CMC Racing Round 11 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series Presented by RACER Magazine took place under the hot and humid sun of the Carolina Motorsports Park. With temperatures reaching up into the triple digits the drivers physical...
Round 11 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series Presented by RACER Magazine took place under the hot and humid sun of the Carolina Motorsports Park. With temperatures reaching up into the triple digits the drivers physical abilities would be put to the test on the 14-turn 2.235 mile road course. Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Winner Craig Baltzer faired well in qualifying posting a time of 1:46.128 which was good enough for 9th place on the grid. Baltzer's race ended early, only being able to complete 1 lap before getting caught up in the wreckage of Mexico's Luis Pelayo. The incident also ended Canadian Jason Richardson's day when an errant wheel from Pelayo's car damaged his front suspension forcing him into retirement.
"I was really happy after qualifying. I put in a good lap and knew that with a few passes in the early laps I would be able to run at the front. Unfortunately on the second lap coming out of turn 3, I was met by a huge cloud of dust. I saw pieces of a crashed car laying along the left side of the track so I figured to go right, trying to follow Gerardo (Bonilla) through. Once I penetrated the cloud though, Luis (Pelayo) was right in front of me. I jumped on the brakes and tried to move further right but it was too late. I made heavy impact with the right side of Pelayo's car. Thankfully I was able to walk away, and Luis only had minor injuries to his hand and leg. All I can do now is put it behind me and concentrate on scoring points in tomorrow's race."
Qualifying for round 12 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series Presented by RACER Magazine saw no relief from the extreme temperatures facing the drivers and their machinery. Iowa native Craig Baltzer posted a time of 1:47.168 during the 35 minute session which was good enough for a 14th place starting position in the 20 car field. As race number 2 kicked off, the opening lap again provided some fireworks as hot as the triple digit temperatures as 3 cars came together coming out of the first turn. This time Baltzer was able to capitalize on the chaos moving up 6 positions in the first lap, crossing the stripe for the first time in 8th. Baltzer, fresh off a grand national karting championship one week earlier then picked up 3 more spots in the 14-lap event, battling his way past Scott Speed, Al Unser and Ward Imrie, to record a 5th place finishing position as well as 11 championship points to add to his previous total of 62. The weekends net point total dropped Baltzer back one position to 9th in the overall point standings with only 1 round to go at Lime Rock Park October 11-12.
"I am extremely happy with the race today. I really needed a big race since I didn't score any points yesterday. I was able to capitalize on some mistakes and make a few passes to put me in a great points scoring position. I have really learned a lot from all the instructors and coaches at Skip Barber this year and I think this race demonstrated it. Even starting in 14th spot I was only 6 seconds off the leader at the end of the race. My consistency is there now and I am definitely ready to put myself on the top spot. I just need to put in a solid qualifying run followed by another solid performance in the race. I can not thank Skip Barber, Decal Works, and Lakefront Technologies enough for providing me with the support to run this great series. Nothing would make me happier then to show them how much I appreciate them with a podium result at the final round at Lime Rock."