American Stockcar Challenge: Round 3 Driver Commentaries. Round 3 of the American Stockcar Challenge (ASC) Championship took place at Buttonwillow Raceway on April 3rd and 4th. This West Coast traveling series features double races each weekend...
American Stockcar Challenge: Round 3 Driver Commentaries.
Round 3 of the American Stockcar Challenge (ASC) Championship took place at Buttonwillow Raceway on April 3rd and 4th. This West Coast traveling series features double races each weekend and a field that includes the ProTruck Series. Saturday's race was won by David Arnheiter (Ideco Inc. #33 ASC Ford Thunderbird), while Ed Ochylski (Leo Motorsports #55 ASC Pontiac Grand Prix) took the checkered flag on Sunday. Below are some race recap commentaries from ASC drivers Scott C Ivie and Manuel Gil del Real.
Top Five Finishers (Saturday April 3rd):
1) David Arnheiter: #33 Ideco Inc, Ford Thunderbird
2) Ed Ochylski: #55 Leo Motorsports, Pontiac Grand Prix
3) Scott Ivie: #47 Carvajal Motorsports, Chevrolet Monte Carlo
4) Steven Carvajal: #60 Carvajal Motorsports, Chevrolet Monte Carlo
5) Manuel Gil del Real: #27 MGR Racing, Ford Taurus
Top Five Finishers (Sunday April 4th):
1) Ed Ochylski: #55 Leo Motorsports, Pontiac Grand Prix
2) David Arnheiter: #33 Ideco Inc, Ford Thunderbird
3) Steven Carvajal: #60 Carvajal Motorsports, Chevrolet Monte Carlo
4) Manuel Gil del Real: #27 MGR Racing, Ford Taurus
5) Scott Ivie: #47 Carvajal Motorsports, Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Scott C Ivie (Carvajal Motorsports #47 ASC Chevrolet Monte Carlo):
I lost my clutch on Friday testing but my crew managed to get a new one in for me by Saturday morning warmup. It wasn't the same quality but I was at least able to make it out. Then after testing I got into a verbal altercation with a ProTruck Driver for blocking. I don't want to mention names but he was way out of line and was very confrontationally which I really didn't appreciate. Still, I did manage to qualify 4th (Yeah!)
At the start of Saturday's race I got a great start and managed to move up 3 spots where I had a good battle going with Manuel (Gil del Real) and Franz (Klarer) throughout the race. Unfortunately during lap three or four, I can't remember, I developed some sort of transmission leak and was losing quite a bit of grip so Manuel managed to make a late pass going into the Star Mazda turn. We continued to battle for a few more laps but then with, I believe two laps to go, he went off just before the esses which put me into 3rd. At that point I really had nobody in back of me or in front so I eased up on that last lap.
Big mistake! At the very last turn ("Sunset") before the front straight, out of nowhere comes Steve (Carvajal) who blows right by me. But I noticed that he was a bit offline so I was able to just get by him before the finish. For me, it was definitely the best part of the race.
On Sunday, I continued to have problems with the transmission leak and qualified dead last with a 2:04 something! I again had another great start and managed to beat Manuel going into turn one but I knew he would be coming back soon enough and he did. I battled it out for about 10 laps with a couple of ProTrucks and was able to get by them, I'm guessing somewhere in lap 10 or so. At that point I could see that Manuel was about 3 to 5 car lengths behind me and closing in under braking. On about the third to last lap Manuel made a last ditch effort and stood on the brakes hard going into turn 1 ("Sunrise") and punted me in the driver's side door with enough force to knock me out of gear. Thanks buddy! (Just kidding). Trying to grab a gear I saw Manuel and Franz speed off, so I grabbed whatever gear I could get and went off after them. I managed to make up a few car lengths and with them approaching traffic in sight I made one last effort to catch them in the "Bus Stop" section. With only about 5 car lengths left to make up I took a chance and buried the pedal going into the Bus Stop but got two wheels off on the exit and couldn't hold it together so I spun left across the track. Game over!
All in all, it was not a great weekend for me, but then again any weekend of racing is good, so they say. I also wish I had a little more practice time and a chance to follow Steve, Dave (Arnheiter) and Ed (Ochylski) who proved to be well above the rest.
I would also like to thank my crew for going the extra mile for me, and for getting me out without a DQ.
Manuel Gil del Real (MGR Racing #27 ASC Ford Taurus):
My in-car video version of the "punt" shows that I pulled alongside Scott, and he tried to close the door. I guess that he missed a gear when we touched. I think we could have both made it cleanly through the corner if he had stayed on the outside line... I was sorry to see him go a bit into the dirt. But I had a good time racing Scott all weekend. I guess it was a good way to balance results since on Saturday I'm the one who missed the shift right before the esses and he ended up passing me there for good.
My car wasn't handling very well at all on Sunday. I kept waiting for the tires to "come in" and they never did. One of the few times that I was desperately waiting for the checkered flag to drop!!