NASA FL Spec Miata Series Race: Homestead Dec 2009

The first day of racing has come to a close, and the podium stood:

1st: Alex Bolanos
2nd: John Adamczyk
3rd: Tim Allen

It was a good day of racing with a lot more track time than I was used to, there was a 30 minute practice, 25 minute qualifier, and 55 minute race today. Mixed with the other race cars, we had over 40 cars racing, the SM count was 7 or 8 cars and although there were some really fast cars out there everyone stayed clear of each other for a dent free weekend (for once). Once traffic started lapping us, the gaps got stretched out a bit giving everyone some nice clean track to concentrate on turning some good lap times. Alex took home the big trophy and a brand new 5x Racing Blank License Plate for the win, along with $150 Toyo bucks it was a nice bonus to a flawless race day. Congrats to Alex and a big thanks to everyone for racing this weekend, I am looking forward to tomorrow!

It was a good weekend of racing down at Homestead, we had a good group of racers enjoying the warm (almost too hot) weather and getting their cars set-up for next season. Here is how the two 40+ minute races ended up on Sunday (this is from memory, I have to wait for mylaps to come up for official results):

Sunday Race 2:

1st- John Adamczyk

Sunday Race 3:

1st- Alex Bolanos

I apologize for not remembering the official top 3, I know there was a penalty for passing under the yellow that dropped one of our guys out of the podium. I will fill in the rest when mylaps is out or if one of the guys that were racing can fill them in that would be great.

Weekend recap:

With this being the last NASA FL race with only one race group, I was a bit nervous about running with the super fast cars (a Daytona prototype was with us!). It turned out to be not too bad, and actually kind of fun as I saw the true potential of the Spec Miata racecar. With the exception of the Prototype cars, there was no car faster than the SM in the turns. On several occasions I found myself being slowed down by Ferrari Challenge cars, Corvettes, and Porsches in the turns. Saturday's 55 minute Feature Race was grueling! I am not used to being in the car for that long, but it was excellent track time and I became very comfortable with the course and my reference points. Alex Bolanos extended a sizable lead when we got into the traffic, and kept it until the end. I finished second, and Tim Allen was thrilled to finish third. Everyone claimed a trophy, beer, and pizza at the awards ceremony after the days racing.

Sunday's racing consisted of a qualifying, 40 minute race, and a 45 minute race. Alex's car ended up sidelined with transmission problems, so he missed the qualifying session but had secured a back up SM car from a time trial competitor for the race. I secured pole for race 2 alongside CP Denis, and Alex had to start a lap down because of a freak Battery cut-off switch problem. Alex exited pit lane right into the fight for 1st place on the second lap, but unfortunately he was a lap down at this point. There was a great battle for most of the race, but with traffic entering the equation it spread things out towards the end and I chased Alex across the finish line to come home in 1st.

Race 3 was the last of the weekend, and the front row consisted of myself and Bruce Andersen. Alex again started in the back because we gridded using the race 2 results. Race 3 was more tame and spread out, with Alex chasing me in his back up car for most of the race until I ran out of gas (should have put 1 more gallon in!). After a late race spin by Alex, Bruce Andersen and Alex had a battle until the end, with Alex coming out on top and Bruce securing second.

In Conclusion:

It was a great weekend and I would like to thank everyone for coming out. I met some great new friends and had good times, I hope everyone can make our 2010 events and we can continue the fun. NASA FL is a class act and very professional, it felt like a pro race being inside the Speedway and having our Saturday Night awards ceremony in victory lane! It was flattering having your name announced, being applauded, and receiving a trophy in a place where some world famous racers have once received trophies as well. We will have our own group next season and we can really hone this series into what will be best for us Spec Miata racers.

Everyone did a good job on track and I would like to mention all of the participants that helped make this a great weekend:

Jim Blaisdell
Mitch Taylor
Tim Allen
Alex Bolanos
Bruce Andersen Sr
Bruce Andersen Jr
CP Denis

I enjoyed meeting you all and competing with you, I hope I did a good job as SM Director and please let me know if there is anything else you would like to suggest to make this series better. I would like to personally thank Jim for helping me all weekend and making a busy weekend easier, and Mitch for inviting us for all you can eat stone crabs in the Keys Saturday night.

Next race: January 9-10 2010 at Homestead (Full road course, no banks). This race is a great, laid back alternative to the Double National at Sebring, email me if you are interested and need help signing up.