Sheehan wins shortened USTCC race in Virginia . This was the first time that the USTCC has traveled this far east. The drivers were met with beautiful scenery and hot weather. The top three cars in first round qualifying were all within a second...
Sheehan wins shortened USTCC race in Virginia .
This was the first time that the USTCC has traveled this far east. The drivers were met with beautiful scenery and hot weather. The top three cars in first round qualifying were all within a second of each other. Leading the way was newcomer and West Virginia local Chuck Caiola in his BMW M3, followed by Gary Sheehan's Subaru of America WRX, and David Lang in his Miracle Auto Painting-Napa Honda Prelude.
During the second round of qualifying, the results shifted dramatically. Gary Sheehan and his Subaru took the pole by being over two seconds faster than the rest of the field. Gary Hutto took second place on the grid in his Global Motorsports Group BMW 328i and third place on the grid went to Dave Davis in his Davis Acura Integra, followed by Thomas Lepper in his Impact Engineering Honda Accord and David Lang to round out the top five. Unfortunately, first round pole setter Chuck Cajola did not get to actually start the race. In one of the practice sessions, Caiola lost control of his M3 and rolled it. Apparently the steering column had broken or come loose, causing the accident.
Due to the different classes of cars running with the Virginia NASA region, the USTCC was unable to do their exciting standing start. Taking the green in the rolling start format, Sheehan's WRX jumped to the lead ahead of the pack. Getting the best start for any competitor this season was Ali Arsham in his GoGoGear.com Honda Civic. Arsham went from sixth position to second, right behind Sheehan's WRX, to take over second place, thus clinching the FLUIDYNE Cool Move of the Race award. This was mainly due to an incident involving Davis and Hutto when the two had body contact in the first turn. Both continued without damage but by this time lots of time was lost. This was all for not because Arsham's Civic ran wide off course, dropping back to seventh place at turn 5. At the end of the first lap, it was Sheehan's WRX, followed by Hutto's BMW and Lang's Prelude in third. Sheehan had built a three-second lead over the field when Hutto's BMW turned up the wick and closed the gap to within half of a second. Further back, Lepper in his Accord was playing catch-up from last place, due to being caught behind traffic at the start, when Lang's Prelude hit the rev limiter, causing Lepper to take evasive action, which allowed the field to pass Lepper by. Lepper had worked his way to sixth position and was right behind Corey Jacobs' Honda Prelude. Lepper made a great pass around Jacobs', taking over the fifth spot. Elsewhere on the track a big battle was brewing between Arsham's Civic and the Davis Integra. Arsham was in fourth place and Davis wanted it and made a great move to get under Arsham at Turn 11 for a clean pass. Arsham would not let go and took advantage of some lapped traffic to get around Davis on lap 7 and take back the fourth position.
During lap seven, the Integra belonging to Dave Davis and a Nissan Sentra both had engine failures on the same lap, putting oil down on the track. This forced the race officials to cancel the remaining session. Since the USTCC teams had completed eight laps, which was exactly halfway, the race was called "official", so at the "BLACK FLAG", not the checkered, it was Gary Sheehan's Subaru of America WRX, taking his second win of the year and collected $3720.00. Gary Hutto in the Global Motorsports Group BMW 328i took second place and $1765.00, while David Lang in his Miracle Auto Painting-Napa took third place and $935.00. Rounding out the top five was Ali Arsham's Gogogear.com Honda Civic, Thomas Lepper's Impact Engineering Honda Accord, Dave Davis' Acura Integra, and Corey Jacob's Prelude taking seventh place.
<pre> USTCC Round Three Summit Point Raceway June 22-23, 2002 Pos Veh# Name Model Best Time Laps Points Prize 1 72 GARY SHEEHAN Subaru WRX 1:26.661 8 110 $3,270 2 18 GARY HUTTO BMW 328i 1:25.943 8 90 $1,305 3 9 DAVID LANG Honda Prelude 1:27.456 8 85 $735 4 33 ALI ARSHAM Honda Civic 1:27.751 8 80 $900 5 21 THOMAS LEPPER Honda Accord 1:29.239 8 75 $450 6 48 DAVE DAVIS Acura Integra 1:27.137 7 70 0 DNS 20 COREY JACOBS Honda Prelude 1:29.658 7 69 0 DNS 27 CHUCK CAIOLA BMW M3 0 0 DNS 35 TOM PITRE Acura Integra 0 0 DNS 49 NEIL VANNI Honda Civic 0 0 DNS 10 BOB SPEAKMAN Nissan 240SX 0 0