Spec Miata Competition at Buttonwillow
The Spec Miata series came out in full force this weekend, as drivers overcame the Buttonwillow heat to engage in exciting door-to-door competition. The technical 1CCW configuration required drivers to carefully manage their consistency and their tires throughout the weekend. While Sunday’s increased heat brought slightly increased lap times, Saturday showcased multiple close battles. Eighteen SMs drew up poised for Saturday’s green flag, which saw Clement Lee take the lead and Tyler Vance slip into second. By the end of the first lap, Grant Westmorland had reclaimed the spot behind the leader. Directly behind the leaders, Brian Bender and Jeff Walker were engaged in a tight race. As Walker ‘s tires fell off towards the end of the race, Bender took advantage and permanently gained the position.
Tim Bonney and Francis Hu ran best lap times within 4 hundredths of each other, with Bonney’s consistency pulling him to a 3-second lead by the checkered, while Hu earned his competition license by the end of the weekend. Curtis Gong and visiting racer John Sause were part of a tightly contested battle, with Sause finishing less than a second behind Gong. David Dodge, a newcomer to the Teen Mazda Challenge, successfully completed his rookie provisions over the weekend. Beginning four laps into the race, Chuck Mathews and Tyler Vance traded positions back and forth. Tyler Vance not only won the second round of the 2010 Teen Mazda Challenge but was a threat for the win all weekend. Mathews displayed great pace and patience en route to two second place finishes, while Mark Homer’s consistency paid off as he competed against Ken Saward. Lee was shuffled back in the Bus Stop, allowing Westmorland, Vance, and Mathews to get by, although Lee collected his car quickly and rejoined the train of four. On the last lap, Vance looked to the inside under braking into Cotton Corners and the Buttonhook, but Westmorland defended well and pulled off a well-earned win. Lee would go on to dominate Sunday’s race and claim the top podium position.
Nine SoCal Spec Miata drivers are already prepping to take the national Spec Miata champion title at Miller Motorsports Park in September. Come join us at Auto Club Speedway July 30th and August 1st for the region’s last race before Nationals!