Rounds 3 & 4 of the championship were held at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. It was a battle on and off the track as I had to fight with the heat, physical exhaustion, and of course the other racers. There were a few highs and lows, but overall there are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend and I look forward to returning here next month for Rounds 5 & 6!
Qualifying for Round 3 was tough - both myself and my teammate, Carter Williams (#55), were running close lap times for the pole. With a few minutes left in the session, I was able to run the fastest lap and start first in the race. When the green flag dropped, I got a great start and pulled out to a comfortable gap between myself and second place. I was able to lead all the laps and cross the finish line to take home my second win of the season! My mechanic Kevin and I were talking throughout the race and communicating very well. It was by far the best executed, smoothest, and cleanest race i've done in a long time. Needless to say we were pumped about our second win!
Things went a little differently in Round 4. When the green flag dropped, the car ahead of me made a mistake on the start and we both got passed by cars that started behind us. I knew I had to fight through the field if I wanted another shot at the win. Aggressively, I managed to be in 2nd place in the closing stages of the race. With 2 laps to go, the leader caught up to a lapped car and was being blocked. I knew that this was going to be my last chance to catch up and pass the leader. The first placed car was able to pass the slower car, but I unfortunately ran into the back of the slower car and took him out of the race. My car was also damaged as my shock cover, front wing, and nose all flew off the car. I had to nurse my damaged car to the finish. I felt really guilty when I left the track. After the race I met with the series officials, apologized to the other driver, talked with my team manager & VMB President on what happened, and apologize the mechanics. Luckily, I was still in second place when this all happened so I was able to bring home the silver trophy.
The weekend was filled with different learning experiences. One day I learned how to run a perfectly executed race, and the other day I learned how to deal with slower cars in the closing stages of a race. The best news of the weekend was that we took over the championship points standings! That’s a very exciting accomplishment.
The next race will be a month from now. I plan on coming back better, faster and stronger.
Till next time!