The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires will take place at the challenging Northern California circuit, Thunderhill Raceway Park on October 5-8, 2017. NASA competitors from all over the western half of the country will converge on this competitor favorite situated in Willows, California, to challenge for top step on the podium to claim a NASA Championship. Turning our attention toward the East, the 2017 NASA Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires will move to the fantastic Sebring International Raceway Circuit. The historic circuit located [...]
Drivers in Time Trial competition raced late into the afternoon at the 2016 NASA Western States Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. That means they had more chances to better their times, but conditions went from good in the morning to far less than ideal when the winds picked up in the afternoon. Dust was strewn all over the track and grip was scant. Here’s who made the best of it.
Jason Capelli piloted his Nissan GTR to a TT1 victory with a 1:47.323.TT2
Oli Thordarson came out on top in TT2, posting a 1:50.901, a quicker lap than his race in ST2.TT3
Erik Davis laid down a 1:51.787 and took home the TT3 win.TTB
Dave Schotz did a familiar dance in TTB and took home the win and his 14th Championship.
Chuck Matthews Managed to Finish First After a Close Three-Way Battle for the Win in Super Touring 2
Chuck Matthews managed to finish first after a close three-way battle for the win in Super Touring 2 at the 2016 NASA Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway. Exchanging the lead a few times, Chuck Matthews and Oli Thordarson battled through 17 laps until Chuck Matthews managed to pull away slightly because of pressure from Adrian Wlostowski on Oli Thordarson.
“That was a great race,” said Matthews. “The first half of the race the three Corvettes in ST2 were running nose to tail and any of the three could have won. We got about halfway through the race and there was a spin on the back straightaway. It separated the cars, one went right one went left and inverted the three cars.
Tom Boyd managed to pull off a spectacular first-to-last-to-first victory at the 2016 NASA Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway. The race, consisting of two double-yellow flags, was full of ups and downs for the entire Thunder Roadster field.
“It’s been a rough weekend for me.” said Tom Boyd, “I qualified toward the back. I managed to get the lead on the third lap and then David Standridge took me three-wide into Turn 1. You just don’t do that into Turn 1, and it ended up wadding us all up. My competitor hit me and several other cars ran into us. I limped it around and my hood was flying in the air. I thought for sure it was going to fly off so I stopped and I had a safety worker try to tape it down but it didn’t work.
Tony Colicchio held off tough pressure in his TC Design 1996 BMW M3 from Tristan Littlehale to win by 0.627 seconds at the 2016 NASA Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway and took the win for Super Touring 3. All 10 Super Touring 3 cars managed not only to finish, but finish on the lead lap, attributable to the quality and close racing of the class.
“It was awesome,” Colicchio said. “Little mix-up with that long yellow in there… I pulled a gap from Tristan, who was in second place of ST3, and I had to build it back up toward the end. With all the wind, the track is pretty dusty. I didn’t quite know with cold tires how much grip was going to be on the track with all the dust on it. There definitely wasn’t very much.
It almost sounds like a made-for-TV movie: Engine breaks, crew works day and night to install a new engine helping the driver bring home another championship.
Writing the script was Jon Van Caneghem who won his fourth consecutive championship in NASA with his latest victory coming in Super Unlimited.
“We had problems with the motor all week, and the guys at 7’s Only Racing worked day and night for four days to get me a new motor,” Van Caneghem said. “They got me out here. I was excited to be able to go racing.”
With three cars racing in the Super Unlimited class, Van Caneghem put it away early. His best lap time (1:41.41) was more than 18 seconds faster than his closest competitor Thomas Johnson.
Ed Charnock took the Super Touring 1 Championship after Robert Kahn crashed out of the lead at the 2016 NASA Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway. Despite being disqualified after Friday’s qualifying race, Ed Charnock was able to qualify second on Saturday and take the win on Sunday.
“It’s always interesting with mixed classes,” said Ed Charnock. “I’ve been wanting to take the stock car against the ex-World Challenge Corvette for a while now, and I wish he would have been more patient [passing the Mustang]. It would have been a cool race. We were nose to tail yesterday, and when I saw Robert passing the Mustang, I didn’t think the Mustang saw him, and sure enough there was a big collision. And I just stayed back and waited for them to split.
Ross’ Game Plan Was Right on as He Took the Lead on the First Lap and Never Looked Back Wininng Spec E30 Championship
With 21 cars in the Spec E30 field, Justin Ross knew getting the early lead would be key to winning the Western States Championships. Ross’ game plan was right on as he took the lead on the first lap Sunday morning and never looked back.
Ross was the favorite going into the race after earning pole position after a flawless performance earlier in the weekend by winning both qualifying races. Ross was planning to race with some Spec E30 racers but they got caught up in traffic.
“The racing has been really tight all weekend,” said Ross, who turned a best lap time of 2:05.8. “I got a great start and was able to get clear while they were two wide behind me. We were able to just keep chipping away and pulling away, and everything went flawlessly.
Nick Sommers Managed to Be in the Right Place at the Right Time to Capitalize and Get the Victory in Spec Miata
Nick Sommers held off the 26-car Spec Miata field to win from pole by 1.172 seconds despite heavy pressure at the 2016 Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway. In a race that had three different leaders, Nick Sommers managed to be in the right place at the right time to capitalize and get the victory. Nick Sommers credits his victory to his dad and Haag for his motor.
“I had a really good start off the line,” Sommers said. “I got a good push from Tristan Littlehale and pulled away early, and then I messed up my entry into Star Mazda pretty bad and I lost two positions on the first lap. Then I slowly worked my way back to the front. I was able to get good drafts off of Riverside and pass them. Then it was basically defensive.
Tom Kaminski went to the Western States Championships on a recruiting mission to grow the Spec Z class, and brought home his first championship.
“We came here with our four guys just to make a presence in hopes of showing there is a Spec Z class out there and it’s very active,” Kaminski said.
Kaminski, Chad Aalders, Richard Fitzgerald and Paul Terry hope they made a persuasive recruiting pitch to grow the number of Spec Z cars beyond the Utah region where they race.
The competitive racing over the weekend might convince a few drivers to start looking for Nissan 350Z race cars.
Kaminski was the favorite heading into the finals having won both qualifier races.