Since my last blog entry things have really taken off for the 16th Street Racing League. Our race this past Tuesday truly showed how much our internet exposure these past few weeks has raised our stock.
Tuesday evening started out like all of our other race nights. I opened the practice room at 7PM (EST) and 10-12 of our regular drivers immediately showed up to begin testing. I stepped out to dinner for about 40 minutes and I was completely shocked when I returned. WE HAD 33 CARS! We’ve never had that many on a road course and the only race we’ve had more cars was our PSRTV.COM broadcast event at Michigan International Speedway.
Ryan Murray, 16th Street Racing League Champion (Spring 2010 Season), showed he was as strong as ever on the road courses during qualifying. Ryan took the pole with a blistering 1:31.653 followed closely by his teammates Tim Holgate and Bryan Heitkotter. Very impressive considering IndyCar drivers Will Power (P4), AJ Foyt IV (P15), Larry Foyt (P19), US F2000 points leader Sage Karam, and former Nationwide Series racer Kyle Krisiloff (P11) all showed up to race around the Glen with us. Qualifying was no easy task with so many cars. I felt like every time I would get a good lap going I would have to slow to avoid another car, throwing my flying lap away. I never really got a great lap in and qualified a disappointing 13th position with a 1:34.057.
For many, the race was over quickly. As we took the green flag Sage Karam misjudged the closing rate on the cars in front and ran into the back of Kyle Krisiloff sending himself, Kyle, and Tim Doyle into the fence and ending their day before turn one (a close call for me as I started directly behind Kyle).
I made up some positions after missing the accident and by the time we had reached “the boot” I was in 8th position gaining on Will Power with Tony George Jr filling up my mirrors. I unfortunately went into “ego mode” and was doing everything I could to catch the leaders and ended up making a mistake on lap 8 forcing me to retire from the race.
Ryan Murray, Bryan Heitkotter, Russel Hodgson, and Tim Holgate took off and continued to battle for the remainder of the race. Pit stops spread the leaders out and it seemed that Ryan Murray would repeat as the winner at Watkins Glen. With three laps to go Ryan realized that he was short on fuel. He immediately backed off his pace attempting to get better fuel mileage. He managed to hold the lead until the last lap when Bryan Heitkotter and Russell Hodgson both managed to overtake.
Ryan was able to sputter around and finish a remarkable 3rd place giving his teammate, Bryan, the race win in just his third 16STRL race. Russell Hodgson finished in 2nd place in his 16th Street debut.
Round #3 at Watkins Glen was a first for us and hopefully we continue to draw the same size fields. This coming Tuesday (June 29th) we will be racing at Road Atlanta. Stay tuned for updates!
For full race result and to see where the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers finished go here: Race Scoring and Results