Sprint Series Round 3 just happened this past weekend and it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen the clockwise direction here at CalSpeed. The threat of weather seemed to close in but would instead set the stage for cool on-track temperatures for the day.
The Grande configuration hasn’t made an appearance on the schedule in just about a year– as such, drivers would have to dig deep in qualifying for this round. Coming out on top, it would be Matt Steele with his first career pole just ahead of James Lieser and Diego Alvarado.
Qualifying Top 5
Heat 1A would look like a fight amongst the top 3 the whole way through between the likes of the aforementioned Steele, Jacob Reis and Michael Martin. The latter had already jumped 2 spots to slot into 3rd after only 1 lap in and would work his way towards picking off Reis at the halfway point of the race. Martin would then also claim the top spot a few laps later, staving off both Steele and Reis to score the win.
Heat 1A Results
|4)||Mark Sternberg [2R]|
For heat 1B, it was all James Lieser. Making life easy for him would be Donnie Clarke and Evan Lawrence in 2nd and 3rd, swapping spots constantly all throughout the heat. Such infighting led to an eventual advantage of half a second for Lieser– though the pair ultimately did catch up to him, he’d hold on to the top spot for the win, Clarke following in second and Lawrence third.
Heat 1B Results
|5)||Ronnie Swaim Jr|
The winning drivers in heat 1C each maintained quick forward momentum from their starting positions. Devins Baker in one fell swoop took over the 2nd spot from his P4 start, dispatching Ivan Martinez, all the way down to 5th ahead of Tony Wika. With the top 6 or so in such a tight pack, the shuffling would continue on. After a few incidents near the front, Martinez would come out with the win ahead of Baker and Wika rounding out the top 3.
Heat 1C Results
At the green flag, Sprint Series regular Greg Pelaez showed speed immediately, beginning a dominant run for the C-Main. Calvin Tam and Nasir Warner were the next in line along with Yuxiao Shi. By the checkered, it would be an unhampered win for Pelaez but a DQ for weight would change the results for the rest, placing Tam 2nd and Warner 3rd.
Here in the B-Main was a familiar face see in 2019 Sprint Series Champ Tyler Redman. After some poor luck earlier in the day, he’d bounce back in the B-Main to face off with up and coming drivers Mike Carlson and Heather Perrin. Carlson would snag the lead for a spell, but the experienced Redman would eventually pick off both Perrin and then Carlson, earning the transfer to the A-Main.
|1)||Tyler Redman [2R]|
Based on their results earlier in the day, both Martinez and Wika had a ways to go in order to fight for any shot at the win in the A-Main. Once things got going, the racing was exciting to watch, and little room would be given amongst all competitors in the tight front pack. Michael Martin began the race in 2nd and slotted into the lead at the halfway point. Martinez however drew in closer, and was just behind. In dramatic fashion, the white flag was where it all happened– Martinez and Martin were slotted together with a convincing lead over the rest of the field with Wika just barely eeking out for the last piece of hardware in Sprint Series Round 3.
For Martin, it would be his first– and visibly proud– career podium. Martinez’s first W had been during the Sprint Series in the 2019 Classico Grand Prix Weekend and this followup was a long time coming. We now close in on the last 2 rounds of the Winter Subchampionship… As it stands, Diego Alvarado is in the lead by 13 points with Martinez not so far behind. We’re still so early in the season– who can say who the dominant players will be?
|6)||Mark Sternberg [2R]|
|10)||Ronnie Swaim Jr|
Sprint Series 2020 Current Points Standings
|1)||Ayrton DeMoss [2R]||300|