Western States Championships to run at Sonoma this weekend.
The National Auto Sport Association's (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires will run their Western States Championships this weekend at Sonoma Raceway, Nov. 7-9. Racers from across the country will compete for class honors.
Sandro Espinosa (Atlanta, Ga.) is coming off of the NASA Southeast weekend at Daytona International Speedway and heading directly across country to Sonoma Raceway for the NASA Western Championships to compete in Spec BMW E30 Class with his No. 32 BMW 325.
"The logistics behind the transport and accommodations seem endless," Espinosa said. "I just finished the weekend at Daytona International with NASA SE so the prep had to begin and end much sooner than regular. I'm also coming out with some close friends and we all would hate to come to such a beautiful part of the country and miss what else it has to offer."
"Running at Sonoma Raceway was the draw to come out west in the Spec E30," he continued. "I am hopeful that the championship will draw a large number of participants and excellent drivers for some great racing. Some of the guys came out for the Eastern Championships and I thought, why not? I've never been to Sonoma Raceway. I've watched races there over time, but nothing replaces seat time on a race weekend. Believe it or not, the preparation to get the cars out there has been more than the preparation to run the course.
"I don't have a simulator to practice on and I haven't been able to watch videos, but we're going to be there Thursday for practice. I'm a fast learner but I respect the fact that it's a new track and the local guys have 100's of laps around that track. I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can from them. My goal is to have fun and race hard. Nothing like ending a battle with someone on the track and reliving the competition again after. I do this for fun. So as long as you race hard with one or five other cars it doesn't matter where you place, that's why I love Spec E30."
Lux looking for a special win
Cindi Lux (Aloha, Ore., in photo) is bringing her Dodge Viper to Sonoma Raceway to compete in the Super Touring 1 Class. A NASA Northwest region competitor, Lux is looking for another special win this weekend.
"The last time I ran at Sonoma Raceway was back in 1999 with the American Le Mans Series where I got my first pro win, which was really special" Lux said. "I also raced a Legends Car there in the Road Racing Championships, which was crazy fun. Overall, I really don't have a ton of track time at Sonoma. However when I do race there, it always seems to produce a lot of good memories. My goal for the weekend is to really have fun. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful/devoted group of guys on our team who really make me laugh.
"Seriously, have you seen our Big Wheel? Sure, I can be cliché and say we want to win our class, who doesn't? It's about being able to properly set-up the car and drive a smart race. This track can bite you very quickly and it doesn't tolerate stupidity. We prepare our Viper the same for all races - ready to go. On a personal note, when I arrive at Sonoma, I will finally be able to relax as I will have just come back from the SEMA Show. At this show, we will be debuting our new 2015 Ford Mustangs we will be using at the Ford Racing School next year. Over the past six months, there has been a tremendous amount of time spent planning, building and testing these new cars. It has been a ton of work. I am really proud to be part of this team. So I will be ready to enjoy some awesome NAPA Valley wine this weekend with some great friends."
A.R. Hoshmandy (Lawrenceville, Ga.) will be getting in an unfamiliar car at an unfamiliar track and looking to compete in one of the biggest fields of the weekend in a borrowed No. 37 BMW 325 to compete in the Spec BMW E30 Class.
"I enjoy racing more than anything," Hoshmandy said. "My reason for going to Sonoma is because I love racing my BMW in a big field. My engine was damaged right before the NASA Championships at Road Atlanta, so I will not be bringing my own car. I am fortunate to be able to rent a BMW 325. I met Larry Fraser at Road Atlanta in August and he has helped me find a BMW to race at Sonoma. I have no history at Sonoma. It looks awesome on TV. My goal is to be competitive. If my rental is working right I will be in the top 10 for sure."
NASA is ready
Will Faules, NASA National Event Director, has the NASA Western Championships on the starting grid.
"We are ready for the Western Championships at Sonoma Raceway," Faules said. "Our team of top-notch officials has everything in place and the NorCal Region drivers look to defend their home turf. It's especially exciting for me to come back to the region where my motorsports career started. To be able to return and crown the next generation of NASA Champions is very exciting for me. Beautiful weather in the forecast will help make for a weekend of great racing."
Sonoma Raceway is a 2.52-mile, 12-turn undulating road course located at the gateway to California's wine country. The challenging road course used by NASCAR and IndyCar is sure to provide exciting racing throughout the championships weekend.
The NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships will take the green flag at Sonoma Raceway, Nov. 7-9.
Kyle Chura Associates