Week ending 11/11/2021

By Dane Simpson

Premier Series

The penultimate race of the Core Premier regular season roared through the “The Sprint Car Capital of the World”, Knoxville Speedway. Qualifying being done in reverse points order let Dane Simpson #96 get on the track early, holding off John Nobinger #44 and Paul Butler #77 for top qualifying spot. Heat 1 saw Simpson just edging out Patrick Shelton #04 and Jon Crain #199. By a hair Nobinger would take heat #2 from Jommy Covert #14 and Brandon Mettler #15. Heat 3 went to Butler followed closely by Adam Jones #46 and Carl Handwerk #18. Finally the B-Main would be taken by Mason Smith #6 followed by Dylan McDonald #1 and Eric Andrews #9. Wings set and the track prepped the boys gave their usual 3 wide salute to the fans. Simpson held out in the top spot for 19 laps before Handwerk was able to reel him in and take the win.


Handwerk grabs the checkers at the Knoxville Regionals


GT3 Series
Back to the winding tarmac, the Core GT3 series kicked off the new season and a new format from Laguna Seca. This season the drivers would be split into two divisions, Pro and Amateur, for a single 90 minutes around the course. Nick Nickerson #2 would put his Ferrari on the pole for the pro division while Adam Jones #46 would lead the amateur division to the line. Carl Handwerk #18 quickly got to work taking the lead, going on to lead 63 of 65 laps. Nickerson and Mark Thomas #50 would round out the podium for the Pro Series. Running just wide into the sand and ending up across the track, last seasons champion Mason Smith #6 was t-boned and retired for the race. Nick Brown #92 took the top spot in the amateur division, as a couple early incidents scattered the division to the four winds. “I just tried to remember on the first lap not to push it and that I was running on cold tires.” Brown said, keeping the car solidly under him and bringing home an impressive 0x “I found a pace and stuck with it”. Alex Cornfield #59 and Jeremy Line-Watkins #71 rounded out the top 3 in the amateur division.

Handwerk avoids the traffic and gravel to claim the Pro opener


Brown sees black and white as he grabs the Am Division win


Developmental Series
Race three of the developmental series sought to teach drivers not only racing in the draft, but the patience required for such a race. Truly a pleasure to watch, the race featured lots of good racing from drivers Robert Hattenbach #99, Dylan Wilbers #16 and David Peplinski #846. As the race drew to a close, the wolves closed in on Brian Shephard Jr. #012 who would finish 2nd, between a pair of Premier series drivers. Marc LaPierre #08 would make his way up to 4th place from his 8th place starting position. Elsewhere in the field Nick Devos would make up points by scoring 10 for a clean race. After three races it is Wilbers who sits in the top spot, followed closely by Shepherd Jr 7 points back. Next week the series heads to Lime Rock Park in the seasons most challenging vehicle, the SCCA Spec Racer Ford.