NASA National Championships Thursday & Friday Qualifying Race Results

Sixth Annual NASA Championships Thursday & Friday Qualifying Race Results

MotoIQ Staff Report

LEXINGTON, OH, (Sept, 8, 2011) – The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) has dropped the green flag on its sixth annual National Championships presented by ToyoTires running at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this week, September 6-11.

Over 400, NASA National competitors are dialing in their racers around the 2.2-mile,13-turn rolling road course located 50-minutes north of Columbus, Ohio. Challenging weather conditions comprised of light rain in the morning and a drying track in the afternoon had the drivers switching from wet to dry tires most of the day. 

At the opening driver’s meeting, held last night, Ryan Flaherty, NASA National Chairman, thanked the competitors for their commitment to NASA as well as the series’ sponsors for offering over $1 million in contingency prize money for this weekend. In addition, a NASA Dedicated Racer award was given to ten hardcore competitors who have entered all six NASA National events.

“We wanted to give special acknowledgment to ten dedicated racers, Jonathan Meris, Robin Burnett, Jeffrey Diffenderfer, Landon Ball, Carl Thompson, Geffrey Sawtelle, James Wagaman, Paul Kiser, John George, and TC McNett. These ten racers have been with us for every National so far,” Flaherty said. “A Traqmate data system (valued at $699) was given to each competitor as a token of our appreciation for their support of our National event.”

In one of the first qualifying events of the day, Dean Martin took the checker in the American Iron Class. Martin, from Michigan, was the fastest in class and overall in the morning’s wet qualifying session with a lap of 1:57.273 in the No. 50/Reehagan Racing/Ford Mustang. Martin is also entered in the No. 88 Ford Mustang Boss in the ST2 Class.

“The track got better,” Martin said. “It did improve as the session went on, you could see the nice matte black finish out there. My fast lap was my last one, traffic was pretty bad. I focus the handling of the Mustang across the backside, through Madness. That is where the Mustang’s usually have the most problem. Through Turn One and the Keyhole, they are pretty good. We usually struggle through the back section where it is twisty. As far as the weather goes, I prefer to run in the dry, but I am not worried about running in the rain. To put on a good show, it would be a more interesting race in the dry for the fans. Mid-Ohio is fun to race in the rain, the rain line here is unconventional.”

In the Factory Five Racing Class (FFR) Paul Arnold, from Tennesee, drove his No. 5 Factory Five Racing/Toyo Tires/Hawk Brakes/Trillium/Grassroots Motorsports/Cobra to a qualifying race win just beating Scott McKay in his No. 64 entry. “It was a ball to drive the car out there today,” Arnold said. “We finally got the set-up right and the Toyo Tires were just fantastic in the drying conditions. As the track dried up they were happy tires. We wanted to get the car as neutral as possible, not too much understeer and not too much oversteer. With this big V8, I want to lay down the power. I had a good time chasing down Scott McKay, who made a little mistake at the end, and I was able to capitalize on it. It’s fantastic to drive with a great group of guys.”

In Spec Miata Greg Stasioski, from West Virginia, took the win in his No. 32 Jim Locke Automotive/Custom Tool & Grinding/Mazda Miata. “I thought it was a good run,” Stasiowki said. “My tires started off pretty squirrelly and then the rear tires came in. From there my other two tires came in, and it was good from there. The track was pretty dry, but it wasn’t rubbered in, there were a lot of spots that were slick. Jim Locke Automotive puts a set-up on this car, and that is what I am driving. I come to drive. He sets-up the car.”

Kevin Helms, North Carolina, in the No. 05/CarboTech Brakes/Exedy/RLZ Engineering/HRE Wheels Hasport Motor Mounts/DBA/Honda Civic was the top runner in the Honda Challenge 2 Class this afternoon.

“It was a pretty good race, there were a couple of guys going off the track and back on,” Helms said. “We wanted to stick to our program, which is qualify first and get out front and just run. We usually mess-up by not getting upfront. We need to be upfront and stay out of the carnage. The car is pretty good. The rain washed the rubber off of the track so it is pretty slick out there right now. The Hoosier tires are working well.”

David Dirks, Colorado, won the Spec 944 Class in his No. 76 Velocity Motorports/Michelle, Hannah and Matthew Dirks/944.  ”It was a pretty good run. I am glad the track was reasonably dry,” Dirks said. “When we first arrived we were struggling with some motor issues, and the following day was very wet. It was wet this morning, which is a little frustrating. It dried up this afternoon at it was a beautiful run. We haven’t gotten too much set-up done yet as we have been dealing with motor issues. I was a little tail happy. We have some excessive oversteer going on. Hopefully, there is more speed to come.”

Spec E30 (BMW) had Michael Osborne, Kentucky, winning in his No. 36/Deblon Inc./BMW 325. “It was interesting, there was a lot of carnage and I happened to survive,” Osborne said. “After the rain the car was running really well, it was hooked-up. I just try to get a nice neutral car so it goes left and right and straight and then average it all out.”

In PTC Sarah Cattaneo, Arizona, took the qualifying race in her No. 111/RSR Motorsports/Cruise America/Eurohaus/Mini Cooper S. “It was a really good race. I love Mid-Ohio,” Cattaneo said. “The Mini is known for its handling, so dialing in the backside of the track up through Madness is really key for me. I am from Arizona, so we don’t get many rain days out there. It is not something I am used to or raced in before. It is different. I am kind of used to it, but can always get better.”

Thursday’s NASA Nationals presented by Toyo Tires Qualifying Race Winners:

FFR Paul Arnold/No. 5/Factory Five Racing Cobra
CMC2 Erik Sjoblom/No. 65/Ford Mustang
Honda Challenge 1 Kevin Helms/No. 05/Honda Civic
Honda Challenge 2 Jeremy Croiset/Honda CRX
American Iron Xtreme Chris Griswold/No. 71/Ford Mustang
American Iron Chris Corbetto/No. 4/Saleen Mustang
STR1 Troy Lindtstrom/No. 66/Chevrolet Super Truck
STR2 Gary Klein/No. 333/Thunder Roadster
PTA John Schmitt/No. 92/Honda Accord
PTB Luke Wilwert/No. 35/Acura TL
Super Touring 1 David Pintaric/No. 40/Dodge Viper
Super Touring 2 Dean Martin/No. 88 Ford Mustang
Super Unlimited Ryan Ellis/No. 01/Superlite Coupe
Spec 944 David Dirks/No. 76/Porsche 944
Spec E30 Michael Osborne/No. 36/BMW 325
Spec Miata Greg Stasiowski/No.32/Mazda Miata
TTB Rob Symonds/No. 940/Nissan 240SX
TTC Aaron Leichty/No. 190/Honda S2000
TTD Bill Brees/No. 138/Mazda Protégé
TTE Dave Kutney/No. 42/Pontiac Solstice
TTF Michael Weber/No. 777/Infiniti G20
GTS1 John Graber/No. 643/Porsche 944
GTS2 Scott Good/No. 333/Porsche 944
GTS3 Scott Berkowitz/No. 88/BMW M3
GTS4 Randy Mueller/No. 0/BMW M3
GTS5 Chris O’Donnell/No. 23/Porsche 911
GTSU Chad Nelson/No. 1
TTR Team Nobama/No. 31/Knoop-Spec
TTU Jarrod Hoops/No. 178/Mitsubishi Evo
TTS Greg Vanucci/No. 251/Lotus Exige
TTA David Ziegler/No. 485/Chevrolet Corvette Z06
PTC Sarah Cattaneo/No. 111/Mini Cooper S
PTD Patrick Smith/No. 14/Mazda Miata
PTE Brian Makse/No. 786/Mazda Protégé
PTF Walter Carlos/No. 881/Mazda RX7
Formula Mazda Darryl Wills/No. 24/Formula Mazda 



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