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NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Takes Checkered Flag with Sunday Winners

9/9/2012
Lexington, Ohio (September 9, 2012) - The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) closed out its seventh annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend by awarding trophies in 21 classes today.

Group C (CMC, FFR, Spec Z)
From the drop of the green flag in the Factory Five Racing Class, Paul Arnold (Franklin, Tenn.) in the No. 5 Factory Five Racing (FFR) took the lead. Paul Kaiser (Roanoke, Va.) in the No. 8 FFR and defending FFR winner, spun on lap one. He had to make his way back to third by lap five, but was some 12-seconds behind Arnold. On lap seven Arnold spun of the track in his own oil handing the lead to No. 48 John George (Nashua, N.H.). Kaiser was taking almost a second-and-a-half out of George's lead as he recovered from his first lap spin heading to the front of the field. On lap 11 the field witnessed a full course caution, bunching the field together and putting Kaiser back in the hunt. On the restart George remained in the lead. As cars were going off the track Kaiser kept moving up the field, but could not catch George at the finish.

"Every time I would get a lead, the yellows would come out," George said. "The first restart Paul Kaiser got around me, and then I was able to get back bye. I was able to hold a gap until the next yellow and had to do it again. The car ran excellent, and I am really happy to win it."

In the inaugural NASA Championship running for the Nissan Spec Z Class, David Dirks (Loveland, Colo.) in the No. 76 Nissan 350Z and Jeremy Croiset (Techachapi, Calif.), No. 25 Nissan 350Z, were in a battle for the lead starting with the first lap. Croiset suffered a transmission issue in the qualifying race and was forced to start from the back of the Spec Z grid. On lap four Peter McIntosh (Howell, N.J.) joined the fight in his No. 3 Nissan 350Z. On the next lap, Dirks went wide in Turn Five handing the lead to Croiset. The full course yellow on lap 11 would bring the Spec Z field back together. At the restart Croiset used clean track to extend his lead by some 12-seconds to Dirks. On lap 16 No. 28 Richard Baldwin (Madison, La) got off track hitting the wall and went upside down in his 350Z, bringing out the second yellow. At the restart Croiset used the gap to cruise to a second NASA Championship win of the weekend, the first in Honda Challenge 2 yesterday.

"I started from the back of the grid," Croiset said. "At the start I was able to move up through the field and started to work on Dirks. It took me a good four or five laps to get him and then I lost the power steering. That made it tough to get the car to the end. It was a battle at the end to overcome some mechanical gremlins to get the car to the checker. I would have gone for the overall win in the Group, buy my mechanical issues toward the end had me playing it really cool. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt an FFR guys chance at a NASA Championship."

In CMC (Camaro, Mustang Challenge) Chris Ferraro (Huger, S.C.) and his No. 14 Ford Mustang was in a battle with the No. 67 Pontiac Firebird of Bob Denton (Eureka, ILL), with Derek Wright (Hampshire, ILL) running in third ready to take advantage of any misstep in his No. 913 Chevrolet Camaro. Anders Sjoblom (Clinton Township, Mich.) who started from the rear in his No. 65 Ford Mustang was shown in second place under the second full-course caution period. Ferraro was able to hold off Sjoblom for the CMC Class win.

"It was tough," Ferraro said. "We started from the second row and anticipated the start and was able to jump out front. We got a nice little lead and I began to pace myself. The first yellow was a good thing. It allowed me to cool the tires down. On the restart the guys behind me got a great restart. I got slowed by an FFR car. The second restart I got bounced around, got hit in the front and rear. I drove hard and took it home. It was nice that Anders Sjoblom came back to give me a rematch."

Group D (Spec 986, 944 Spec, Spec E30)
In Spec 986 Thomas Jones (Frisco, Tx) in the No. 40 Porsche Boxster jumped out to an eight-second lead from the drop of the green flag. By lap 12 Jones had raced out to a 13-second lead over Paul Alexandre (Potomac Falls, Va) in the No. 615 Boxster. Alexandre was engaged in a battle for second and third with Bernard Nussbaumer (Dallas, Tx) in his No. 333 Boxster.

"Fantastic race," Jones said. "The car performed flawlessly and very smooth today. There is four of us here from Texas, we race and push each other really hard. This track suits my driving style, very technical. Going through the traffic staying away from the other class competitors was a little taxing, but everyone was gentlemanly today. It was a great day."

In 944 Spec the No. 80 of Eric Kuhns (Sterling, ILL) and the No. 4 of Tyler Palmer (Oceanside, Calif.) were locked in a battle in the opening laps of the race. The two combatants ran nose to tail for the first third of the race. Palmer took the lead and put four seconds on Kuhns. Kuhns had some 16 seconds on the third-place car of Dan Pina (Streamwood, ILL) in his No. 149 Porsche 944.

"In the beginning I was stuck behind Erik Kuhns," Palmer said. "His car started to fade away. My car was better towards the end. I passed him and left everybody else. The start was a little anxious, but I felt pretty comfortable in taking it to the win."

Jeremy Lucas (Delaware, OH) started his No. 53 BMW 325 from the Spec E30 pole, but gave up the lead to the BMW of No. 7 Anthony Magagnoli (Florence, Ky) on lap two. Magagnoli began to gap the field as Lucas was battling with the No. 116 of Simon Hunter (Fishers, Ind.). On lap six Hunter took over the lead into Turn One and began to gap the field by nine seconds. The No. 22 of Charlie Hayes (Walnut Creek, Calif.) joined the fight battling with Lucas for second place. On lap 12 Hayes took over second from Lucas. In the last third of the race Ryan Ciechanski (Chelsea, Mich.) in the No. 56 BMW, who started back in the eighth position, joined the fight for a podium finish.

"It was a long race," Magagnoli said. "I was focused on putting fast laps together the whole time. This was not just one race. We had two races before this that put me in a position to start upfront when it really counted. The track was a little slippery today. I adjusted to it and was able to finish out front."

Group I (STR, SU, PTA)
On lap two a full caution flew in the race. In Super Unlimited No.08 Ralph Provitz (Macomb, Mich.) in his Stauda S08 had a four-second lead erased that he amassed at the drop of the green. Provitz was being chased by the 8 of Michael Bagnoli (Lafayette, Ind.) in his Speads RS11 and the No. 31 Knoop Mann Special of Rick Knoop (Los Angeles, Calif.). On lap 14 Knoop dropped out with apparent engine trouble. On lap 14 Bagnoli caught Provitz and the pair began swapping the overall lead of the race. Bagnoli was able to take the win with Provitz second and Burt Frisselle (Aspen, Colo.) in the No. 18 RCR Eagle coming in third.

"It was a great race," Bagnoli said. "We were lucky to get out in front of all the big heavy cars at the start. Even at the restart, we are to have to fight those heavy cars with the big horsepower. Ralph is a phenomenal driver who has been faster than me all week. I was lucky enough to stay out front. Once I got bye him it was foot to the floor to the finish line. It was a blast!"

David Pintaric (Canfield, OH) in his No. 40 Dodge Viper drew away from the pack in STR1. In second the No. 61 of Scott Welham (Louisville, Ky.) was in pursuit of Pintaric in his No. 61 Viper.

"My run was pretty uneventful," Pintaric said. "I had worked a little harder than I thought having Scott (Welham) behind me. The start was dicey. Chris DeSalvo did a great job by not making a small incident a big one. I was able to negotiate around him and take the lead."

Geffrey Sawtelle (Neshkoro, Wis) led early in his No. 222 Chevrolet Corvette in STR2. Dean Martin (Westland, Mich.) in his No. 50 Mustang was in pursuit of Sawtelle. On lap 14 Martin caught Sawtelle on the front stretch. Sawtelle was driving defensively. Coming into the Carousel the two side-by-side when the No. 08 of Provitz cut inside and had contact with Martin, sending Martin off track and ending his bid for the STR2 win.

"It was absolutely fantastic today," Sawtelle said. "I started the race in sixth and was able to get a couple of guys on the start. I benefitted from a blown motor down the front stretch. When I got into the lead, I was able to cruise. It was a fantastic day for racing. My time-trial experience really paid off today. Thank you to Debbie, I love you very much."

David Ziegler (Baltimore,OH) was able to make easy work of the PTA class in his No. 85 Chevrolet Corvette. The No. 01 Corvette of Kevin Harvey (Mooresville, N.C.) ran second with the No. 153 Chevrolet Corvette of Rory Alsberg (Fremont, Wis.) in third.

"It was a very exciting start," Ziegler said. "There was a pack of STR2 cars in front that went three wide. I had to check back and a couple of cars got past me. I got through the traffic and reeled him in to get the lead. After that I was on cruise control."

Group J (PTB, PTC, PTD, PTE, PTF)
In Group J Emilio Cervantes (Lake Forest, Calif.) got out to an early lead in his orange No. 49 Mazda Miata and drove away from the field.

Emilio Cervantes, Lake Forest, Calif., No. 49 Mazda Miata won PTC. "It wasn't easy. Once I got out in front I was able to check out. The other guys in C knew I had a fast car. I was doing the time trial this weekend, so they could spy on me. I was a second, to a second and a half faster all week. There is at least one car in C that had a bunch more top-end speed. His only hope was to punch by me on the start. I was able to hold him off. Kevin Boehm in the Acura was fast as well. To win against him means a lot to me, he is a fast driver."

Eric Waddell, Logan, OH, No. 13X Honda Civic won PTE. "Everything just worked out today. The traffic worked to my advantage and I just brought it home. There were a couple moments coming through traffic at the start, but everything worked out today."

Egidijus Sadauskas, Lemont, ILL, No. 707 Honda Civic won PTB. "They gave me a race for my money. Coming through the corners and passing lap traffic was a hassle. I made it and I am really happy. On the back straight they would pass me and then in the corner I would get back bye. Then you have the Mustangs pushing you around. It was definitely tough."

Joshua Allan, LaVerne, Calif., No. 27X Mazda MX-5 won PTD. "It was an incredible race. The Civic of Eric Ross was on my tail the whole time. He was even ahead at a few points. I got some lucky breaks. I passed him out of Turn One and then in Turn Seven he was right up on me again. The Robert Davis Racing Team was great. I also want to thank Mothers Polishes for their help this weekend as well."

Michael Weber, Mount Prospect, ILL, No. 777 Infinity G20 won PTF. "It was tough at the start, I got jumped by the third-place guy at the start. The start was very dicey, with cars everywhere. I was able to use some traffic in Turn One to get by him. After that it was smooth sailing."

2012 NASA Championship Winners:
Group A:
American Iron, Dean Martin, Westland, Mich., No. 50 Ford Mustang
American Iron Xtreme, Chris Griswold, Helenville, Wis., No. 71 Ford Mustang
STR One, Scott Wellham, Louisville, Ky., No. 61 Dodge Viper
STR Two, James Forbis, Huntington Beach, Calif., No. 69 Chevrolet Corvette

Group B:
Honda Challenge One, Jason Kohler, Waterford, Mich., No. 848 Honda S2000
Honda Challenge Two, Jeremy Croiset, Tehachapi, Calif., No. 25 Honda CRX

Group E:
Spec Miata, Yiannis Tsiounis, New York, NY, No. 69 Mazda Miata

Group G:
GTS 1, Jean-Pierre Verbunt , Ancaster, Ont. Can., No. 894 Porsche 944
GTS 2, John Graber, Bay Village, OH, No. 643 Porsche 944
GTS 3, Steve Ott, Houston, Tx, No. 172 Porsche Boxster
GTS 4, Randy Mueller, Miami, Fla., No. 0 BMW M3

Group C:
Factory Five Racing, John George, Nashua, N.H., No. 48 Factory Five Racing
Camaro Mustang Challenge, Chris Ferraro, Huger, S.C., No. 14 Ford Mustang
Nissan Z, Jeremy Croiset, Tehachapi, Calif., No. 25 Nissan 350Z

Group D:
944Spec, Tyler Palmer, Oceanside, Calif., No. 4 Porsche 944
SpecE30, Anthony Magagnoli, Florence, Ky, No. 7 BMW 325
Spec986, Thomas Jones, Frisco, Tex., No. 40 Porsche 986

Group F Time Trial:
TTB, Jason Kohler, Waterford, Mich., No. 848 Honda S2000
TTC, Emilio Cervantes, Lake Forest, Calif., No. 49 Mazda Miata
TTD, Bill Brees Bay Village, OH, No. 138 Mazda Protege
TTE, Jeffrey Preston, Lexington, Ky., No. 417 Mazda Miata

Group H Time Trial:
TTA, Benjamin Lesnak, Brooklyn, NY, No. 99 Chevrolet Corvette
TTR, Tage Evanson, Scottsdale, Ariz., No. 102 Radical SR8
TTS, Aaron Byram, Toledo, OH, No. 921 Honda
TTU, Terry Free, Santa Ana, Calif., No. 548 Chevrolet Corvette

Group I:
PTA, David Ziegler, Baltimore, OH, No. 85 Chevrolet Corvette
Super Unlimited, Michael Bagnoli, Lafayette, Ind., No. 8 Speads RS11
STR1, David Pintaric, Canfield, OH, No. 40 Dodge Viper
STR2, Geffrey Sawtelle, Neshkoro, Wis., No. 222 Chevrolet Corvette

Group J:
PTB, Egidijus Sadauskas, Lemont, ILL, No. 707 Honda Civic
PTC, Emilio Cervantes, Lake Forest, Calif., No. 49 Mazda Miata
PTD, Joshua Allan, La Verne, Calif., No. 27X Mazda MX-5
PTE, Eric Waddell, Logan, OH, No. 13X Honda Civic
PTF, Michael Weber, Mount Prospect, ILL, No. 777 Infinity G20

Complete results from the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires from Mid-Ohio can be viewed at http://www.nasaproracing.com/liveresults/champs.

For additional information, please contact NASA Championships Media Director, Kyle Chura at kyle@kcapr.com or (248) 821-0468. More detail can be found at www.nasaproracing.com or www.nasachampionships.com.
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