This week we were at Atlanta Motor Speedway for 135 laps around this amazing race track.
Practice has Racers in the 31.1s as the rubber went down on the race track. Qualifying had Barry Neale lead the field with Paul Drady in 2nd and Ash Dodgson in 3rd.
On the race start Barry and Ash got a quick jump and then following cars set to follow to keep an eye on tyre wear. With Barry, Ash and Jason who started from 7th now in 3rd leading the field, we saw our first retirement in Brett Fisher with a spin but no yellow. Moments later Phil Bissett had a loose on the back straight and this had his car shooting up the track in front of Paul Drady and unfortunately collecting Shaun Doecke ending his race early.
Paul Jackson had a half spin in turn 3 but was able to keep going. Pit strategy would play a part and when the first people would come to stop and what affect that would have on the positions. The first of the cars came in on lap 40 and the last of them on lap 60, the two leaders at the time Martina and Neale a couple laps apart with good stops for both putting them back out in the lead. Mark Smiths gamble of a yellow didn’t pay off and he was 16 seconds back after the pit stop but he quickly caught and passed Dodgson who was carrying some damage.
The 2nd round of stops came between lap 90 and 100 with all the leaders pitting within 5 laps of each other that would have Neale and Martin battling for 1st and Dodgson and Smith for 3rd 15 seconds down the road. Mark Smith was able to get the pass on a wounded Dodgson but couldn’t make any ground on the leaders and what a battle up front it was with Barry Neale and Jason Martin nose to tail the entire stint. A lapped car almost caused a problem, but they were able to make it through and continue the battle to the checker.
Jason Martin surged passed Barry Neale late in the race for the win and the trophy.
Congratulations the top 3
Next week we are at New Hampshire and we look forward to seeing you all there