The 2021 CalSpeed Sprint Series came to a close this past weekend, and while the Overall and Summer Sub-Championships had been clinched by Evan Lawrence a round prior, the SE category and order of the final two spots on the podium were still undecided. Tecnico would be the stage for the final race of season for the Sprint Series, with bragging rights and final goals on the year the focus for many…
Qualifying and Heat Races…
Chris Fox continued to show his affinity for the counter-clockwise direction at CalSpeed, putting up the top time in qualifying for his first career pole position. The next two spots would be familiar faces from the past few events, as John Rice clocked the 2nd best time, while James Lieser made it two in a row for the top three in qualy. For Rice, it was a great start to see if he could also nab P2 in the overall standings.
We would see new faces at the sharp end once the heat races began however, with [2R] driver Donnie Clarke looking good in his final Sprint Series start, having moved on after finishing third overall in 2020. Joining him in the win column for the heat races would be rising talent Mike Gonzales, and Round #9 winner Matthew McCoy; the latter claiming pole position for the A-Main after a lap just .003 faster than Clarke in qualifying…
The first main of the day would see late entry Bowie Adams lead the field away, having gotten in from the waitlist day-of at the track, and was making the most of it. Newcomer Mia Valvo would start second, but immediately come under fire from Elmer Salguero and David Schaefer, slipping to 4th in the opening stages. Salguero lost time in the process however and saw the gap up to 3 seconds before he started making the most of the clean air and began to reel in Adams. Elmer would clock fast lap of the race, but the gap would prove to be too much, with Adams bringing home the C-Main win to finish out his season.
The B-Main would see a mix of both up and coming talent, and series veterans at the front of the pack, with the latter leading the group away at the start via Frank Hsu. Hsu would be challenge straight away by one of the up and comers, this time from John Boyd, who has improved steadily in the second half of the season. The driver on the move however would be top-5 points contender Jeremy Aldridge, working up from 7th to take over the top spot by the halfway mark. Once out front, it was all Aldridge, slowly edging out a gap to bring home the B-Main win, and transfer to the A-Main….
The final A-Main of the year looked almost the same as the penultimate round a month before, as Matthew McCoy once again paced the field with a single driver in tow. Lat month it was Evan Lawrence, dutifully playing the pusher as the pair gapped the field to an eventual P2 and overall title. This time it would be Donnie Clarke, a driver making his final career start in the series, and looking to better his second place from a year ago in this event. Like Lawrence, the experience Clarke pushed McCoy into the later stages of the race, but just like last round, McCoy would play a perfect defense, scoring his second win in a row, and 4th of his career.
For his part, the aforementioned Evan Lawrence worked his way up from 12th to claim the final podium spot over John Rice in the end; the former matching the single season record for podiums in a season, and the latter claiming the second spot in the championship, with Michael Martin finishing out the year 3rd overall. Elsewhere, Connor Hicks put up the strongest run of any SE driver this season, finishing P6 in the Main, but coming up just short of Frank Chen in the championship…
That will do it for the 2021 CalSpeed Sprint Series, congrats to the hardware winners, and thank you to everyone for coming out! The 2022 season will go on sale in November, so be sure to sign up early so you do not miss out!
Sprint Series Round #10 Top 10
- Matt McCoy
- Donnie Clarke [2R]
- Evan lawrence
- John Rice
- Mike Gonzales
- Connor Hicks [SE]
- Albert Yeh
- Chris Fox
- Ivan Martinez
- Michael Chen