West coast competitor Dave Brown, and his Workpad.com/ Works/ Goodsport Racing Mitsubishi Evo-8 RS, have come away with bragging rights from the 2006 USTCC East/West Shoot-Out, despite pressure from a host of competitors. Today's flag-to-flag win, represents two starts and two wins in 2006 for the 2005 USTCC Champion.
The USTCC teams rolled into Salt Lake City to face the brand new, massive, Miller Motorsports Park, featuring 4.5 miles and 23 turns. Under warm skies all weekend, the USTCC teams put on another great show. Times in qualifying were exceptionally close over the monster 4.5 mile track with the top eight separated by less than three seconds. Dave Brown was quick all weekend and put in yet another pole lap (3:20.2) in the Saturday qualifying session. Joining Brown on the front row was Vesko, driving the M7 Tuning Mini, with a time of 3:21.4. Third in the qualifying order was east coast regular Toby Grahovec in his Classic BMW/Red Line Oil BMW 330i at 3:22.0. Fourth was rookie sensation Austin Harris driving the Team Cobalt California/GM Performance Chevy Cobalt SS with a time of 3:22.4, and Dale Sievwright in the MPact Motorsports, Moton, Ground Control BMW 328is filled out the top five with a time of 3:22.8.
The standing-start was epic USTCC, with cars scattering everywhere on the Miller Motorsports Park front straightaway. Brown got away quickly, but Vesko and rookie Harris both had poor starts. Curt Simmons had a rocket start in his Cornwell Tools/Sunnyvale Dodge SRT-4 moving up four spots to second by lap two. As Brown held off Simmons for the lead, Sievwright and Grahovec moved into third and fourth and began their race-long battle. Harris found himself 12th after his first lap issues, but began a great charge towards the front. A few laps into the race, Brown began to pull out a few lengths on Simmons, as Simmons started to experience transmission issues. This led to a great battle for second, but unfortunately by lap 4, Simmons was done and had to park the SRT-4. This left Sievwright and Grahovec to fight over second for the remainder of the race. Behind this action, a great battle was forming for fourth as Pete Bovenberg (MBO Motorsports/AutoSourceMotoring.com/PPG Honda) and Wade Powell (Above All Motorwerks BMW 325i) fought it out. Unfortunately, the close racing between Bovenberg and Powell led to an on-track incident, taking both cars out of the top five.