front again accompanied by Alex Bonsignore #51.

Medina doubles down for 2 wins in one night