- The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) is ready to start deciding who the champions will be as qualifying races are in the books for its sixth annual National Championships presented by Toyo Tires running at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The weather at the 2.2-mile,13-turn Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course has been a factor all week. Today is the only day that the track did not see any precipitation. With rain in the forcast all weekend, weather will play a role in the outcomes.
Following opening ceremonies and the singing of the National Anthem by Bravada, Lexington's own Barber Shop Quartet, the races to decide 33 NASA National Champions will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET. The over 400 NASA competitors have been testing and running qualifying races to set the grids and it all comes down to two-days of racing to decide who will be NASA National Champions for 2011.
Highlights from today's running included Chris Griswold, from Wisconsin, in his No. 71/GMV Machine/Paul's Automotive Engineering/Maximum Motorsports/Hoosier/Ford Mustang who made easy work of the American Iron Xtreme Class.
"The car is running really smooth," Griswold said. "I put on an old set of Hoosiers, I wanted to save the set I scrubbed this morning for the big race tomorrow. Everything ran really well. This thing is a bit of handful. In the rain, I can get about 400 horsepower down and in the dry I can get about double that number. I focus on corner exits onto the main straights, that is where passes come easy for me."
In the Honda Challenge 2 Class, one of the bigger classes on the weekend with 32 competitors, Jeremy Croiset, California, won his second straight qualifying race in his Honda CRX.
"It was a fun race," Croiset said. "Pretty uneventful, but Manny Coates got the jump on me at the start. I was able to get inside of him into Turn One and was able to maintain the gap. My car, for this year, has been a balancing act. We focused on making as much power as we could, within the rules, and then maximize the tire on the ground with the shocks. I like a car that is fairly loose, so it works well in the twisty stuff, but not too loose where you throw it off in the high-speed corners. I want to definitly run a dry race tomorrow."
In Super Unlimited, Ryan Ellis, Virginia, drove his No. 01/Driveshaft