September 22, 2020

NASA Utah Round 2: The Tax Crunch

The good weather returned for round 2, as did the drivers.  People put the looming tax deadline behind them, and suited up (or at least put on the appropriate headgear) for a solid weekend of good weather running.  

And run they did!  We had Todd Green out in the record setting blue car, a sixteen car deep Spec Z field, an absolute horde of HPDE drivers, all your TT favorites (except Shawn Murphy, which saddens me on a couple of levels), and the battle nobody asked for but everyone watched: Steve Burns’s Trans Am Mustang vs the Makes & Models Huracan Super Trofeo Evo!

And we’ll get into all of that in a second, but first let me beg for money.  I don’t ask for much, and I appreciate that so many of you enjoy the work you see before you.  Help me be able to come out to more events, and take better photos by buying some photos from this round, or by buying a hat or shirt and showing your support!  Thank you for your time, back to the write up.

We’re gonna start in TT, and specifically TTF, where Jen Gannett broke out her World Challenge prepped MX5 Global Cup Car and snagged herself a win on Sunday.

Todd Green and Poppa Smurf (until I can come up with a better name for it, if one exists) went out and dominated PTE.  He swept the weekend, drove close enough to Matt Guiver and Ben Lamberson so I could get an awesome photo of the trio, and found out how much curb he could take at the top of the Attitudes.  It was a rich, full weekend for him.

Trever Pope, and his hilariously awkward social interactions, went out and got himself the TTD win on Saturday.  He claimed his hardware with his signature style and grace, and with a beer in his pocket.  On Sunday David Curtis, who sucks but also came in second at Southwest Drift this past weekend, got himself a win on Sunday.

TT5 is around, and will hopefully start growing.  Eduardo Acurero got himself the win in his trusty CRX on Saturday.  And now for the most ridiculous thing on the weekend: Colton Cisneros trotted out his (his wife’s?) Mazda CX5 for TT5 duty.  It was crazy, but not crazy enough.

TT4 was massive.  14 cars on Saturday and 7 on Sunday.  Sheldon Hodges, in the red chrome Lotus, got himself another win on Saturday and a class record for his efforts.  Tyler Poselli claimed the win on Sunday, unhampered by a record setting Lotus.  

Colton wasn’t limiting himself to the CUV.  No, he broke out the Lancer and swept the kinda deep TT3 field.  7 cars on Saturday, 5 on Sunday.  Not bad for a guy splitting time between a purpose built car and a grocery getter.

TT2 was dominated by a man in a small British sports car with a giant wing: John Howar.  His diminutive sports car managed to hold off the roided up panda and car engineered in a shed by England’s finest.  Also, shout out to John and David Muskovitz for flagging me down and chatting with me at the end of the day on Saturday.

Holding it down in TT1 on Saturday was the Makes & Models home brewed GT3 Cup car, which I missed on track.  So you’re getting that dramatic photo from last month.  On Sunday we had Robert Poirier in his Mustang taking the top spot and hitting the curbs.

TTU was the exclusive domain of some Air Power Racing prepped Porsche Cup cars driven by guys named David.  David Bradshaw’s bright 997 Cup car took the win on Saturday, and David Lockwood in his 991 Cup car took it on Sunday.

PTE saw but only one competitor on the weekend, and that was Paul Mitchell on Saturday.  Matt Guiver took the wheel, and drove valiantly, considering what happened last time out.  

Wild Bill Kendall battled Otto Silva all day Saturday, and earned himself the win in 944 Spec on Saturday.

Spec Miata is #1 growing and #2 still full of good battles.  Matt Williamson went into the fray, fought hard, and managed to grab the checkered flag ahead of the rest warriors in hair dressers’ cars.

GTS2 was 100% Porsche, with 80% of them having the engine in the middle.  On Saturday David Nadler, in his silver and blue chrome Cayman, took the win on Saturday.  On Sunday, Shawn Tatum came out in a Boxster and got the win.

ST4 was swept by a familiar car, driven by a man with a friendly face: Tom Rogers took advantage of the extra traffic on Saturday to cruise to a win.  Sunday he had to do a bit more, but still managed to hold a 4.29 second gap over Toby Crawford.  Sidenote: Toby was getting some media love from the USAF.  They came out and did a little piece on him, and life after the service.  That was pretty cool.

Perry Needham was the lone ST1 competitor again.  He was out there, exploring the space on Saturday.  Sunday was a different matter.  Perry and David Bradshaw were turning similar lap times, despite being in different classes.  Perry had another gimme win, and David was solidly out of contention for the GTSU win.  In an effort to keep them company/entertained, David Lockwood dropped back and got kinda racey with them.  It was quite the odd thing to see from Race Control, where I’ve been watching the races this season.  At first we thought Lockwood was having some issues that might lead to a , but then he’d pick up the pace.  So then we thought he was dealing with an issue that only popped up every now and again.  We eventually figured out that he was dropping back to keep Bradshaw and Perry company.  Lockwood can’t keep this up though, we need more ST1 competitors!

Spec Z was healthy as ever.  16 car field on Saturday, and 10 on Sunday.  And yet again, Tom and Arthur were in the mix but didn’t get the top spot.  Chad Aalders, with the benefit of traffic and Arthur’s car throwing a host of codes, got himself another win!  On Sunday, Cole Powelson threw on some sticker tires (much to the chagrin of Flash, one of the Lyfe crewmen), and battled Arthur all race long.  He managed to hold off the charging Latvian, and get the win.


And now we come to GTSU and SU, and how the third fastest car in the field ended up taking the overall win in the race on Sunday.  First, Makes & Models took the GTSU win on Saturday, and Steve Burns took it in SU.  Back to Sunday.  The race started with Derek, in the Lambo, on pole, with Steve and Al Tiley behind him.  Derek got a good start, made a move to defend his position from Steve going into the first turn.  Nothing happened, and the race continued on.  A few laps later Steve got himself a good run on Derek down the front straight, and again Derek made a defensive move.  He didn’t run Steve off the track, nor did he weave all over the place.  He made one move, and left Steve enough room to get by if he so chose.  Steve chose to do so, and it was an awesome move.  He had barely enough room, and he made the most of the inch he was given.  But then he made another move which was, in my opinion, incredibly dumb and extremely petty.  With Derek right behind him in turn 2, and Al closing quick on the both of them, Steve brake checked Derek.  This sudden act forced Derek to hit the brakes and swerve, which almost brought him into contact with Al.  We all remember how well that went the last time that happened, so there was an instant of “oh no, not this again”.  Thankfully they didn’t hit, and they kept on going.  Derek retired a lap later, leaving Al in the lead of GTSU, and Steve with nothing to get in his way of an overall win.  Except Steve.  In the closing laps, Steve lost  the power steering and water pump belt in turn 4, went off at turn 5, but came back on track and continued… straight into the pits.  This left Al with the overall lead, and frankly I’m glad it was him who wound up with it.

TL;DR: Al won GTSU because Derek retired after being brake checked by Steve Burns.  Al got the overall race win because Steve retired after losing power steering.  We good?  Good.

And there it is, another massive write up for you to read instead of doing whatever it is you do for a living.  Next month the series hops back onto the West track, for what is sure to be another exciting weekend!  Keep May 19 and 20 free, and remember that there are no gate fees this year.  No gate fees means you can come watch for free!

Updates: Colton only ran the CX5 on Saturday, not on Sunday.  Steve Burns went off in turn 5 because he hit some debris in turn 4, and lost the power steering and water pump belt.  The story has been updated to reflect that.


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Michael Chandler

Director of Photography, writer, man about town and owner of Big Ronda, the Mk3 Toyota Supra project

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