Yet another great race weekend with NASA Rocky Mountain! La Junta may not seem like a technical track, but its complex braking zones proved to be difficult to master, and very rewarding when you do. Andrew DeJesus found this out as he shattered our previous 1:00.852 track record with a 59.904 on Saturday, and then improved that to a 59.883 on Sunday!
Saturday’s points race started with excitement as a car in another class tried to pass another in the dirt, creating a huge dust cloud that blinded our entire field. As our racers navigated through it, they came out in a different running order, with Weston Pawlowski taking the lead from Andrew DeJesus. By Lap 2, DeJesus was working on retaking the lead, with birthday boy Chris Venturini close behind. As DeJesus rocketed through the bumpy braking zone approaching Turn 3 in his attempt to elude Venturini and put pressure on Pawlowski, he ended up leaving the track surface in spectacular fashion, which ultimately put him a lap down on this short track. Most of the racing action was then between Paul Heffron, Chuck Taylor, and John Brandow as they entertained the crowd with their expert battle for 3rd.
Sunday’s race would be an interesting one, with Andrew DeJesus starting in the back due to missing the qualifying race while tending to other duties, along with Chris Venturini who had a mechanical issue. As DeJesus worked his way through traffic, Venturini unfortunately had his axle issue reoccur and take him out of the running. A few laps in, DeJesus was positioning himself to take the lead from Weston Pawlowski. Running nose-to-tail lap after lap, the tires kept getting hotter and the driving a bit more slippery… it felt like it was only a matter of time until we saw the pass! But then without warning, DeJesus suddenly fell back, in what was obviously some sort of problem with the car. Fortunately, he wasn’t completely done and was able to complete the race at part throttle, having already earned himself enough of a gap to maintain his 2nd place position.