Moses scores 2 second place finishes at Thunderhill. Round Eight & Nine of the Star Mazda Series "West Coast Championship". Moses Smith is currently in first place in the series. He is also rated first place in the SoPac SCCA Formula Mazda...
Moses scores 2 second place finishes at Thunderhill.
Round Eight & Nine of the Star Mazda Series "West Coast Championship". Moses Smith is currently in first place in the series. He is also rated first place in the SoPac SCCA Formula Mazda points race, and third place in the Star Mazda North American series.
The West Coast Star Mazda Series headed to Thunderhill Raceway this past weekend for a double header. Thunderhill is located just North of Sacramento and is laid out through the rolling hills of Willows, CA. This track features a bit of everything from elevation changes, long straight aways, sweeping turns and tight hairpins. Thunderhill Raceway not only tests the driver but also the set-up on the car.
The race weekend started out on Saturday with an early testing session followed by the qualifying session for the first of two races. The race schedule offered very little track time. Most teams utilized the first session to get familiarized with the track and make sure that the set-up on the race vehicles be close.
During this first session the #76 HASA Pool Products car, driven by Moses Smith, was experiencing electrical problems. Even with these problems, Moses was able to post respectable times which placed him second on the timesheets. As the R-Sport team diagnosed these problems and entered the qualifying session, the problem had thought to be solved. During the qualifying session the car ran great.
"I am very impressed with Ron's ability to give such a great car with the limited amount of track time allowed." Moses commented about the qualifying session. He sat on pole with the fastest time until the last two minutes of qualifying, when HASA teammate Mike Anderson out qualified Moses placing the HASA team 1 and 2 on the grid. This line-up was going to make for an interesting race Sunday morning.
The busy Sunday provided the competitors with a race, followed by another qualifying session. As the grid formed for the Formula Mazda race, they were grouped with cars from another class. This meant a lot of lap traffic to contend with. As the competitors warmed tires and brakes, they also had to beware of the spacing between groups. As the cars rounded turn 15, they watched the starter for the heavily anticipated green flag.
As it waived Moses Smith and Mike Anderson raced for turn one. Both cars entered turn one, two and, three side by side, with Mike taking the lead. The two HASA teammates led the rest of the field nose to tail until lap traffic split the leaders. This is how the race remained until the checker flag.
With the second round of qualifying coming up, all teams were scrambling to get their cars ready. This session would find the HASA teammates on the front row again, a duplicate of yesterday's line-up. The race for this qualifying session would take place Monday morning. This gave the Teams and Competitors time to rest and prepare.
As Monday morning turned out to be 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the weekend, R-Sport made a few changes to the car to accommodate the set-up changes.
Unfortunately, as time arrived to line up for the race, Moses started experiencing more electrical problems. By the time the car made it to the grid, the officials had moved the #76 to the back of the pack.
"I was disappointed, but also a bit excited that I was going to have to do a lot of passing" Moses remarked about the decision made by the officials. As the green flag dropped for the second race, Moses had made up 8 positions of the 18-car field by turn 3.
"I knew that I needed to make up as many spots at the start as I could," clarified Moses. From this point forward, Moses drove hard, and was rewarded for his tremendous effort by passing all the way into second place by the checkered.
Many of the fans expressed the opinion that Moses deserved the Hard Charger Award. "I had a lot of fun working my way through the pack, but I really wanted to run with up front with Mike" Moses summarized. "R-sport made the right call with the changes before the race. That's why I was able to drive the car real hard through out the whole race".
The Star Mazda Championship points are very close after this weekend's competition, with Moses maintain his first place position by a mere ten points over Mike Anderson's second. This will make for some very exciting racing in the last two events at Pikes Peak International Raceway, and Laguna Seca Raceway.
The Star Mazda Series travels to Pikes Peak International Raceway with the IRL on June 16. This will be an Oval competition, which will increase the racing thrills.
Moses Smith won the last Star Mazda Oval event at Phoenix International Raceway, and hopes to continue this winning streak on ovals.