May 27, 2020

NASA Utah Round 4: The Hot Edition!

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

It only took three rounds, but it finally got hot.  Hot to the point where the heat ripples were uncomfortably close, and the water bottles in my car were scaldingly hot.  Despite that, I arrived late and got to shooting, observing, and heat exhausting.

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Despite only completing two laps, Chris Haunold took the win in GTS2 at the wheel of my favorite 911, NAY! Porsche that runs around at Miller.  Yeah, I said it.  Your move everyone else with a Porsche.  Impress me!

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Mayor McCheese took the win in GTS3.  Amazing he can fit that giant, tasty head of his in there…  Hold on, I’m getting something over the wire…  Mayor McCheese was not driving…  In fact, he cannot drive because he is a fictional character…  Blake Troester was the driver, not the man with a burger for a head.

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Ed Mineau took first in PTC.  His best lap time in his 911 was 1:50.691, which was .4 seconds slower than…

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Todd Green!  He’s a wizard, I swear.  He’s run down Spec Z’s; albeit in the rain, but a Miata running down a 350Z on the west course (which tends to favor more powerful cars) is quite a feat.  He also grabbed a win in TTE, which is class that is a story unto itself.

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Spec Miata was won by… *papers shuffling* AH!  Daniel Williams!  Yes, that’s it.  He put himself atop the seven car heap, which is a lot of cars.

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It was not a heap, despite David Sherman’s best efforts!  Actually his best efforts were employed fighting for position during the race.  This wasn’t his best effort, but it was a good recovery.

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Arthur Golebiowski took Spec Z, with Tom Kaminski right behind him, and Richard Fitzgerald behind the both of them.  Look at Richard hitting those curbs!  You go Richard!  Also, keep on keepin on Arthur and Tom.

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And in Spec 944, neither Samuel Kapp nor Otto Silva won.  Another Troester won, this one being Greg.  A guy named Greg in a red car doing some winning…  Wonder where we’ve seen that before.

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Wasn’t in Open Wheel.  Another hot hand behind the wheel of a kart did some winning.  Bruno Carneiro, Formula driver and owner of possibly the coolest name of the day, took time off from showing smaller children how to drive fast and selling Rodizio Grill gift certificates (what’s a small time media mogul gotta do to get their hands on one?) to have a solid drive on his way to a win in class.

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Meanwhile, McKay Snow (who is not Madison, despite what the podium photos indicate) won in Super Formula.  Speaking of Madison, who isn’t McKay…

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This isn’t him.  This is Chris Vivolo, who took the win in GTS5.  Good work Chris.

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You can see where the confusion comes from.  Both Madison and Chris drive Porsche 911s, both have white and gray on them, and have big spoilers.  The differences are subtle, but if you look close enough you can see them.  Also, Madison is around eight seconds quicker than Chris.  So, there’s that.  Madison also won in GTSU.  He’s also not McKay.

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After Austin Dillon’s big wreck at Daytona last weekend, people were throwing around the idea of adding more downforce to the current Sprint Cup cars.  Bob Evans’s cup car isn’t the current generation (although I’d love to see them running around.  Somebody get the Frances on the horn!), but it does have all sorts of aero.  Not sure it would work for plate racing, but it works well here.  Well enough for first in ST1.

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Good news! Mike Mielke is continuing the tradition of ST2 being a solo field.  Bad news: I’m out of pick up truck jokes.  So… good news for Mike, I guess.

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Travis Tidball has been the sole carrier of the Corvette Racing flag in the door to door classes, which is sad because there were some killer Corvettes out there.  He may be the last one, but he’s been carrying that one well.  He planted the flag atop the podium in ST3.  Speaking of…  I’m out of transitions too.  Dukes!

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So, TT1 is interesting.  We have David Gilliland in his Viper battling Greg Valdez and Shawn Murphy in their respective STis, and while that battle is happening we have Shawn battling his car.  This event was a great opportunity for Shawn to take advantage of Greg’s Lelantos (that’s his car) being down.  Unfortunately, Shawn had a mishap which ended his weekend early.  We’ll talk about that later, but let’s focus on David and his orange Viper winning!  The current Vipers look amazing, and are proven winners.  I’m glad that he was on top that day.

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Robert Rathbone did a thing!  That thing was winning TT2 in his usual calm manner.  However, things weren’t calm all over.

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Rhett spun out in turn one.  Didn’t get stuck, or catch on fire, or anything.  He just got loose and wound up in the dirt.  Anyway…

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So, Alex Whetman won in TT3 in the Focus of Doom BUT I missed out on his sessions.  HOWEVA he did place second in TTE in, what I can only assume was Paul Mitchell.  I say that because that’s the only Miata he has ready access to.  If I’m wrong, I’ll hear about it and I’ll gladly correct this bit, but until then: here’s a picture of PAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLL MITCHEEEEEEELLLLLLLLL.

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Dave Wann took the win in Spec BRZ/FRS And Occasional Others.  Formally known as TTB, but we’re cool so we can keep the titles casual.  Also: Dave was super excited!  LOOGITIM!

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TTU was won by a Francis Wilson in the #47 350Z, or so say the time sheets.  However, I don’t have a picture of a #47 350Z.  What I do have are photos of a #714 350Z and a #47 C7 Z06.  Francis, if you’re reading this and I completely missed you, I apologize.  If one of these is you, congratulations!

Anyway, that’s it.  I skipped Sunday because 1. I was exhausted and probably would’ve died in the heat and 2. it was Father’s Day, so I elected to spend the day with him.  That said, I’ll be out there this coming weekend, traipsing around the West track on Saturday.  West track, this weekend.  Be there.

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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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