Homestead Race Notes: Randy Pobst Holds Out For Victory in Compass360 Honda with Christian Miller
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Randy Pobst and Christian Miller scored the Koni Challenge Street Tuner victory at Homestead driving the Compass360 Honda Civic. For Christian it marked his first Koni Challenge victory. For Pobst it was his fifth Koni win and put him in the mid 70's for professional wins.
Pobstfought Tom Long in the Freedom Autosport Mazda Miata in the waning laps. The two changed position six times in the final 30 laps. Long set the fastest lap of the race at a 1:32.907, which actually eclisped the time set by the pole sitting run of Andrew Aquilante in the Subaru Legacy.

Thirty cars took the green flag for the 200 mile / 2.5 hour race. The caution flag only flew twice and only slowed the field for four of the ninety two laps. The track did some repaving and eliminated many of the sand traps, allowing for a much greater chance of green flag racing.

For Pobst the final pass he needed was in Turn 11 on Lap 89 of 92. He held onto the point for the final four laps to earn his fifth career overall and class victories, while giving Miller his first win.

The margin of victory, which stood at 0.129 seconds, was the second closest finish in KONI Challenge history. Only the race at Watkins Glen International in 2004 was closest (0.050 seconds). The race's average speed was 84.418 mph, the second fastest KONI race at the track.

KONI Sports Car Challenge action continues Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, when Grand Sport (GS) class drivers will compete in a two-and-a-half hour race.

Pobst took the lead for the first time on Lap 60, when he passed Kirk Spencer between Turns 7 and 8 in the infield, and held on for 16 laps. Shortly after, Long made his way to second when Josh Hurley pitted during the green flag.

The final of two cautions occurred on Lap 72 for debris on the front straightaway, bunching up the field and giving Pobst and Long a chance to battle to the end.

And battle, back-and-forth, lap after lap, they did.

When the green flag was displayed on Lap 74, Long shadowed Pobst around the track for two laps before making the pass on Lap 76. Pobst regained the lead for three laps, then Long took the lead from Laps 80-85 before being edged to the line on Lap 86.

Each time Pobst tried to take the lead on the outside of Turn 1, he was denied, but on the outside of Turn 11 is where he was the strongest. He finally got by on Lap 89, leading by just a few car lengths at the line.

Long didn't quit though. He pushed his No. 145 Freedom Autosports Mazda MX-5 deeper each lap, and ran nose-to-tail behind Pobst until the final lap. Also Freedom's team manager, Long looked for a way around Pobst coming out of the final corner, but didn't have enough power to pull alongside and challenge. Instead, he and co-driver Derek Whitis became bridesmaids once again.

Between Pobst and Long were six lead changes over the final 17 laps. Overall, Miller - who started second after nearly taking the pole position Friday - led a race-high 37 laps, all in succession, after taking the lead from polesitter Andrew Aquilante on Lap 6. Miller held the lead until Lap 42, when he pitted during the first caution, which came out for debris between Turns 8 and 9.

Finishing third, 8.464 seconds back, were Hurley and Ian Baas, who drove the No. 171 APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI. Though neither driver led the race, both drivers ran in the top three for the majority of their stints. Baas had qualified the car third fastest on Friday.

Fourth in the No. 01 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt SS were Spencer and Ashley McCalmont, who earned their third top-five finish in the last four races together. Spencer led nine laps before Pobst passed him, and McCalmont ran as high as third during her stint.

Despite a problem with the car's ABS unit, which caused one of the No. 111 Subaru Road Racing Team Subaru Legacy's tires to flat spot, Kristian Skavnes and Andrew Aquilante finished fifth, their second straight top-five finish. Aquilant
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