Virginia International Raceway Brings Promise To The Season For Goshen Motorsports Placentia, CA- After the disastrous result at Sebring with two gearbox failures at the start of the race and an engine failure prior to the finish in their third...
Virginia International Raceway Brings Promise To The Season For Goshen Motorsports
Placentia, CA- After the disastrous result at Sebring with two gearbox failures at the start of the race and an engine failure prior to the finish in their third car, the Goshen Motorsports team arrived at Virginia International raceway with much better expectations. The team's three drivers, Ryan Booth, Toshihiro Deki and Billy Goshen remarked "our results can only get better."
On the first day of practice, it appeared this just might be a special weekend for the Team. In the second practice Goshen recorded the third fastest time of the day with a 1:48.392 and Booth was 7th fastest with a time of 1:49.268. Meanwhile, Toshihiro Deki was dropping 6 seconds off his early practice time. The second day of practice continued to bring good results with all three drivers improving on their times.
Saturday morning's qualifying started at 8:30 A.M. with the 28 car field split into two groups. The first group started laying down some very fast times giving every indication it would take a personal best to win the pole. Toshi was in the first group and recorded his best time for the three days at 1:49.887 putting him 26th for Sunday's race. The second group out was recording times only hundredths of a second apart. Billy recorded the 9th fastest lap at 1:46.521 only .5 seconds off the front row. Ryan was only one second back putting him 17th for the race. With times extremely close, the expectation was for a very competitive and entertaining race on Sunday.
Race day brought sunny skies with a temperature expected to be near 100 degrees for the 1:00 P.M. start. The second race of the Star Mazda season was the featured race of the day and went green on schedule. Ryan Booth got a great start and came out of the first turn in 12th position with Billy Goshen holding onto his 9th place. Near the back of the field Toshi Deki had to avoid several cars getting together, which brought out a full course caution. On the restart, the lead car checked up causing everyone to hit the breaks. With a car in front of him doing a 360, Billy had nowhere to go but into the grass to avoid a crash. By the time he got back on the track, the entire field had passed. To add insult to injury, the engine immediately started overheating forcing Goshen to pit to remove his mowing job. Fortunately, he was able to catch up to the back of the pack before the race went green keeping him on the lead lap.
Everyone had anticipated a very exciting and entertaining race but as it turned out quite the opposite was true. Every time the race went green someone was off the track bringing out the yellow for a full course caution. In the 45 minute race there were only 7 laps run under green, none back to back until the final two laps of the race. Having to start the 2nd lap at the rear of the pack, Goshen came roaring back to finish 11th. Despite having to pass cars on every green lap, Billy was able to record the 7th fastest lap of the race only 1 second off Peter Dempsey, the race winner. Ryan finished right behind Billy in 12th with Toshi making a charge to finish 17th. Although the results were better than Sebring, it was still a disappointing race for the Goshen Motorsports Team.
After the race, Billy Goshen was quoted as saying "The team gave me a very fast car today. Even with having to come from the back, I know I could have finished top 5. I was passing cars on every lap; I just needed more green laps. It was a long way to travel and a lot of hard work by the team to only get 7 laps of racing."
Ryan Booth said "I was expecting a top 10 finish today, but I woke up this morning with a bug. At race time I still didn't feel too good, so I wasn't at my best. I am looking forward to the next race at Miller. I have always been fast there."
Through his interpreter Toshihiro Deki said "I got hit in the rear on one of the restarts, so I was lucky to stay on the track. I was able to move up during the race and am happy with the finish. This was a big improvement from the last race and I know I will continue to get better."