July 11, 2020

NASA Utah Round 7

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Words and photos by Michael Chandler

It was a wonderful weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, or so I’ve been told.  I missed out on Saturday because my car decided it didn’t want to have any oil in it, but I made it out on Sunday!  And Sunday was a day where at least on championship would be decided.

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The GTSU championship was a tight battle between Les Long of Air Power Racing, and Derek Wolthoff and Allen Turner of Makes & Models.  A second place finish for Les and a fourth place finish on Saturday for the Makes & Models team seemed to have tighten up the race.  Fortunately for the R8 pilots, Les parked his 911 GT3 Cup on Sunday.  Les’s absence allowed the Derek to wrap up the title!  He took first place over the upstart DXDT Racing team.  All was well, until he rechecked his math and realized that he actually had it locked up on Saturday.  He’s a racing driver, not a mathematician!  Congratulations to the Makes & Models team for their GTSU Championship.

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Shawn Tatum took the win in GTS4 on both days, and has been alone in the class since August.  Does that matter?  Not when his Tatum Racing prepped Cayman looks that good.

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The GTS5 results were the same on Sunday as they were on Sunday: Darrell Troester, in his 996 GT3 Cup car, held off Karsten Nossack, in the Nossack Food Group 996 GT3 Cup car, for the win.

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Dan Worley took home ST1 wins on both days, and had one hell of a battle with Matt Guiver on Sunday.

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Mike Mielke claimed a win in ST2 on Saturday, but didn’t start the race on Sunday.  I’m not sure why…

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Damnit Mike!  Put the steering wheel back on the car!!!

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Travis Tidball, in the JDP Motorsports/RaceCo/DigiCert Corvette Z06, out drove the field of Mustangs (and pair of M3s) to collect a pair of wins on the weekend.

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And in SU, Jeff Kearl had to deal with some hot hands on Saturday.  Madison Snow brought out the UIS 911 GT3 Cup car, and Vesko Kozarov was out in an M3.  Jeff beat the both of them, and earned himself a win on Saturday.  He was the lone SU competitor on Sunday, but after Saturday’s battle, he earned himself a free pass.

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You can’t throw a stone without hitting a Spec Z car in the paddock these days.  It’s insane how fast this group has grown!  On Saturday there were 13 cars in the field.  13!!!  I remember vividly when there were only a handful of cars in the class.

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Arthur Golebiowski continued his season long battle with Tom Kaminski on Saturday, with Arthur taking another win.  Way down in 12th was the #22 Lyfe Motorsports Z.  It only completed 4 laps.  Sunday the tables were flipped!

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And by “flipped” I mean Cole Powelson won, and spawned the hashtag #ColeonPole.  Nothing was really flipped beyond the #22 climbing out of the bottom of the standings…  Don’t know why I said that, I’m sorry.

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Jim Miller and his Boxster cleaned up in GTS2 all weekend.

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Mayor McCheese, AKA Blake Troester, out dueled Carol Nichols for the win in GTS3.

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The Unfair Advantage Audi (still not sure what the advantage is) claimed PTE wins on Saturday AND Sunday, a feat that can only be accomplished on a weekend.

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The #54 Spec E36 collected a pair of wins on the weekend, but with two different drivers at the helm.  Saturday was Jeff Kearl’s win, and Sunday’s victory belonged to Rhett Longman.  “Rhett Longman” sounds entirely made up.  I’m gonna need to see some ID…

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Tyler Dahl had a battle with Allen Anderson in Spec Miata.  When the dust settled, Tyler emerged victorious.

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Greg Valdez and Shawn Murphy wrote another chapter in their TT1 battle.  This weekend they traded victories, with Shawn winning on Saturday and Greg on Sunday.

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TT2 belonged to Rhett Panter on Saturday, then he punched a hole in his block.  Not bad considering that motor had 5 years of good, hard use on it.  With Rhett on the trailer, Sunday was all about Robert Poirer and his red Mustang.

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Travis Tidball took TT3 both days, because why wouldn’t he?

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What’s this???  Brendon Stewart making a return to the NASA Utah competition???  You bet your ass it is!  And he made his homecoming quite the spectacle.

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He didn’t burst into flames, he didn’t slam into a wall, he just took TTB in a FRS with some coilovers, slicks, heavy wheels and fresh OEM brake pads.  Seriously, just the parts I mentioned.  Toby Crawford has a supercharger in his BRZ, and Dave Wann is in the best Miata ever: a Honda S2000 built to TTB spec.  Brendon may be some sort of savant behind the wheel.  I want to see him in a TTU car, see what happens.

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Kelly Fisher took the win in TTC behind the wheel of the ProTintUtah.com GTI.

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It’s not quite a Mazda, and it’s not quite a Maserati, but it’s good enough for Tyler Nisonger to win TTE.

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Lyfe Motorsports focusing their efforts on the World Time Attack Challenge GTR and Spec Z efforts has left a vacuum in TTU.  Their only consistent competition, the Makes & Models Audi R8 LMS, rose to the top spot, but behind them are a host of occasional others.  On this weekend, the Makes & Models crew took home the win (and championship) on Saturday, while Wade Hall and his obscenely powerful Mustang claimed a gold bottle opener on Sunday.

And there we have it.  This was the final points weekend for Thunder and Lightning, and we’ll discuss the champions in a later post, but suffice it to say everyone earned their class championship.  The next, and final, event is the legendary Tresduro!  Last year the drivers ran on the Outer Loop, East and West tracks all in one day.  This year is a bit different.  They’re still running on the East and West tracks, but this year they’re going to be running on the Full Track!  And for TT and Open Wheel, this will be their last chance for points.  The second annual Tresduro is happening on October 24!  Be there and watch the last event at Miller Motorsports Park!

Michael Chandler

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

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