The final Spec Miata field was ready for NASA's first ever event at HPT. The Spec Miata field was comprised of Joel Karns and Zane and Warren Dexter.
The temps were in the forties and fifties for warm ups and qualifying. The cars made good power in the cool weather but the tires struggled to reach proper temps. This combination created some very loose driving conditions. Zane took the pole with Warren and Joel in the next spots.
Race 1: The green flag fell and Karns quickly used his experience at Heartland Park to put pressure on the Dexters. In the opening laps Karns made several strong passing attempts and was able to sneak by on the inside of Zane at corner 3. Karns then separated from the group and was able to put a PTE Miata in between him and the group but a corded tire reared its ugly head and was then repassed by Zane and Warren and that is how the race finished.
Race 2: This race started with the same order as the first. The green flag fell and the craziness began. An ST2 car spun in turn 1 causing a melee (thankfully no contact was made). Zane came out the worst as he fell to the back of the pack with Joel and Warren and a PTE Miata dicing for position. The racing was intense between the PTE Miata Warren, with Karns closely following. Once again, old tires failed Karns as they did not allow him to keep pace after a few laps. The hard racing between Warren and the PTE Miata allowed Zane to eventually catch up. After several laps of hard racing Zane managed to pass the PTE Miata and reel in Warren who was suffering also from a corded tire. Zane was able to get inside Warren in corner 3 for the pass. The finishing order was the same as the first race.
Saturday night was the year end awards banquet. Warren was thrilled to receive the Rookie of the year award as he had a perfect season with 8 total race wins. The other big news was the announcement of Zane Dexter as the NASA Central Region Spec Miata Series Director.
Sundays Fun Race 1 was a pursuit race in which the Dexters participated. Warren started with a small lead and consistently ran quicker laps than Zane. The racing was great fun with the fast cars starting in the back. The Spec Miata drivers really had to watch the mirrors for the ST1 cars that had to lap the field twice. Warren finished fin ront of Zane. Fun Race 2 was on a new configuration for the afternoon, and midway through the race a competition caution was thrown and the racetrack was again reconfigured giving racers only 1 pace lap on the new configuration. This was HPT's first ever mid race track reconfiguration.
All in all it was a very fun race weekend with good racing, multiple track configurations and great weather. We are already looking forward to the high banks of St. Louis in the Spring. Thanks to everyone for a great season and looking forward to 2013.
Please check our website (www.drivenasacentral.com) for when we will have our off season party in early 2013.
Round 8 Recap: HPT (2012 Season Ending Event)
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