SoCal Spec E46 Launches First Full Season at Chuckwalla

The first full Spec E46 season in Southern California kicked off at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway February 16 and 17. Saturday’s race was run clockwise and Sunday’s was run counter-clockwise. Both races had four Spec E46s running in a mixed-class field along with ST4, ST5, and GTS cars.
For Saturday’s race, Ryan Keeley notched the quickest time in qualifying, followed by Ryan Bittner, Peter Oneppo and Mike Beale. Because they were mixed in with other classes, the Spec E46s were nose-to-tail to one another, with other cars next to them as they turned onto the front straight. The green flag dropped for the flying start and the cars took off.
When running clockwise, the end of the front straight at Chuckwalla leads into a quick left-hand kink before a sweeping right-hander and often leads to exciting race starts. The Spec E46s jockeyed for position within the larger pack through the first set of

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Justin Crickenberger and Ryan Pond Split Wins at Chuckwalla

We had 30 Spec Miatas take the green flag for the race on Sunday and only one less on Saturday. Eleven NASA Arizona drivers, 18 NASA SoCal drivers and one very fast NorCal driver showed up in the middle of the desert in February to a track that could be considered one of the top 15 in America. Maybe that’s the draw. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s only three hours from Phoenix and most of L.A.
In Saturday’s clockwise racing action, Justin Crickenberger was the immediate frontrunner, with blistering times in the mid 1:06s during warmup and qualifying, but Keith Dees, Ryan Pond and Justin Hall were in the mix too. When the flag dropped for the race, 29 Spec Miatas safely made it through Turn 1 with just the slightest of friendly fender rubbing. For a bunch of SM drivers who don’t normally race together it was one of the more “polite” Spec Miata race starts.
True to form, Justin Crickenberger won it with

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