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    NASA Announces Innovative New Affordable Prototype Series at PRI Show

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    NP Series will run the all-new NP01

    Indianapolis, IN —The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) unveiled today during the PRI Show an exciting new prototype series that will be called the NASA Prototype series (NP). The NP series will debut in fall of 2015.  The NP series is a collaborative effort between NASA and Élan Technologies that will feature an all-new affordable prototype racing car called the NP01.  The goal of the NP series is to give rise to the most affordable prototype class ever created.

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    NASA partnered with Élan Technologies to design and construct the NP01. Élan will build each NP01to order and ship them either as an easily assembled kit or completed vehicle per the customer’s request. The NP01will be unlike anything currently available in motor racing. With an introductory complete kit price of just $59,995, the affordable new prototype will feature a closed cockpit design for increased driver protection. The NP01 weighs just 1550 Lbs. and boasts an estimated top speed of 155mph. The NP01 will be powered by a sealed 185-horsepower, 2-liter Mazda power plant mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission.

     “The NP Series will feature a brand new spec prototype chassis designed specifically around the goals that make NASA competition so attractive to competitors – easy access to local racing with the chance to compete for a season ending class championship,” said Ryan Flaherty, NASA National Chairman. “The NP Series will offer something unique in all of motorsports: the opportunity to race a prototype style vehicle designed from the ground up to be fast, fun, safe, and most importantly affordable. This new series is exclusive to NASA. Drivers will be able to compete at over 150 NASA sanctioned events nationwide. The series will visit many of the country’s greatest racing venues with the opportunity to run for a NASA Championship crown at either Virginia International Raceway or Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The NP01 will feature an innovative rules package focused on performance, affordability, cost containment, and driving ability.”

    “The power-to-weight-ratio will make quick work of any straightaway before approaching the corner where drivers will appreciate the downforce produced by the front splitter, rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing,” said Mark Sanderson of Élan Technologies. The NP01 will run on spec Toyo Proxes RR competition tires to further equal the field and accentuate driver ability as well as help to keep costs in check.”

    The NP01 is specifically designed around the idea that it must be fast, safe, reliable and easy to maintain. Élan Technologies utilized a component design approach for the bodywork that consists of fenders, engine cover and front hood sections as individual pieces. If one of the pieces is damaged, for example a small fender, it is easier and more cost effective to replace it than an entire front nose piece. Much of the hardware on the car has been standardized to simplify maintenance as well. This translates into cost savings that all competitors will really appreciate.

     Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations John Doonan weighed in: “NASA has outdone itself again. Through innovation and a clear vision to provide the grassroots community with competitive, safe, and affordable racing, NASA’s Prototype series will be a place for many to test their mettle. We are humbled by and proud of NASA’s decision to power these race cars with Mazda engines as reliability and performance are at the core of our technology.”

    “Toyo Tires and NASA have enjoyed a long and successful partnership, and we are excited to work closely with the talented team at Élan Technologies on this new endeavor,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, Competition Performance Products Division, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “The Toyo Proxes RR has proven to be in a league of its own when it comes to balancing the ultimate in performance with consistent lap times and a long life.  These are all factors that make it the natural choice for affordable road racing such as this new spec series.”

    “I’m very excited about this new NP Series” said Jeremy Croiset, NASA Director of Business Development.  “It is truly unique and innovative in the world of motorsports. Most racing drivers only dream of piloting a professionally built prototype and this new series will provide everyone that opportunity at a truly affordable price point. I would even go as far as to say that this vehicle will likely be the cheapest to purchase and operate factory prepared purpose built race car on the planet. I can’t wait to see what the NASA membership thinks of this new offering. Working with Élan Technologies on this project has been a privilege. They have established themselves in the motorsports community as one of the premier chassis manufacturers. The level of professionalism and experience they bring really solidifies this program ensuring competitors will be provided a very high quality race car they can compete in for years to come.”

    About NASA

    The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs. For more information, log onto www.nasaproracing.com and connect with the community at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

     

    About Elan

    Élan Technologies is a Georgia based technology company providing design, engineering, fabrication, and manufacturing services to the automotive, motorsports, aviation, aerospace and defense industries through its three divisions: Élan Precision Products, Élan Composites, and Élan Power Products. The company is part of a technology group that includes Élan Technologies, DeltaWing Technologies Inc., and Panoz LLC. For more information please visit http://www.elangroup.com/.

    Tune in tomorrow for big news from NASA at our PRI booth.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    Indianapolis, IN - The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) will be announcing some very big news from the PRI Show tomorrow, Dec. 11, 2014 at 3pm EST. The press conference will be live-streamed via Racer Connect from the NASA booth (#3309) at the PRI Show and be available for viewing here.  http://live.racerconnect.com/index.php/nasa-pri-2014

    If you are at the PRI Show this week, please stop by the NASA booth (#3309) tomorrow at 3pm EST to see the exciting news announced or tune into the live stream above to watch the news.
    #prishow #pri2014 #nasaproracing

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    Kyle Loustaunau Wins 2014 Mazda Club Racer Shootout

    Thursday, December 04, 2014

    Vacaville California Racer Awarded $100,000 Scholarship Package to Compete In the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires


    December 4, 2014 (IRVINE, Calif.) This past Tuesday was a wet and wild day at Buttonwillow Raceway Park with eight championship-level club racers chasing a $100,000 scholarship package, the largest prize in all of grassroots motorsports, at the annual Mazda Club Racer Shootout.

     Thumb shootout winner kyle loustaunau

    Despite a year of record drought in California, most of the day was run in pouring rain.  How wet was it?  None of the drivers ever had the chance to lap the course on the BFGoodrich g-Force R1-S slicks.  All sessions were conducted on BFG rain tires.

     

    At the end of the day, after the pavement had dried, Kyle Loustaunau, from Vacaville, California was judged to be the best of the best among Mazda-powered club racers in 2014.  Loustaunau had won the 2014 NASA Western States Spec Miata Championship, earning his eligibility for the shootout.  He will now have a scholarship budget to compete in the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires. 

     

    Quotes:

     

    Kyle Loustaunau – “Over the past three days I've had the most amazing experience of my life. This is both an honor and a privilege to represent Mazda and I can't wait to get started. It has taken help from a lot of amazing people to get here and I can't thank everyone enough.”

     

    John Doonan – Director, Mazda Motorsports – “Mazda Motorsports is the leader in grassroots roadracing.  This leadership has given us opportunities to do things that no one else has done.  Our Club Racer Shootout has become a signature event for us and represents an amazing opportunity to help racers move from the club level to the professional ranks with a solid support program around them.  We expect Kyle to have a great season in the 2015 Battery Tender MX-5 Cup and hopefully many more years with Mazda.”

     

    Charles Espenlaub – Head Judge - “Every year the Mazda Club Racer Shootout just gets better and better.  Having been involved since the beginning, I am continually amazed at the talent level that the Mazda champions bring. As the landscape of racing changes so does the competition on and off the track.  This year we had another twist, with heavy rains the conditions were extremely difficult. This added to the challenge and as always made for a difficult decision as to who would win the coveted prize. Everyone did an outstanding job and put in efforts worthy of the champions they are.  As in the very competitive Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup the winner can be decided by a few tenths of a second.  Kyle Loustaunau was able to top the field by showing well in multiple categories all of which should provide success for his climb up the ladder.” 

     

    Peter Calhoun – Motorsports Manger BFGoodrich Tires - "The Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout annually showcases the brightest talent from the North American club racing championships. Giving each of the drivers the opportunity to win the richest prize in club racing by demonstrating their driving, business, and social engagement skills.  Each year BFGoodrich is honored to participate in the Shootout alongside our friends from Mazda in a show of support for grassroots racing, which is a core ingredient to both our motorsport programs. Congratulations to Kyle Loustaunau on winning this year's Shootout.”

     

     

    The eight shootout finalists were:

    Sam Adams           Hubertus, Wisconsin            Skip Barber Racing School (Summer Series)

    Ben Anderson         Minneapolis, Minnesota       NASA Eastern States Championships (PTE)

    Steven Diem          Kailua, Hawaii                      iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 3)

    Joey Jordan           Santa Barbara, California    NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (West)

    Kyle Loustaunau     Vacaville, California             NASA Western States Championships (Spec Miata)

    Evan Maillard         Nesles La Vallée                  iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 2)

    Zachary Munro       Granby, Colorado                NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Rocky Mountain)

    Eric Powell             Orlando, Florida                   NASA Western States Championships (PTD)

     

    The criteria: Given that each of the finalists had proven themselves on the track by winning a championship, the criteria to move up needed to be more encompassing.   To succeed on the professional level requires a balance of both on-track and off-track skills including the following:

    ·      Driving ability – Fast laps

    ·      Driving ability – Consistent laps

    ·      Technical feedback – Understanding of vehicle dynamics and suspension

    ·      Technical feedback – Ability to evaluate vehicle handling

    ·      Technical feedback – Ability to analyze data

    ·      Technical feedback – Ability to improve vehicle handling

    ·      The business of motorsports – Business proposal

    ·      The business of motorsports – Business presentation

    ·      The business of motorsports – PR skills

     

    The driving sessions were conducted at Buttonwillow Raceway Park using a pair of Mazda MX-5 Cup cars prepared by ProParts USA.

     

    The judges: Each year Mazda invites a panel of outside judges to make the selection.   The judges brought a wealth of both on-track, and off-track expertise.  More than a dozen professionals were involved in either the preliminary business proposal review, on-track activities, or both.  The panel consisted of:  

    ·                  Peter Calhoun - BFGoodrich

    ·                  Charles Espenlaub – Safecraft Racing

    ·                  Pete Evanow - Cal State Fullerton

    ·                  John Fabijanic - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

    ·                  Tim Frost - Frost Motorsports, LLC

    ·                  Julie Garner - Project Yellow Light

    ·                  Kenton Koch – 2014 Mazda MX-5 Cup Champion

    ·                  Karl Koenigstein - BFGoodrich

    ·                  Ken Payne – BFGoodrich

    ·                  Justin Piscitell – Past Shootout Winner

    ·                  Evin Prelec - Battery Tender

    ·                  Jeremy Shaw – Team USA Scholarship

    ·                  Scott Shelton - ABC Television/Past Shootout Winner

    ·                  Lyn St.  James - Women's Sports Foundation

    ·                  Barry Toepke - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

     

    The tally:  After a day-and-a half of both driving, and classroom activities, the judges added the objective and subjective scores -- discussing the merits of each driver.  The judges deliberated carefully before declaring Kyle Loustaunau the champion.

     

    The prize package:  The prize package, valued at $100,000, breaks out as follows: 

    ·                  A budget for the running of his car for the season

    ·                  A parts support budget

    ·                  A Mazda Motorsports driving suit and helmet

    ·                  Professional media training (Courtesy of Mazda)

    ·                  Twelve sets of BFGoodrich tires, one set per race (Courtesy of  BFGoodrich Tires)

    ·                  Twelve entry fee waivers (Courtesy of SCCA Pro Racing)

     

    About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

    Mazda is a leading player in all aspects of sports car racing with an emphasis on endurance road racing.  Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  Thousands of Mazda-powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built.  Via the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, Mazda supports racers at all levels of the sport from club racing up to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship where it races with production SKYACTIV Technology.

     

    Mazda remains the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1991).  Mazda has had a naming rights agreement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2000.

     

    Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

     

    Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com.  Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsports), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) andwww.mazdamotorsports.com 

    NASA Racers Make Up Majority of Mazda Club Racer Shootout Finalists

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Napa Valley, CA - NASA is proud to announce that NASA racers have secured the majority of finalist positions in the 2014 Mazda Club Racer Shootout. Specifically, NASA competitors will be representing 5 of the 6 positions coming from real-life racing, and potentially taking the step up the racing ladder into the professional ranks. 

    Thumb anderson"NASA has a stellar track record of producing top level racers that have excelled in the professional ranks" said Jeremy Croiset, NASA's Director of Business Development. "Last year's eventual Shootout winner Joey Bickers was a NASA racer and we're very proud to see NASA racers securing a majority of the finalists position in this year's Shootout competition. This goes a long way toward validating the fact that NASA competitors are as serious as they come and that there isn't a better place to try accomplishing one's dream of moving into the world of professional motorsports. We look forward to seeing the outcome at the Shootout and wish all the finalists good luck."

     

    Thumb joey jordanThe Mazda Club Racer Shootout is the single largest prize in club racing.  Since 2007 Mazda has annually promoted one talented club racer to the professional ranks.  The $75,000 prize will help fund one driver on his quest to the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.  A record 22 racers were semi-finalists, having met the eligibility criteria for 2014: each won a recognized championship over a minimum number of competitors.  Now, after each made a formal written business proposal, evaluated and ranked by industry professionals, the field has been narrowed to eight.   

     

    The 2014 Mazda Club Racer shootout finalists are:

    Racer                    Club/Series                                                                  Hometown/Residence
    Sam Adams          Skip Barber Racing School (Summer Series)                  Hubertus, Wisconsin
    Ben Anderson        NASA Eastern States Championships (PTE)                   Minneapolis, Minnesota        
    Steven Diem          iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 3)                                        Kailua, Hawaii                      
    Joey Jordan          NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (West)                       Santa Barbara, California      
    Kyle Loustaunau    NASA Western States Championships (Spec Miata)        Vacaville, California
    Evan Maillard         iRacing MX-5 Cup (Season 2)                                        Nesles La Vallée, France      
    Zachary Munro       NASA Spec Miata Teen Challenge (Rocky Mountain)       Granby, Colorado    
    Eric Powell            NASA Western States Championships (PTD)                  Orlando, Florida                   


    John Doonan, Director of Motorsports, Mazda North American Operations noted, “Each year this shootout evolves. Thumb sm wsc kyle For 2014 we have our first simulator-racing champions, from the iRacing MX-5 Cup, and our first racers from outside of North America.  The criteria for the shootout is to identify the aspiring professional racer who has the best range of skills required to succeed, including speed, consistency, racecraft, technical feedback, and off-track business and PR skills.  History has shown that a driver will be limited in success if they are lacking in any of these areas.  Past shootout winners have performed well both on and off the track, using this prize as a springboard for their career.”

    Thumb zach munroThe final shootout will be at California’s Buttonwillow Raceway Park on December 1 and 2. The first day will test the finalists’ communication skills, marketing plans, and other essential attributes and skill sets required to continue to climb the racing ladder. The second day will consist of significant track time, data analysis, and a few surprises to help the judges gage the finalists’ skills behind the wheel. It is a winner-take-all event with only one racer moving up the Mazda ladder in 2015. 

    “The diversity of backgrounds and racing experience across the competitors is truly Thumb powellremarkable. The proposals reflect that diversity and highlight how social media and modern technologies are embraced by Mazda Motorsports participants at all ages and around the world. Each year the quality of competition on and off track continues to improve.  The finals at Buttonwillow should be fantastic," stated Peter Calhoun - Motorsports Marketing Manager, BFGoodrich Tires.

    Additional information about the Mazda Club Racer shootout and Mazda support can be found at http://www.mazdamotorsports.com


    Photos from top-bottom: Ben Anderson, Joey Jordan, Kyle Loustaunau, Zachary Munro, Eric Powell.

    Photos 1 & 5, Finishline Productions

    Photo 3, Head-On Photos 

    NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires headed to Virginia International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2015

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014
    NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires headed to Virginia International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 2015


    NAPA VALLEY, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2014) - The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) announced today the locations for its second annual, twin 2015 NASA Championship presented by Toyo tires events.

    The 2015 NASA Eastern States Championships will move to the iconic Virginia International Raceway (VIR). The NASA Western States Championship will move to historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Thumb vir logo 2014 color
    In 2014, NASA decided to enhance what had been traditionally a single National Championship event into the country splitting Eastern and Western States Championship events. This move was designed to make the events much more accessible to a wider range of NASA competitors providing each coast with an event much closer to home. 

    “The move to a dual-Championship event format was well received in 2014”, Ryan Flaherty, NASA National Chairman, said. “We expect a very positive response from our members upon learning that the Championship events will move to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Virginia International Raceway. These are two world class tracks revered in the motorsports community, each offering a fantastic set of challenges our competitors must overcome to be crowned NASA Champions. We look forward to visiting each of these amazing facilities in 2015.”

    This move provided competitors the opportunity to compete at and experience a Championship level event all set over a shorter three day format again designed to decrease the expense and time requirement a Championship level event can present competitors. This change has been well received, as nearly 600 entries will have competed for Championship titles at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Unprecedented in club racing, NASA also worked with its partners to offer over $2 million dollars-worth of contingency prizes available through a vast network of generous contingency sponsors.

    NASA competitors will make their way toward Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the 10th annual running of the event for the Western States Championships that will begin July 31 - August 2, 2015. Thumb laguna seca

    “We are proud to extend our relationship with NASA and to be chosen to host their 2015 Western States Championship event”, Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, said. “Our challenging 2.238-mile natural terrain road course coupled with our inviting locale is sure to draw a large field of competitors and family members eager to race and enjoy everything the Monterey Peninsula has to offer.”

    The NASA Western States Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca also presented a special synergistic opportunity considering Mazda is the track’s title sponsor and the Official car of NASA.

    “We can't imagine a better pairing of tracks for the 2015 NASA Championship,” John Doonan, Director of Motorsports at Mazda North American Operations, said. “Mazda has thousands of racers competing with NASA, and it will be great to host all of the competitors at our home track. Simply based on its characteristics, we have often said that VIR is the East Coast counterpart to Mazda Raceway, and we expect both tracks will be popular choices.”

    The Eastern part of the Championship event will begin at Virginia International Raceway September, 4-6, 2015.

    “VIR is ready to open its gates to the 2015 NASA Eastern Championships”, Mike Rose, Virginia International Raceway Director of Marketing, said. “We hold several NASA events every year and competitors come to Danville, VA from all over the country to compete for the Championship crown. We're honored to host this fantastic event.”

    Continuing to grow in popularity, 2015 will see NASA crown Champions for the 10th consecutive year. It will take both consistency and tenacity to persevere at either event where competitors will be required to complete two qualifying races to attain their stating position for the main event. NASA expects to crown Champions in 35 classes at each event over three days of intense competition.

    About NASA
    The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs.

    NASA Membership
    NASA members are entitled to enter and participate in any NASA event across the country, and membership includes an array of benefits, including vendor discounts and a subscription to the organizations online newsletter the NASA Speed News. Members will also receive a colorful membership hard card that will identify them as part of the organization and a welcome packet that includes more information on the many benefits and programs available to NASA members. While participating at events, all NASA members are covered by an extensive insurance policy, which includes General Liability, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Excess Medical coverage. Best of all, membership is only $45. Refer to www.nasaproracing.com for member information.
     
    NASA Thanks Our Partners
    NASA would like to thank its National sponsors for their continued support:  Toyo Tires, Royal Purple, Hawk Performance, OG Racing, Ford Racing School, and GoPro.  We also want to thank MAZDASPEED, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Nissan, and Ford Motor Company for supporting our members.  We greatly appreciate those companies that offer our racers contingency support, including Toyo Tires, AST Suspension, BFGoodrich, Ford Racing, Goodyear, Hawk Performance, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Hoosier Racing Tire, MAZDASPEED, Nissan, Sampson Racing Communications and Yokohama.  NASA competitors can also get discounts from Fuel Safe, Vehiport, APR Performance, the Ford Racing School, Avis, Cruise America, Eibach Springs, Exedy, Fastbrakes, Konig, The Mid-Ohio School, Hobie Polarized, Konig, Molecule, Motel 6, OG Racing, Torco, TPIS, Porterfield, Jongbloed Wheels, Yavay, and Monster Clutch.  
     
    NASA at a Glance
    * NASA was founded in 1991 on the premise of providing motorsport competition programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full-performance capabilities of their cars in a safe and controlled environment.
     
    * NASA has over 14,000 members in 16 regions.
     
    * Key events include the NASA Championships at Road Atlanta Aug. 29-31 and the Western Championships at Sonoma Raceway Nov. 7-9 and the season culminating NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, December 6-7.
     
    * The NASA National Championships will run 36 race classes and nine Time-Trial classes during the event.
     
    * NASA runs over 150 events each year encompassing over 250 races, including the association's Rally Sport and Time-Trial program.
     
    * Manufacturer partners include MAZDASPEED, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Nissan and Ford Racing.
     
    * NASA Management: Jerry Kunzman, Executive Director; Ryan Flaherty, National Chairman; Jeremy Croiset, Director of Sponsorship; Dave Ho, Business Operations Manager, Will Faules, National Event Manager.
     
    Follow NASA
    Internet:         nasaproracing.com
    Twitter:          nasaproracing
    Instagram:     nasaproracing

    Toyo Tires® Returns to the 25-Hours of Thunderhill™ To Support NASA Road Racers Using Proxes® Competition Tires

    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    CYPRESS, CA - Toyo Tires® returns to the 25-Hours of Thunderhill™ on December 6th-7th to once again offer VIP treatment for racers competing exclusively on the Toyo® Proxes® line of tires.  The 25-Hours of Thunderhill is held annually by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) at the Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California.  Considered the longest endurance road race in North America, amateur road race teams travel from around the continent to compete for the honor of capturing the overall win in this prestigious event.

    The Official Tire of NASA, Toyo Tires proudly supports the 2014 series of races with an Enduro Contingency program.  During the 25-Hours of Thunderhill race, the brand will once again ‘roll out the red carpet’ for loyal Toyo Tires racers.  Registered participants will receive free mounting and balancing services from Thunderhill AIM Tire on all preorders and via trackside service at Thunderhill Raceway Park from December 5th-7th. 

    All qualified participants and their qualifying support team members will have access to free meals at the Toyo Tires hospitality area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the race event.

    “This is the third consecutive year that Toyo Tires is lending its support to the competitors of the 25-Hours of Thunderhill,” said Marc Sanzenbacher, senior manager, Competition Performance Products Division, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.  “We have had overwhelming support from the racers, and we are glad to be able to help relieve the stress of preparation for the dedicated NASA racers who compete on Toyo Proxes tires.  And for such a long race, there is no better tire to deliver the endurance and performance that is synonymous with the Proxes name.”

    Registration for this special program is limited.  All purchases must be made by November 24th, through Thunderhill AIM Tire at (530) 934 5588 ext. 118 or http://www.thunderhillaimtire.com, or AIM Tire at (707) 938-9193 or www.aimtire.com.

    The program applies to racers using the Toyo Proxes® RS1™ full-slick and Proxes® RR DOT competition tire in dry conditions; while the Proxes® R888™, Proxes® RA1™ and Proxes® R1R™ are approved for wet use.

    For full details on how to become a preferred VIP Toyo Tires racer, and to access the registration form for this promotion, log on to http://www.nasaproracing.com/contingency/toyo_tires/2014Toyo25hourForm1.pdf.

    About Toyo Tires®

    Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for nearly 70 years.

    The company offers a complete selection of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model including light trucks, SUVs, high performance cars and luxury vehicles as well as commercial trucks.  Consumer product lines include the popular Open Country® tires for light trucks and SUVs; Proxes® ultra-high performance tires; Versado® tires for luxury passenger cars; and the value line of Extensa® passenger car tires. Many of the tires are built in the United States at their state-of-the-art factory in Bartow County, Georgia.

    For more information log onto www.toyotires.com and connect with the community at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+.

    #      #      #

    Media Contact: Jay Jones, TMC

    2014 NASA Eastern States Championships Highlights Videos

    Saturday, October 18, 2014
    The biggest race of the year for the East Coast Regions is in the books, and here are the highlights from the event. You will hear from racers on their quest to become a 2014 NASA Eastern States Champion, and why it is critical to get the most out of yourself, and your car, for the one race that matters the most - Sunday's final. We also have thrilling class recaps for Spec Miata and Honda Challenge aficionados, where door handles were becoming thoroughly acquainted. Share these videos with your friends and get in the mood for the NASA Western States Championships coming up Nov 7-9!

    2014 NASA Eastern States Championships Highlights 

    2014 NASA Championships Spec Miata Highlights

    2014 NASA Championships HPD Honda Challenge Highlights

    September's Issue of Speed News Magazine is Here!

    Saturday, October 18, 2014
    Road America takes center stage in the September issue of Speed News. Four regions converged on this historic racetrack in August for a weekend of world-class NASA racing, and you’ll get an inside look at all the action. You’ll also learn a quick way to repair a damaged bumper fascia and discover some of the nuances of alignment settings for racing suspensions. Remember, you can’t win if you don’t read! Read the September Speed News today!

    Read the rest!

    Crowned at Road Atlanta

    Saturday, October 18, 2014
    NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Champions Crowned at Road Atlanta

    BRASELTON, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2014) - The National Auto Sport Association's (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Eastern States Championships crowned its winners today. 
     
    After two days of qualifying races the 300+ NASA Eastern Championships competitors at Road Atlanta lined-up to compete for bragging rights and the NASA Eastern States Championship trophy.
     
    American Iron Extreme, American Iron, Spec Iron, CMC
    In the first of the days 45-minute championship races Chris Griswold, No. 71 Ford Mustang, and Brian Faessler in his No. 018 Ford Mustang continued their nose-to-tail racing with Griswold taking the early advantage in American Iron Extreme. On lap  eight Faessler passed and began to gap Griswold by three seconds, but on lap 11, Faessler did not come back around handing the Championship win to Griswold, his sixth (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014). Griswold's fast lap time was a 1:27.26 and he is the winningest driver in NASA Championship history with six American Iron Extreme wins.
     
    "The last half of the race was easy," Griswold said. "At the beginning Brian was right there battling with me and swapping the lead. I decided to back off a little and save my Hoosier tires. He then pulled off on the back stretch, I am not sure what happened to him. This is my sixth NASA Championship. It feels good. I had a great day. It felt good and I feel great about all of the work we put in early in the week."
     
    In American Iron (AI) Will Stukas led the field early in his No. 93 Chevrolet Camaro from pole position. On lap 12 Scott McKay took over the lead of American Iron in his No. 171 Ford Mustang. 
     
    "We got a shaggy start yesterday, I didn't finish the race with a broken throttle cable," McKay said. "We put it all back together and started sixth on the grid. We had a good run going moving up to second place for a while behind Will and then he had some issues. I took the lead and then with three laps to go I dropped a cylinder. I started looking in my rearview mirror for cars coming, but by that time we built up a big enough lead and took the win."
     
    In Spec Iron it was Corey Rueth, Saturday's qualifying race winner, heading the field in his No.13 Ford Mustang. By lap nine Rueth was able to give himself a three-second cushion to his closest pursuer.
     
    "It was a fantastic race," Rueth said. "We got a great run with the Late Model Restoration Mustang. I got to thank my crew Jeff Brooks, Robert Beaudreau and my wife Lisa Rueth for helping me get the car prepped. Paul Costas set-up the car with Witch Doctor Racing and got the Mustang just right for this track. All I had to do was pilot the car and keep it together. I managed to stay a couple of turns ahead of the drama. It was a long race and I was glad to see the checker."
     
    In CMC the No. 93 Camaro driven by Derek Wright was the class of the field.
     
    "The start of the race was fantastic," Wright said. "I was able to get a pretty good lead and I was letting traffic go by without losing too much time. I was maintaining my pace, cruising a little. Then with two laps to go something in the rear gear began to go. I went from a five second lead down to the next guy right on my bumper. It became exciting at the end. The early work paid off. I won by a half of a car length."
     
    Super Unlimited, FFR ST1, ST2, ST3
    In the Super Unlimited Championship race Joseph Freda in his No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro and Alan Palmer in his No. 3 West WX10 car took turns leading the fast field. On lap five a full caution flew as the No. 25 ST2 Lotus of Greg Vannucci was in the wall on the front stretch. Palmer was the overall leader at the yellow. The race restarted on lap nine. Marc Cantor led ST2 in the No. 26 BMW M3. In the Factory Five Racing Class Paul Arnold was running upfront in his No. 5 Factory Five Racing car  and held on for the win. In ST3 the No. 85 of David Ziegler took the win in his Chevrolet Corvette Z06. In ST2 it was Matt Isbell in his No. 88 Chevrolet Corvette. As the checkered flag dropped surprise ST1 winner Benjamin Lesnak took overall honors in his No. 98 Chevrolet Corvette. In Super Unlimited it was Mike Howard in his No. 00 Chevrolet Corvette taking that championship trophy.
     
    "It was a blast," Howard said. "I didn't have anything for the little sports racer. I raced him real clean and he broke before I did this time. I broke in the first two races this weekend, so I was due. I was catching him at the yellow, but the yellow helped me cool the car down."
     
    "It was really a matter of attrition," Isbell said. "Greg Vannucci had me by three-thousandths of a second, but he had that big off coming out of the exit of 12. After that I just had to manage the gap, which I had three seconds on and well as manage my car. I hope Greg is ok. I am glad for MTI, we have won three national championships together and I thank them."
     
    "It was a hot day," Lesnak said. "The track was slowing down. The Viper which was my main competition had me down the straights. I was making my plan to get around him. I made an early move into Turn Seven and then he repassed me. I was able to get by him again coming down the hill into 12. The yellow helped and I was able to get away after the caution."
     
    "I started on the pole," Ziegler said. "I ran into some slower ST2 traffic and I got passed and fell to second. We were racing hard for a few laps. The yellow saved my tires. I think at the end of the day it came down to managing the slower cars."
     
    "I missed last year as I was mending from a back injury," Arnold said. "It has taken me most of the year to get the feel of the car again. We had a good battle and I was in a good position to take the win. This has been a long time coming."
     
    Spec E30, Spec 3
    Eric Palacio, pole sitter, in his No. 175 BMW 325 brought the 39 car field to the green. Immediately he began swapping the front spot with Robert Grace in the No. 174. By lap 11 Steven Lako, No. 81 BMW 325, took the lead and had a two second gap to the second place of the No. 609 of Robert Gagliardo.  In Spec 3 the No. 23 of Barry Battle took the race by two seconds over the No. 07 BMW 325 of Jon McAvoy.  
     
     "It was awesome," Lako said. "Five of us took off and had a great race for 40-minutes. We battled, exchanged potions, working together with different people. A little entanglement mid-race helped me get up in the lead. I had some clean track and that really helped. Nobody on my bumper I was able to run my line as they battled behind me."
     
    "The weekend started a little rough," Battle said. "In the first qualifying race my ABS went out on the first lap so I had to drive through that failure. Saturday was pretty smooth I dropped to second on the last lap. Today's race was pretty clean. There was a lot of Spec E30 traffic, but altogether a great race."
     
    Spec Miata
    Matthew Pombo, winner of both qualifying races, led the 34 car field to the green for the Championship race in his No. 60 Mazda Miata. Danny Steyn was able to get a run on Pombo at the exit of Turn One and lead the first lap in his No. 39 Miata. By lap four  the No. 57 driven by Alex Bolanos joined the front pack. On lap seven Bolanos moved by Pombo into second and two laps later drove to the overall lead. On lap 12 Bolanos was relegated to third with Steyn back in the lead and Pombo in second. The trio were circulating bumper-to-bumper. By lap 13 the three combatants had amassed a three second lead to the fourth place runner. On lap 14 Steyn was able to get some separation as Pombo and Bolanos were running side-by-side. James Drago, No. 2, moved into third position on lap 16 as Pombo began to fade. By lap 18 it was a two car race between Steyn and Bolanos as they changed positions  over the last couple of laps. At the checker it was Bolanos, Steyn and Pombo for the Spec Miata Championship podium.
     
    "It is really hot out today," Bolanos said. "It was really about managing tires for the full 45-minutes of the race. We usually line-up and start passing later, but the popping started earlier than usual. Even in the lead pack I tried not to abuse the tires through the esses. I was able to have some rubber at the end and pick them off one at a time. We had a clean race, no cautions and I got to the checkered flag first."
     
    "It was an amazing run," Steyn said. "All of us were like a train the first few laps. We knew Alex would be a threat. He has been on form all year. Matt Pombo, my teammate, and I worked together well in the qualifying races. I knew if we got split up things were going to change. Matt dropped off later in the race and Alex had a little more than me and was the better driver today. He earned it."
     
    "Unfortunately mid-way through the race coming through Turns Three and Four the car just lost power," Pombo said. "I had to shut it off and restart it. It did it to me three or four times during the race, so it cost me. I have to thank Tom and Tracy Fowler and all of the OPM Autosports gang. We have a 1999 Miata and the 02s had the legs on me, but we proved it was competitive. I just wish we didn't have the problems in the Championship race we had. Spec Miata is such a great class and the best racing series in the country. If you can run with these guys you can race with anyone."
     
    GTS 1-4
    In GTS the GTS4 car of Randy Mueller continued to be the class of the field on the weekend. Following up on a qualifying race win from yesterday Mueller jumped into the early lead. On lap 10 a full course caution bunched the field. The caution eliminated a 10 second gap that Mueller had amassed, but on the restart he was able to go away for the overall class win. The victory is Mueller's fourth NASA Championship win (2007, 2011, 2012, 2014).  In GTS3 it was Edgar Cabrera in the No. 777 BMW. Rafael Torres won the GTS2 race in his BMW 328, but was later disqualified for non-compliance promoting DJ Fitzpatrick to the top step on the podium. In GTS1, Tim Pruitt drove his No. 329 Porsche 944 to the win.  
     
    "It was hard, I went from first to fourth," Torres said. "A guy tried to put me off early and then on the restart he waved me by. I was able to get back on my horse and retake the lead. My BFGoodrich tires were great today they helped me to drive to the front and take the win."
     
    "It was extremely hot out there," Mueller said. "I started on the pole and opened up a gap early on, but then the yellow bunched it up. The Porsches in my rear view mirror on the restart got my attention. I just put my head down and ran fast laps."
     
    "It was a good race," Pruitt. "I changed position with the Team Fire Engine car about three times during the race. When I got in the lead I could hold him off. On the restart he got by me and I was able to reign him in and get by and I was able to drive to the win."
     
    "It was incredible," Cabrera said. "I had a guy behind me at the end that I had to hold off. The caution period brought everyone back together. I had a lead and the yellow took away the gap that I worked so hard for from the beginning."
     
    HPD Honda Challenge Class 1-2
    In HPD Honda Challenge 1 twin qualifying race winner Kris Popovic in his orange No. 9 Acura Integra led the field to the green. By lap 10 Popovic had raced to a five second lead over David Isbell in his No. 7 Acura Integra. In Challenge 2 Robert Paskiewicz, No. 10 Acura Integra, was locked in a battle with the No. 31 Honda Accord of Karl Kandor. The race was red flagged on lap 15. The stoppage erased Popovic's seven second lead. The race took the green and white flags making it a one lap trophy dash to the checker. Popovic was able to hold off the field for one lap and sweep the qualifying races and the win the Challenge 1 Championship. Isbell second and the No. 75 of John Oldt was third in his Honda S2000.  In Challenge 2 it was Kondor getting by Paskiewicz on the last lap. Kevin LeClair, No. 79 Honda Civic came home in third.
     
    "Wow, I swept the weekend," Popovic said. "I worked hard and it paid off. I have to thank my engine tuner Jason Suge from Suge 1 Motorsports. We built a motor at the last minute on Thursday morning. I had a good gap before the red flag came. I thought  they were going to end the race. At the double yellow I had low fuel. I knew once we went green again that I had the power to get them down the straights."
     
    "It was incredible," Kondor said. "The last couple of laps my car is running hot and we are under caution. I was wondering if we were going to go green. We get the green, I am pushing really hard and there is traffic in front of us. We ran into some traffic on the back straight and use it to my advantage to get by through the chicane. Without the red/yellow and restart I may have been able to get a look, but not to get by."
     

    Spec Z
    Jay Pellegrini III took the lead in his No. 12 Nissan 350Z with the No. 0 of John Baldwin close behind in his 350Z. The race was reflagged on lap 15. The race was restarted with one lap remaining. Pellegrini was able to hold off Brian Kleeman, No. 23, for the win with Baldwin taking the last step on the Spec Z podium.
     
    "It was a wild run," Pellegrini said. "I didn't have any grip in the rear tires the first few laps. I was drifting all over the place. We had a close race up front with the 23 of Kleeman and William Dryer. I want to NASA, Nissan and BFGoodrich for a great event, great car and great tires."
     
    944 Spec, PTB-F
    At the start of the 944 Spec and PTB-F race the race went full course on lap one. The race went green on lap four with Dan Pina leading the Spec 944 field in his No. 149 Porsche. On lap 12 Daniel Williams, No. 76 Porsche, passed Pina to take the lead and held on to take the checkered flag. In PTB David Schotz, No. 34 Pontiac Firebird, was able to pass Jeremiah Fox in his No. 033 Subaru Impreza on the restart lap. Schotz and Fox were locked in a two car battle the entire race distance. On lap Fox retook the lead, with Schotz retaking the point on the very next lap and holding on for the win. In PTE it was Ben Anderson on the top step of the podium in his No. 38 Mazda RX7. The PTF winner was Ken Brewer in the No. 6 Toyota MR2.
     
     "That was an experience of a lifetime," Williams said. "The camaraderie of the team and how we came together to make it all work is amazing. I had some cars spinning in front of me and then I hit a patch of oil made it a little dramatic. The hardest thing was to stay focused when I was in the lead. I just wanted to keep my mind on the track. Keep it in the now. If you make one mistake these guys will be all over you."
     
    "It was an incredible battle," Schotz said. "Traffic played a part in it. I tried to keep a couple of these cars between me and Jeremiah because I know he has a lot of top speed. It was a great race. My car has a few issues, but we were able to make to the finish and the win. I want to thank CarboTech and Hoosier tires for a fun weekend."
     
    "Road Atlanta is tough when it is hot like this," Anderson. "We have by far the heaviest car, by 500 lbs. and it is all about tire management. It is 95-degrees and it is one of the hardest cars to drive managing the tires. I was in second for a few laps and then was able to pass and I had a gap. The yellow came and I was able to keep the focus and pull off the win."
     
    "My car is really stock," Brewer said. "I bolted up fresh Hoosiers for the race. I started third as I didn't make qualifying. I had to borrow an ECU from a fans street car so I could make the race today. My competitors are great and fun to race with. It was a fun weekend and taking home the trophy makes it a great weekend."
     
    Highlights of the Weekend
    Chris Griswold drove his No. 71 Ford Mustang to a record six NASA Championship win (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014). The win makes him the winningest driver in Championships history.
     
    Fast race lap of the weekend was put in by Alan Palmer in his West WX10 a 1:27.666 lap time.
     
    Benjamin Lesnak won the ST1 Class in his No. 98 Cadillac XLSR as well as the TT1 Class in his Corvette.
     
    Randy Mueller drove his No. 0 BMW M3 to a fourth NASA Championships title (2007, 2011, 2012, 2014). 
     
    2014 NASA National Championship Winners - Provisional
     
    American Iron Extreme, Chris Griswold, No. 71 Ford Mustang *Six time Championships winner

    American Iron, Scott McKay, No. 171 Ford Mustang

    Spec Iron, Corey Rueth, No. 13 Ford Mustang

    CMC, Derek Wright, No. 913 Chevrolet Camaro

    Super Unlimited, Mike Howard, No. 00 Chevrolet Corvette

    ST1, Benjamin Lesnak, No. 98 Cadillac XLSR

    ST2, Matt Isbell, No. 88 Chevrolet Corvette

    ST3, David Ziegler, No. 85 Chevrolet Corvette

    Factory Five Racing, Paul Arnold, No. 5 Factory Five Racing

    Spec E30, Steven Lako, No. 81, BMW 325

    Spec 3, Barry Battle, No. 23 BMW 325

    Spec Miata, Alex Bolanos, No. 57 Mazda Miata

    GTS4, Randy Mueller, No. 0 BMW M3

    GTS3, Edgar Cabrera, No. 187 BMW M3

    GTS2, DJ Fitzpatrick, No. 186 BMW M3

    GTS1, Tim Pruitt, No. 329 Porsche 944

    HPD Honda Challenge 1, Kris Popovic, No. 9 Acura Integra

    HPD Honda Challenge 2, Karl Kondor, No. 31 Honda Accord

    Spec Z, Jay Pellegrini, No. 12 Nissan 350Z

    PTB, David Schotz, No. 34 Pontiac Firebird

    PTE, Ben Anderson, No. 38 Mazda RX7

    PTF, Ken Brewer, No. 6 Toyota MR2

    944 Spec, Daniel Williams, No 74 Porsche 944

    TT1, Benjamin Lesnak, No. 98 Chevrolet Corvette

    TT2, Greg Vannucci, No. 25 Lotus Exige

    TTU, Reese Cox, No. 9, Chevrolet Corvette

    TTB, Jeremiah Fox, No. 033 Subaru Impreza STI

    TTC, Chi Ho, No. 10X Honda S2000

    TTD, Jon Kozlow, No. 36, BMW M3
     
    Complete information on the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires can be viewed at nasachampionships.com.
     
    The weekend's schedule from Road Atlanta can viewed at http://www.nasaproracing.com/nationals/East_Combined_2014.pdf
     
    Road Atlanta is a 2.54-mile, 12-turn undulating road course located in Braselton, Ga., just 50-miles north of Atlanta. Road Atlanta is known as one of the most exciting places to drive a race car. The ultra-fast circuit has only one slow corner, Turn Seven, which leads onto the long back straight. The approach to the fast downhill Turn 12 is blind challenging drivers to carry a lot of speed down the hill that leads to the front straightaway and in to Turn One. The stretch out of Turn One to Turn Five consists of a set of esses and lefts and rights that will reward a good handling car.
     
    The NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships will take the green flag at Sonoma Raceway, Nov. 7-9.
     
    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 nasaproracing.com or nasachampionships.com.      
     
    To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in four regional races around the country, five for the Western States Championships.  The 2014 National Championship presented by Toyo Tires Eastern weekend will feature over 300 competitors racing for the NASA National Champion trophy in 36 racing classes and nine Time Trial divisions around the famed Road Atlanta circuit home to Petit Le Mans.

    NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Racing at Road Atlanta Day One

    Saturday, October 18, 2014
    Qualifying races a glimpse at tight racing

    BRASELTON, Ga. (Aug. 29, 2014) - The National Auto Sport Association's (NASA) ninth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Eastern States Championships is underway.  More than 300 competitors from across the country are racing for championship honors this weekend at Road Atlanta.  
     
    In near 100-degree temperatures the NASA Eastern Championships began today. In the opening qualifying race of the weekend, Brian Faessler in his No. 018 Ford Mustang made easy work of the American Iron Extreme field with Will Stukas winning the American Iron Class in his No. 93 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.
     
    "It was fun," Stukas said. "I started from back in eighth on the outside. I was able to get a few guys on the outside into Turn One and run down the rest throughout the race. Road Atlanta is my home track. I want to run the qualifying races up front and try and start on the pole for the big race on Sunday. I hold the track record here in this class with a 1:33.2. I don't think we will get close to that time in this heat this weekend."  
     
    In the Spec Miata race, the 37 car field took the green and instantly began mixing it up. Danny Steyn in his No. 39 Miata took the early lead. Steyn had the No. 60 of Matthew Pombo glued to his bumper in the early going. Jonathan Czarny made it a three car race in his No. 21 green Miata. On lap eight, Pombo went by Steyn and won the qualifier. The fast lap of the race was put in by James Drago in his No. 02 Miata turning a 1:45.104.
     
    "It was a good way to start the weekend," Pombo said. "I looked at it like a qualifying session. I was just trying to be smooth and keep it in the top five. My car was heating up so I switched spots with Danny. He got racing with Czarny and they kind of let me go. The car handled like a dream. There is a lot of racing left to go, another qualifying race tomorrow and the big race on Sunday. My dad won two National Championships here at Road Atlanta and I grew up watching him. This place has a lot of history for the Pombo family. We just tend to click very well here. The strategy for Sunday is to get the OPM Motorsports/Pombo Racing Spec Miata to the front and stay there and see who is going to win on the last couple of laps."
     
    In Spec E30, another big field at this year's NASA Eastern Championships, with over 40 cars the qualifying race was full of great action. The No. 30 BMW of Jared Stoops took the early lead. On lap four Sandro Espinosa in his No. 32 BMW 325i took the lead and never looked back. The new Spec 3 Class qualifying race was won by Barry Battle in his No. 23 BMW 325.
     
    "I started the day qualifying on new tires and I didn't like the handling," Espinosa said. "I went back into the trailer and dug up some old tires that are a few race weekends old and it came right back to me. This is the third weekend on these tires, but they are shot now. I think I am going to look in the trash can for some tires or look to my buddies for some used rubber. My strategy for this weekend is to find old tires. This is my home track. I wanted to run new tires for the big weekend, but my car just doesn't seem to like them."
     
    In 944 Spec Jason Stanley made easy work of the near 40 car field in his No. 60 Porsche 944. He was followed to the line by No. 76 Daniel Williams and the No. 96 of Jason Walsh.
     
    "I didn't have much clear track in qualifying, so I didn't get the pole like I wanted," Stanley said. "I was third on the first lap. I tried to pass Pina (Dan, No. 149 Porsche) coming into Turn Ten, but he made it tough so I tucked in behind and did some bump drafting. Pina had a burble and I went by him. I was able to move to the lead and I put my head down, hit my marks and drove to the win. I am still looking for the sweet spot with my tires and we may get some rain on Sunday. If it rains, I have a good wet set-up so we are looking pretty good. My goal is to drive a safe race tomorrow and get a good starting position for Sunday's main event."
     
    In the HPD Honda Challenge Class, Kris Popovic in his No. 9 Acura Integra took the qualifying race win. Kevin Helms turned the quick lap of the Challenge 1 group with a 1:38.895, but retired with one lap to go while in a heated battle with Popovic. In  Challenge 2, the No. 8 Honda S2000 of Jeremy Lucas took the win.
     
    "It was a tough one," Popovic said. "Kevin was on me for a while. He pulled off coming into Turn Ten. You have to finish it to win it. I was able to get the win. I have my fingers crossed that everything stays together for the rest of the weekend. We have had a good year.  I won a few races here at Road Atlanta early and then had some mechanical issues. I just need my motor to last and we will be good."
     
    "There was a lot of back and forth up front, I did not lead the whole way," Lucas, Challenge 2 winner said. "We were pushing each other really hard all race. It was fun. I started the race from pole, went up into Turn Three and I was second, at the end of lap one I was third. I was able to come back and take the win. The car has a lot of weight at 2900 lbs. I need to keep the tires in check. In a 40-minute race it will be tight. This is my first race at this track with this car."
     
    In the Spec Z Class Brian Kleeman drove his No. 23 Nissan 350Z to the qualifying race win.
     
    "It is hot out there," Kleeman said. "I started on pole and was able to keep the lead. Jay (Pelligrini Jr., No 51) was right on my tail keeping me honest the whole way. Unfortunately he pulled in with a problem and I was able to cruise the rest of the way. The dash isn't working, so I don't know what the temps are, hopefully not too high. I want to get out front and stay out front the rest of the weekend."
     
    Ralf Lindackers won the last qualifying race of the day in his No. 01 BMW M3 in the GTS Class.
     
    "It was a great run," Lindackers said. "It was a little confusing at the beginning with two pace laps. I had a decent start, I went back to third from second. I was able to get up front and race with John van Houten, which was a really fun."
     
    Complete information on the NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires can be viewed at nasachampionships.com.
     
    The weekend's schedule from Road Atlanta can viewed at http://www.nasaproracing.com/nationals/East_Combined_2014.pdf
     
    Live timing from the Road Atlanta Championships can be viewed at   http://www.nasaproracing.com/liveresults/champs
     
    Road Atlanta is a 2.54-mile, 12-turn undulating road course located in Braselton, Ga., just 50-miles north of Atlanta. Road Atlanta is known as one of the most exciting places to drive a race car. The ultra-fast circuit has only one slow corner, Turn Seven, which leads onto the long back straight. The approach to the fast downhill Turn 12 is blind challenging drivers to carry a lot of speed down the hill that leads to the front straightaway and in to Turn One. The stretch out of Turn One to Turn Five consists of a set of esses and lefts and rights that will reward a good handling car.
     
    The NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires Western States Championships will take the green flag at Sonoma Raceway, Nov. 7-9.
     
    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 nasaproracing.com or nasachampionships.com.      
     
    To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in four regional races around the country, five for the Western States Championships.  The 2014 National Championship presented by Toyo Tires Eastern weekend will feature over 300 competitors racing for the NASA National Champion trophy in 36 racing classes and nine Time Trial divisions around the famed Road Atlanta circuit home to Petit Le Mans.

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