Fast Times at the American Stock Car Challenge Season Opener at Willow Springs Rosamond, CA. February 12, 2006: Just as most of the ASC machinery was starting to cool down from a steaming 2005 season, race action returned in full strength to ...
Fast Times at the American Stock Car Challenge Season Opener at Willow Springs
Rosamond, CA. February 12, 2006: Just as most of the ASC machinery was starting to cool down from a steaming 2005 season, race action returned in full strength to Willow Springs for the ASC 2006 Season Opener. The majority of the teams took advantage of Friday's open practice to test their equipment, and log as much data as possible before the first qualifying session on Saturday.
During Friday's practice, the new GoodYear spec tire D2603 proved real fast out of the box. Last year's champion, Scott Ivie, was not able to participate due to a scheduling conflict, however, Ken Stinnett, driving last year's championship winning car #47 Dodge was able to clock several lap times in the 1:24s and even an unofficial 1:23.8 (around two seconds below the qualifying time in 2005). As the day progressed, however, the new tire longevity started to become an issue. With tires wearing out fast, most teams realized that it was best to use more conservative chassis setups and sacrifice a few tenths per lap in order to ensure excessive tire wear wouldn't affect their performance at the end of the race.
Friday also proved to be a good test of endurance and perseverance for a few teams. Belinda Endress suffered engine failure while driving Carvajal Motorsports #90 Chevy Monte Carlo. Manuel Gil del Real broke the transmission of his #27 Symbolic Ford Taurus, and several other teams also endured a number of mechanical issues throughout the day, forcing crews to work long hours into the night to have their car ready for Saturday. Series newcomers, Keith Drake and Dennis Hannel also had their hands full working on their racecars to have them ready by race time.
Saturday morning saw 12 stockcars ready by qualifying time. Robert Davis driving the #63 Clampitt's Racing Chevy Monte Carlo drove a perfect lap in 1:24.2 putting him on the Pole position with three tenths to spare over Ken Stinnett who ended up just outside the pole in second place. David Arnheiter in the #62 Chevy Monte Carlo, #27 Manuel Gil del Real, and #25 Michael Arnheiter...