Chris Griswold wins 2007 AIX National Championship Race

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The 2nd annual National Auto Sport Association (NASA) championships were held at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington Ohio on September 13th – 16th 2007.  The long weekend of racing would crown the national champions 30 different race classes of NASA with drivers from all over the United States. 

 

The CG Racing #17 Ford Mustang was still having some finishing touches made to it at the track after the complete rebuild that was needed after a very hard hit into the wall only 4 weeks earlier at the same Mid Ohio course.  Four weeks of hard work and rebuilding came together just in time with some very appreciated help from friends Brian Domont and Kevin Benoit.  DSS Racing supplied another flawless power plant in record time.  Car Craft Auto Body repaired and painted the damaged and newly supplied body panels to get the car once again looking like new. 

 

Thursday practice would have the CG Racing Mustang second on the time sheets in the unproven rebuilt car.  Last years National Champion Ernesto Roco would top the time sheets, setting the stage for some great battles on the track.  The format of the weekend would have a qualifying and qualifying race on both Friday and Saturday.  The points from each qualifying race would be added together to set the grid for the Championship race on Sunday with tie breakers going to the driver with the fastest race lap.

 

Fridays grid would have Chris Griswold slotted 2nd side by side with Roco on the front row. The top four cars were all within one second in qualifying and were setup for some great racing.  The start of the race would put Griswold ahead in the left hander as Roco would take the lead position in the second turn.  Griswold would stay close the entire race for a 2nd place finish in the first race.

 

Saturday’s practice session was a short session as the panhard bar mount broke after Griswold had one good lap. With help from Bob Denton’s welder and expert welder Steve Post, the #17 Mustang was back on track in time with a 2nd place qualifying position.  With similar grid positions, the start of Saturday’s race was a bit more eventful however as Griswold would get position on the outside of turn one to get alongside of Roco at the start.  Roco would then slide left at the exit of the turn and have contact with Griswold going up the hill forcing the #17 into the grass.  The battle continued as Griswold regained position and took the lead at the top of the hill.  Griswold would lead a number of laps before Roco would have contact in the passenger door of Griswold at the exit of the keyhole turn to again force the #17 two wheels off.  Roco would have a good run after the contact to take the lead into the next turn under braking.  Corey Weber would get by late in the race for second place.  The starting order for the Championship race was now set with the order being Roco, Griswold, Weber, and Patton.  Griswold won the tie breaker with Cory Weber by having the faster race lap by a mere .02 seconds.

 

The weather for Sunday’s race was again perfect with the temperature around 70 degrees at the 11:55 race start.  The 40 minute race had the AIX racers take the green flag as Griswold pulled into the lead by 3 car lengths into the first corner.   Roco, Weber and Patten would follow closely for a few laps while Roco would eventually contest for the lead behind Griswold for the first half of the race.  Roco would eventually get in Griswold’s draft down the long back straight and get a good look for a pass going into turn seven.  Griswold saw a yellow flag at turn seven and let up some to give way for the local yellow flag.  Roco took the opportunity to take the pass deep into the corner and complete it, but it was an illegal pass due to the yellow flag.  Knowing the pass would be followed by a disqualification for Roco, Griswold’s efforts focused on Weber who was right behind after the yellow flag.  Weber made a few attempts at a late braking maneuver on Griswold, but could not make any of them stick as Griswold would exit the corner with a bit more power to clear Weber at the end of each straightaway.  Roco would eventually have a problem with the nose of his car coming off due to contact earlier in the race which would slow his top speed dramatically.  Griswold them took the lead back for good with only a few to go.  The race would finish that way as Weber stayed close but could just not deny the Championship win for Griswold.

 

CG Racing would like to thank all of our sponsors; without your help in the last few weeks and throughout the year this win would not have been possible.  A special thanks to Brian Domont, Kevin Benoit, Steve Post, Steve Etienne, and Jeff Henderson.  Your help with parts and labor getting the car back together after the accident in August was very much appriciated.  Keith Egan at Car Craft Auto Body in Hartland Wisconsin saved the day with repair of the old body panels and repainting of all the panels just in time.  Todd & Mark at Roltek Transmission came through with the new driveshaft and rebuilding the transmission and rear end in just a few days.  Tom Naegele at DSS Racing once again pulled out a miracle by getting the new motor together in record time to make the championship race.  The brand new block and crank worked flawlessly all weekend so we could focus on the task at hand, winning the Championship!

 

Thanks to the Following:

G & V Machine Company G&V Machine Company: Home

DSS Racing                        http://www.dssracing.com

Maximum Motorsports       Maximum Motorsports :: The Leader In Mustang Performance Suspensions

Roltek Transmission           Roltek Racing Transmissions

Car Craft Auto Body           262-367-8000

 

 

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