NASA Speed News - Volume 6, Issue 6, July

AR I ZONA Pond Takes Two at SoCal/Arizona Mixer at Auto Club Speedway The entire NASA Arizona contingent of Spec Miatas way into the race, Grisham’s car briefly burped white smoke

“I kind of knew going in that Ryan Pond had almost a whole second on me in qualifying, so I thought, ‘Well, if I can get lucky, and if I can hang with him, I’ll just stay behind him and happily push him around the track and if we can get away from everybody else, then when the white flag comes out it’s on.’” Babcock said. “That’s kind of what happened, but I couldn’t quite get around him on the last lap, and Hannah was reeling us slowly but surely. She caught us on the last lap and so it made for some pretty interesting racing at the end.” For Sunday’s race, NASA Arizona’s Paul Perkins was gridded third behind Saturday’s race winner Ryan Pond. Perkins hoped to capitalize by drafting with him and watching his lines through the infield. In Turn 3 and 4, Perkins was forced wide onto the grass and back to fourth place behind SoCal’s Rob Burgoon. About a third of the

made the trip out to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., to do battle with a 16 car field of SoCal Miatas, bringing the total grid to 21 cars. Saturday’s qualifying put Ryan Pond on pole, followed by Michael Babcock and Teen Mazda Challenge driver Hannah Grisham. When the green flag dropped Babcock took off with the leaders while the rest of us jockeyed for position into Turn 3. If you haven’t experienced it, it goes something like this: Wide-open-throttle in fifth gear then hard on the brakes, heel- toe downshift three times and throw the car into a 90-degree left hander while trying to stay ahead of the car behind you and off the cars on either side of you. There’s a lot going on and that’s just one corner of the 21-turn Auto Club “Roval.” The race ended as it started, with Pond in first, Babcock in second and Grisham in third.

and then a second later her engine blew. That allowed Perkins to regain second place and close the gap to Pond. A few laps later, Dave Varco sneaked under Perkins going into Turn 5 and that’s how the order went for a few laps until Babcock closed in and pushed Perkins in an effort to catch the leaders. Perkins was able to take the final podium spot getting to the line .141 seconds ahead of Babcock. Pond took his second win of the weekend and Varco scored a second- place finish. — Paul Perkins RESULTS http://timingscoring. drivenasa.com/NASA_ California-Southern_ Region/2017%20-%20 Official%20Results/May%20

2017%20-%20Auto%20 Club%20Speedway%20 Final%20Results/

Ryan Pond scored two wins from a 21-car field at Auto Club Speedway during a combined SoCal/Arizona event in May

PHOTO BY CALIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

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