You won't believe what Spec Miata racer Dean Busk pulled off this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway. We heard the rumor so we had to check with the man himself. When we found out his experience in the rain, or lack thereof, we had to understand what he did to prepare. Check out the tips he reveals.
Mr. Busk, congratulations on winning your Spec Miata race, in the rain, at the SCCA Majors Western Conference Tour this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway. We heard this was your first race in the rain?
This was my very first race on rain tires and in the rain. I was very happy just to get through the race with no damage to myself and others.
Well, weâ€™re glad you got through without damage and am sure many others are too! After completing your first rain race, what tips do you have for others?
Well, I don't really think I am qualified to give other racers suggestions just yet. While in Phoenix, before I went to the track, I was watching the weather forecast. Seeing the possibility for rain, I made sure all wipers were in good shape, the spray bottle was filled and all systems worked.
Wise checklist. And how did the prep go the morning of the race?
Prior to the Sundayâ€™s race, I applied Rain-X to the windshield and proceeded to leave the pit area to go up to the grid. As I was driving, I pulled the handle down to turn on my wiper blades and voila...nothing! My wiper blades were not functioning. You talk about discouraging... we all know the feeling when something doesn't go as expected. You put a lot of time and energy into something and then this happens. I didn't know what to think and I knew I had to put myself in a better frame of mind before the race.
Rich Powers, our crew chief, basically told me to suck it up and go out and race hard.
Interesting strategy; weâ€™re glad it worked! So hindsight being 20/20, what would you have done differently or suggest to others?
A couple thoughts that would be noteworthy for new racers: First, put on Rain-X on the outside and anti-fog Rain-X on the inside of the windshield. If it wasn't for that product being on the car, I absolutely know I would not have made it through the race. Second, find out who has a lot of experience driving in those types of conditions and try to work with him or her (preferably in a practice session and not in the big race). I followed a very experienced driver and teammate (Steve Powers) for much of the race and he showed me the braking points and which line to follow.
Many thanks go out to that father and son team.
Post race interview
Auto Cluc Speedway, Dean Busk: A Show of Brilliance
Posted 02-02-2016 11:37 AM
Posted 02-02-2016 11:38 AM
Western Conference Rounds 1 & 2: Battles More than the Competition
The SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour opened up 2016 competition with Round One at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, and Round Two on Sunday, in Fontana, Calif. Rain (Sunday) and shine (Saturday), the weather and drivers challenged one another with rare unpredictably in Southern California. In the end, Mazda competitors proved their mettle, taking four wins on Saturday and six on Sunday.
Clement LeeFollowing a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning qualifying session to set the grids, each of the 28 Runoffs eligible classes raced in 25-minute timed races on Saturday on the combination high banked oval and infield road course in the Southern California facility.
On Saturday, the track was fast, especially early in the day. Five drivers in the opening group reset their class track records, with Jason Isley (H Production), Oscar Jackson, Jr. (Super Touring Lite), John Bower (GT-Lite), Jeff Barrow (B-Spec) and piloting a Mazda RX-8, Tom Wickersham (Touring 4) taking home the honors. All but Bower also took a race win.
Spec Miata took advantage of drafting, with three cars remaining out front in the final half of the race, and with all three taking turns in the lead. The official leader on lap five was the No. 80 RM Autosports/Oakley/Crow Enterprizes Spec Miata, but Steven Powers used the draft to move his No. 45 Amerifirst Financial/miatacage.com/East Street Racing Miata into the lead a lap later. With Powers in front of the field, he and Clement Leeâ€™s No. 33 RM Autosports Miata made side to side contact in a racing incident, with Powers holding the top spot.
Dean Buskâ€™s No. 7 Commercial Brokers, Inc. Miata made the fight a four way battle at the white flag, with Lee now in front after making the pass stick with two to go. Lee, pictured above, led the way on the final lap, followed closely by Powers and Dickerson.
Formula Atlantic driver Howard Sklar, Sonoma, Calif., piloting the Formula Speed/Mazda-powered race took a class win; GT-3 class winner, Mike Henderson, Alpine, Calif., took the victory in his Mazda RX-7; and Tom Wickersham from Piedmont, Calif., drove his Mazda RX-8 to victory in Touring 4. (Full disclosure, Tom is so talented, he won even in a Ford Mustang in Touring 2, while also earning a spot on the overall podium against faster cars in which Touring 1 and 2 also competed. Simply, we are glad he also drives for us!)
While the track was fast on Saturday, Sunday brought the rain and an opportunity for drivers to demonstrate their full range of driving skills.
Spec Miata competitors may have given the best opportunity to show off their skills as they, perhaps, experienced the worst of the weather conditions. No fewer than four front runners spun while battling for the lead, including eventual winner Dean Busk. Busk looped his No. 7 Commercial Brokers Spec Miata early, but used othersâ€™ misfortune to work back to the lead. With two to go, Busk was battling a hard charging the No. 11 Mazda Miata of Justin Hall. Hall got side by side with Busk coming out of the final turn, but Busk got the run and to the checkered flag first.
While the Spec Miata drivers had their hands full, Mazda competitors in other classes rose to the occasion. E Production racer Anthony (Tony) Jimerson from Benecia, Calif., piloting his Mazda RX-7, took home the checkered; Formula Atlantic driver Howard Sklar from Sonoma, Calif., wheeling his Formula Speed/Mazda powered-machine, took the class win; Formula Mazda National Champ Mike Anderson from Anza, Calif., drove his Formula Mazda to a class victory. Champion Mike Henderson from Alpine, Calif. in his Mazda RX-7 took the GT-3 win; and the Touring 4 victory went to Scotty White, Auburn, Wash., in his Mazda RX-8. Mazda congratulates the winners and all the competitors for their grit.
The Western Conference Majors Tour continues with Round Three and Four at Willow Springs International Raceway, February 20-21. More information on the SCCA Majors Tour, including event results and race winner interviews, can be found at SCCA.com.
Posted 02-02-2016 11:07 PM
Auto Cluc Speedway. That is classic! Better than Fontucky.
Dean Busk and Steve Powers were pretty dominant this last weekend, Weather played a huge factor but they prevailed through some truly ugly conditions. Clement Lee and Dakota Dickerson were stout as always and keeping Dean and Steve honest. These four guys were the class of the field and it could have been anyone's race. Nobody works harder than Dean and he made it happen even after a spin early on in the Sunday race. Gutsy drive. Congrats bud! Shout out for Justin Hall. Justin is driving a 1.6 and making a lot of peeps look slow. Really slow...
- Joe (dad) Jordan likes this
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