RACE: NASA: Dave Cynkin Fontana summary 2004-03-07

San Diego Racer Dave Cynkin Battles to Podium Finish in California Speedway Thriller FONTANA, CA, March 7, 2004 -Dave Cynkin brought home a hard-fought podium finish at the National Auto Sport Association (N.A.S.A) season opener at California...

San Diego Racer Dave Cynkin Battles to Podium Finish in California Speedway Thriller

FONTANA, CA, March 7, 2004 -Dave Cynkin brought home a hard-fought podium finish at the National Auto Sport Association (N.A.S.A) season opener at California Speedway. The San Diego-based entry into the notoriously heated Mazda SpecMiata Challenge road racing series made a come-from-behind charge, taking third place in the final turn of the race and nearly edging into second place at the finish line. Thirteen hundredths of a second separated Dave Cynkin's ImageFactory.us SpecMiata from the second place car, but that was only one of many thrilling close-calls that marked this race weekend as one to remember. Cynkin had rebounded from a tough race on Saturday, and contact with a tirewall which nearly put his car out of action for the weekend.

Sunday's race finale was action-packed to say the least. Cynkin qualified 5th, but at racetime, he quickly moved into 4th place and was running down the leaders when he witnessed the first Red flag event of the season. "I was setting up to pass the 3rd place car coming into Turn 5 when he lost control, hit the tirewall and flipped the car." The course crew and ambulance needed time to clear the course, so the field was returned to pit lane for a re-start to the race.

"Course officials mistakenly put the 4th place car in front of mine, and with little time left in the race, the pressure was on to fight my way back into a podium position", said Cynkin. The massive 70-car field was sent back out onto the track for a single pace lap before a frenzied sprint to the finish.

Narrowly avoiding collision after the re-start, Cynkin ran down the 2nd and 3rd place cars in the final few turns of the race. He describes the action: "I was inches off their side-by-side duel blasting down the infield straight into the esses, when the 3rd place car lost control and was hit, but stayed on course. Now we were three-wide going toward the last nasty hard left before the speedway section. I tucked in at the apex so I wouldn't nail anyone into the tirewall, but it didn't matter. We were going so fast the 3rd place car got scraped off our 3-pack by the tire barrier and the 2nd place car and I flew into the round left curve glued together nose-to-tail onto the front straight. The Checker came out and I ducked down lower from behind his bumper and got my car half way up next to his at the line. Thirteen hundredths of a second between my car and 2nd place. Well, I definitely earned that 3rd place spot back."

A worthy finish to an exciting race. Now, holding third place in series points, Dave is preparing for the next SpecMiata Challenge series stop at Buttonwillow Raceway in Bakersfield on April 3rd and 4th. It's been a successful start to the season for this San Diegan, having already finished on the podium in his first race in another series in January.

Said Dave Cynkin, "I'm thankful for the support from ImageFactory.us, Sparco safety equipment and Team Dynamics wheels. This has been a perfect start to the season, and being a new racer to the series, I'm very pleased with the podium finishes and the exposure I've been able to garner for those who help support the operation. If this first event is any indicator, this will be a very entertaining racing series, and a hotly contested championship."

-if.us-

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Series SCCA