The 2021 CalSpeed Sprint Series would roll through the Classico CCW layout for the penultimate round in the championship, not only with the round win on the line, but he overall title as well. Combining twists and turns of the famous Esses section along with the high speed and hard braking from the Silk and Hairpin combination, round #9 delivered in the excitement category, with some fresh faces claiming much of the spotlight…
And the first of those fresh faces was Albert Yeh, claiming his first career pole position in what was a very close practice/qualifying session, which also saw veteran James Lieser and overall point leader Evan Lawrence inside the same tenth. Ironically, it was actually the best qualifying performance of the season for all three individuals, each starting from the pole position once the heat races got underway…
The Heat Races…
Two of the three pole sitters would cross the line first for their respective heat races, with Albert Yeh settling for 3rd to kick things off after being in the hunt for all 8 laps. Instead, the win would go to Matthew McCoy, capitalizing on a P2 starting spot to lead flag to flag, while Jacob Reis was able to steal away the second spot from Yeh. In heat 1-b it would again be a flag-to-flag performance, this time from James Lieser, with Evan Lawrence continuing the theme of no lead changes by bringing him the heat 1-C win in convincing fashion.
Of the three, it would be James Lieser getting the nod for the pole position in the A-Main, his qualy time used to break the tie between himself and Lawrence by just .025 seconds…
The C-Main would see a pair of drivers new to CalSpeed claim the limelight, first with Luis Cabrera starting things off from the sharp end in his third start, while Matthew Bernath looked to bring things home in his first Sprint Series event. Cabrera would lead things off from the point, but Bernath would make the move by the second circuit, eventually holding on to the spot and pulling out to a sizable margin to bring home the C-Main victory.
The B-Main would turn into arguably the most exciting race of the day, with Nathaniel Small leading the field off, but then coming under immediate pressure from round #8 c-main winner Greg Pelaez. Pelaez would take over the top spot and lead lap one, but Small would fight back to steal it away a couple circuits later. SE title hopeful Jake Boyd would enter the conversation next, picking off the top spot on lap 4, with Pelaez working back around Small and into second. With 2 laps to go Greg would make the move on Boyd, kicking off a battle royal for the final two laps the grew the battle from the top 4 on the penultimate lap, to more than seven on the white flag lap. Pelaez would first fend off Paul Wagner, and then Small, then Boyd before claiming his second Main event win in a row…
The round #9 A-Main would host a pair of storylines; of course who would bring home the win on the Classico CCW layout, but also, whether or not point leader Evan Lawrence would be able to sew things up early. James Lieser would lead the field away at the green, but it would be Lawrence crossing the line first at the end of lap one, bringing Matthew McCoy along with him to bump Lieser one more spot down. From there Lawrence committed to being the pusher, and slowly but surely the pair pulled away from Lieser, making it a two horse race. Knowing what was on the line, Evan stayed patient, and waited until the very end to make his moves, moves that McCoy was able to defend, claiming his third career win, but first of the season. Lieser, for his part, would hold on to the third spot to score his first podium since the season opener in 2019, which coincidentally was on the same track. For Lawrence, not only was he able to clinch the 2021 Sprint Series title, he would lock up the Summer Sub-Championship as well, claiming all three championships on offer for the season…
The next event for the CalSpeed Sprint Series will be the season Finale on October 16th, which is already sold out, and will take to the Tecnico layout. The final two spots on the podium are still not set in stone, and the Sport Experience title has yet to be decided, never mind the end-of-season bragging rights up for grabs….
Not on the entry list, be sure to get on the waitlist today!
Sprint Series Round #9 Top 10
- Matt McCoy
- Evan Lawrence
- James Lieser
- Vince Azua
- John Rice
- Jeremy Aldridge
- Carl Zhu
- Chris Fox
- Jacob Reis
- Jacob Abrams