Qualifying races show tight fields

SONOMA, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2014) – The National Auto Sport Association’s (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships held qualifying races today at Sonoma Raceway.

Under near perfect 80-degree temperatures the NASA Western Championships took the green flag for a first day of qualifying races. In the first race the Spec Miata and 944 Spec competitors took to the 2.3-mile, 12-turn track located at the gateway to wine country. Mark Drennan was the winner of the Spec Miata Class in his No. 10 Mazda Miata.

“Everything went as planned today,” Drennan said. “The first step was to put the car on pole which I am happy about. I was able to put in a good lap in practice and get the pole. I was able to get a little bit of a gap at the start. I had a missed shift in Turn Two and lost some of the lead. We hit some traffic and I think I was able to get through the slower cars a little better than my competition. I want to continue the exact same thing tomorrow. I will start from pole for tomorrow’s qualifying race and hope to finish upfront as well. On Sunday I want to start from pole for the championship race and then try to put in the best 40-minutes of racing ever.”

In Spec 944 it was James Foxx who was the winner in his red No. 16 Porsche 944.

“It was a great race,” Foxx said. “I started on the front row in second. I was able to get the lead up the hill into Turn Two. I lost the lead a couple of laps later into Turn Six. I got the lead back in Turn Two again and went onto to win. The strategy for the rest of the weekend is to start first and stay there.”

In the second race of the day Jon van Caneghem took the overall win in his Super Unlimited Class No. 7 Mazda powered DPO2.

“I had a great time,” van Caneghem said. “I started on the pole. I had a good fight into the first corner. There was some contact on my right rear going into Turn One at the start. The contact got me a little sideways, but I was able to gather it up. I just took off, worked my way through the traffic and won the race. Hopefully I can get the same finish on Sunday.”

In the American Iron Class, local favorite, Ryan Walton won in his No 32 Ford Mustang.

“I had a pretty good race,” Walton said. “It was really close at the start. I was able to slowly walk away from the AI field. I had my crew chief Dave Morris spotting for me and he was letting me know who to worry about and who to let go. There was a lot of traffic, but I just worked my through to the checker. Prospects for the weekend is to win the championship.”

In a field of over 30 Spec E30 cars, Michael Shawhan won his black No. 2 BMW 325 from pole position.

“I had a good race,” Shawhan said. “I was able to get a good launch from the standing start and I just went. J.P. (Cadoux) never got a nose inside of me, so I just kept my head down and ran a clean race. I was able to run my lines and take the win from pole. Goal is to keep the No. 2 upfront all weekend.”

In PTB Eric Powell took the win in his white No. 72 Mazda Miata.

“It was an interesting race,” Powell said. “The sun was in my eyes coming into Turn One. The other guys were faster than me down the straights. I just worked my way up through and it was pretty easy from there to the end. I was battling with the Mini, which is a different class, but it is still fun to race everyone”

HPD Challenge 1 had Andrew Ogilvie winning from pole position in his Honda Civic.

“It was an exciting race,” Ogilvie said. “At the top of Turn Two I was staring at another driver outside of my right window so we were side-by-side. Intense. I started from pole and had a good run. I am hoping that the performance of the car as well my driving can keep me upfront all weekend.”

In HPD Challenge 2 Jeremy Croiset was the class of the field in his No. 25 Honda CRX winning today’s qualifying race from pole.

“The start was pretty uneventful,” Croiset said. “We got into the H1 cars a little and then I was able to check out. The rest of the race was spent hitting my marks and keeping clean until the end. We have a few mechanical things to work on for tomorrow. The Toyo tires were great and we will be looking to repeat the effort tomorrow.”

Complete information on the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires can be viewed at nasachamps.wpengine.com.

The Sonoma Raceway event page can be viewed at:

Live timing from the NASA Championships from Sonoma Raceway can be viewed at:

The NASA Championships media guide can viewed at:

Sonoma Raceway is a 2.52-mile, 12-turn undulating road course located at the gateway to California’s wine country. The challenging road course used by NASCAR and IndyCar is sure to provide exciting racing throughout the championships weekend.

For additional information, please contact NASA Championships Media Director, Kyle Chura at [email protected] or (248) 821-0468. More detail can be found at nasaproracing.com or nasachamps.wpengine.com.

To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in four regional races around the country, five for the Western States Championships. The 2014 National Championship presented by Toyo Tires Eastern weekend will feature over 300 competitors racing for the NASA National Champion trophy in 36 racing classes and nine Time Trial divisions around the famed Road Atlanta circuit home to Petit Le Mans.