June 28-29 Sonoma, CA: Just one week after American Stockcar Challenge (ASC) alumnus Dave Brown scored an impressive podium finish in the annual NASCAR Southwest Tour (SWT) race at Infineon Raceway, the roar of American V8s again reverberated ...
June 28-29 Sonoma, CA: Just one week after American Stockcar Challenge (ASC) alumnus Dave Brown scored an impressive podium finish in the annual NASCAR Southwest Tour (SWT) race at Infineon Raceway, the roar of American V8s again reverberated through the Sonoma hills. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) hosted Round 5 of the 2003 ASC season at the famed racing venue, in which Ken Stinnett (#43, Phoenix, AZ) continued his trend of dominating the field on Saturday, then falling victim to some malady on Sunday.
Saturday, June 28th: A light turn-out meant ASC shared a race session with three Pony car race series, most of which were far off the pace of the ASC cars. As has become custom, most competitors limited qualifying to two or three laps, to conserve their single set of allotted Goodyear racing slicks. Stinnett, Dave Arnheiter (#33, Los Alamitos, CA) and Jerry Brown (#22, Santa Clara, CA) got out early in the qualifying session to grab the top three spots.
Due to a snafu at the staggered race start, the ASC group was forced to take an extra parade lap, then thundered up the hill towards Turn 2 into the late-afternoon sun. By lap 2 the front-runners were busy dodging the slower Pony cars while dicing with each other - quite a trick, given the closing speeds. Attrition came early and often: Brian Colodny (#14, Carson City, NV), Arnheiter, and Jeff Glowniak (#34, San Mateo, CA) all went out with mechanical difficulties, while Tom Waters (#60, Carson City, NV) had an incident at Turn 10, where he backed his car hard into the wall, just past the tires. Fortunately, Waters was not injured.
While Brown gave chase to Stinnett, he found himself embroiled in a heated battle with a former NASCAR Grand National car driven by Michael Hunt (#10, San Francisco, CA), running as a guest of the series. On the final lap, Hunt, using his horsepower advantage, got around Brown on the straight leading to Turn 7, but Brown stayed on his bumper and managed to edge by in Turn 11 when Hunt went wide after braking very late.
Stinnett was clearly the class of the field, and was never challenged for the lead. Brown came home 2nd, followed by Glowniak, in his debut race of the season.
Saturday ASC Race Results, Fast Laps (Sportscar Configuration):
1) Ken Stinnett, #43, 1:45.85
2) Jerry Brown, #22, 1:48.83
3) Jeff Glowniak, #34, 1:59.19
4) Tom Waters, #60, 1:54.05
5) David Arnheiter, #33, 1:51.20
6) Brian Colodny, #14, 2:07.17
7) Chris Strom, #28 *DQ, no-show at post-race tech
Sunday, June 29th: Practice and qualifying were compressed into a single session, to allow for a longer race, earlier in the day. Stinnett again set the pace in qualifying, with Arnheiter 2nd, followed by Chris Strom (#28, Redwood City, CA). Saturday's 3rd qualifier, Brown, lined up at the back, when he failed to get qualifying times due to a problem with his transponder.
The temperature had cooled from the day before, but the drivers provided their own heat for the race. At the drop of the green flag, Brown was on the move, passing both Colodny and Strom by Turn 2, and soon had Arnheiter in his sights. It wasn't long before the front-runners were again blasting through the slower Pony car ranks. Brown and Steve Carvajal (#66, El Paso, TX), running a NASCAR Southwest Tour car as a series guest, got together in Turn 6, when they tried to avoid a much slower car, putting them both out with cut tires.
Stinnett seemingly had the race well under control when he too suffered a cut tire late in the race, handing the lead over to Arnheiter. From that point, Arnheiter paced himself to his first win of the season. Stinnett took 2nd, while Brown was awarded 3rd.
Sunday ASC Race Results, Fast Laps (Sportscar Configuration):
1) Dave Arnheiter, #33, 1:47.55
2) Ken Stinnett, #43, 1:45.80
3) Jerry Brown, #22, 1:46.80
4) Brian Colodny, #14, 1:50.74
5) Chris Strom, #28 *DQ, no-show at post-race tech