July 27th, 2008:
Nelson Ledges SCCA Regional Race Complete!

This is my first season away from the comfy land of Spec Neon. Since the class is no longer recognized by NASA, the only place I could have raced in my “real” class was Waterford Hills. It’s a nice, technical track. However, I’ve been touring with my father-in-law Glenn (and his Spec Racer Ford) and it’s easier to tag along, crew for him, and learn as much as possible about racing. So, as mentioned in previous updates, I’ve committed to the improved touring (ITA) class. It’s a regional class with good competition and quite a few Neons. I’m still not as competitively prepared (no coilovers, big wheels, race engine, etc.), but I’ve been able to stay mid-pack.

The mid-pack trend continued last weekend at Nelson Ledges in northeast Ohio. I finished 6th in class and 6th overall both days. I stayed ahead of the other Neons… except for the last lap on Saturday, where I got stuck behind lap traffic (I was prety pissed… and my in-car video shows it…) and was passed 3 turns before the finish. Sunday was better. By mid-race no more Neons were in my mirrors, though the Hondas trounced me handily. Not too bad for my first time at Nelson Ledges. Lap times and positions are here.

Glenn did well, but was kept off pace by his tires. He really showed some amazing car control when it started to rain as he sat on the starting grid. By the 3rd lap it felt like monsoon season. Even though he was on his dry tires and had a spin early in the race (c’mon… it was POURING) he snagged a podium finish.

- Duane