ProTruck/ASC round two notes

Protruck Vs American Stockcar Challenge Round 2 At California Speedway: March 6-7, 2004 at California speedway will be a hard event to forget. The sanctioning body National Auto Sport Association (NASA) had a really great turnout. With the mix...

Protruck Vs American Stockcar Challenge Round 2 At California Speedway:

March 6-7, 2004 at California speedway will be a hard event to forget. The sanctioning body National Auto Sport Association (NASA) had a really great turnout. With the mix of all walks of racing, we had a very colorful crowd. From formula cars to drifters, the event had something for every racing spectator's taste. The weather was perfect on Saturday with blue skies and about 80 degrees. Sunday was the same plus about 10 mph winds.

Saturday's qualifying was a test of the driver's ability to maneuver through traffic. With the different groups that we had on the track with us, it was a bit crowded. However racing is racing, traffic or not, so the group drove to the best of their abilities. The Porsche guys were the fastest filling up the first 5 spots, then it was Ken Stinnett in a Protruck, Jim Swartzbaugh#17 (Protruck), and in third was Guy Drier #13x (AIX).

Saturday's racing started with some obstacles. An incident in an earlier group delayed the start and caused the group to drive as the sun was setting which makes for very bad visibility through a plexiglass windshield. The first turn collected 3 or 4 cars, then the third turn collected two more on the first lap. Drivers did not seem to settle down any and the race ended under full course yellow. Mark Cross #03(Protruck) won the ASC VS. Protruck challenge followed by Ed Ochylski #55 (ASC), followed in turn by Manuel Gil Del Real #27 (ASC). Saturday was an exciting day for the spectator but in the eyes of many drivers, not a day to be proud of.

Due to the wind, Sunday morning started with everyone scrambling to take their temporary shades down. During qualifying almost everyone stayed out of trouble, except for Ken Stinnett #31 (Protruck) who went for a wild ride. He made contact with an ASC car at about 140 MPH which caused him to nose into the wall and flip over. Ken was alright, he credits the HANS device for saving his life. Ken is about 6'4 and 280LBS of muscle. He said that he couldn't control his arms and head from flailing around in the cab. WEAR YOUR SAFETY GEAR. We are proud to report that the truck he was in performed exactly how it was designed to. They say in NASCAR that the worst crashes are the ones where nothing breaks. When nothing on the car breaks-away that means that the driver feels the full impact of the crash. With the exception of the cab, Ken's truck took all of the impact and left him without any injury. Another testimonial on how safe the trucks really are.

Sunday's race was tainted with the reality of Ken's accident and the whole race went without incident. The drivers all agreed to stay cool and avoid making risky moves. It really turned out to be a great race. My experience of the race was never dull. At any given time I had three cars around me. I had a fun battle with Donn Cross #41 (Protruck) where I could go side by side with him anywhere while keeping our racing clean. I had a great time and the race ended with Mark Cross #03 (Protruck) taking the win again followed by Manuel Gil Del Real #27 (ASC) and Ed Ochylski #55 (ASC).

This race weekend was a great deal of fun but it did keep the racers on their toes. The race officials from NASA had a lot on their plate and did an exceptional job organizing another great event. The next race is April 3-4 at Buttonwillow and we hope to see you all out there!

-Nathan Swartzbaugh-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Nathan Swartzbaugh