Clockwise! NASA Wild Horse Pass November 2015

Clockwise at Wild Horse Pass West?  Can’t be done.  Won’t be fun.  Unsafe!!  12122895_1037771306273516_4376414385314932901_n

Well, the results are in and indeed NASA worked with the management of Wild Horse Pass track to reconfigure the West track for clockwise operations.  This is a NASA first and every person said they liked it even BETTER!  We had a pretty darn good turnout for this nice cool weather with well over 100  participants including 10 first time HPDE1 attendees!

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Welcome to our future racers:  Michael Fain, Thomas Griepentrog (must be related…), Nate Jonovich, Steve Maxey, Scott Peterson, Michael Shaw, Justin Smith, Philip Thomas and Matthew Thompson.  Hope you will join us again for the next event and continue the experience.

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This was a points event for all our regular classes.  HPDE 2 was well attended with about 23 entrants, with DE3 and DE4 both with around 15.  As always the local Time Trial group was large and varied with over 30 entrants and a solid 20+ Race entrants for combined races.  11 signed up for the UMS Tuning Time Attack series.

12195864_1037764676274179_7451500454401433443_nThanks to Adina Evanson for all the great pics:  More on the NASA AZ Facebook page.

As of writing this Recap not all the results are official and posted, but keep an eye on the NASA-AZ website for official release and update of Season Points as we head into the final event at Arizona Motorsports Park on December 5th 2015.

NASA-AZ Info

Join the NASA-AZ forums to check out the latest info on upcoming events, questions and answers, Etc.

www.nasaaz.com

Also check out our Facebook page.

Edits and comments:  tomjohnson@cox.net   PS… Always glad to get input from other classes and drivers that want to help expand the information in the recap.  Pictures, notes, assistance, editing are always appreciated!

 

Who’s Who in NASA: Hal Dunn

DSC_0709Full Name:  Hal Dunn
Where is your Hometown?  Baltimore, MD
How long have you lived in AZ? Yuma since 2001
Marital Status: Married 41 years to Karen
Children/Grandchildren: Sons – Robert & Matthew
Grandkids – Ryan, Genna & Jacob
Pets: Two Males Dachshunds Freddy (who enjoys the track) & Wolfie, Female Terrier Molly and Chihuahua Mia
Favorite Music:  Rock & Roll from all decades
Favorite TV Show:  TopShot, Last Man Standing, Survivor, Food Network
Occupation: Chief Warrant Office US Army (Retired), Corporate Pilot (current)
NASA Run Group:  Currently TTC, PTC
Current Daily Driver: Ford Explorer

 

Current Race Car 2013 Scion FRS White #51
Specs: “Lightly Modified”
Hypercoil Springs
Tarmac Racing Coilovers
Hawk Pads (stock calipers/rotors)
Hoosier 245/40/17
AirAid Intake
JDL Equal Length Header
Custom Exhaust
Cage by Precision Chassis Works
Tuned for E85 Fuel
Stock HP: 165
Current HP: 195
Previous Race Car(s): 944 Spec, 2006 Mustang

2013 Scion FRS

2013 Scion FRS

This Who’s Who started a few months ago when Tage asked Hal Dunn if he’d like to be the Series Director for our PT Race Classes. For months, we went back and forth but never quite found time to sit down together. I’m glad we finally had our “interview” because I realized I knew very little about Hal even though he’s been racing with us for years!

Hal spent 23 years in the US Army that began when he enlisted in 1971. By 1974, he had graduated flight school and was flying Cobra Helicopters on his own. Over the years, he has flown over 45 different types of aircraft and has lived all over the world including Germany and the Marshall Islands. Ironically, while living in the Marshall Islands he was part of a Sail Boat Racing group where he had to figure out “handicaps” for the different types of vessels that were competing. Eventually work led him to Yuma, Arizona where he has made a home for the last 15 years. He currently owns a company that maintains and pilots 5 corporate jets out of Yuma.

Hal first learned about NASA from an advertisement for the American Iron group. Shortly after reading about the the AI group he drove up to Phoenix International Raceway to see a NASA AZ event. Much to his disappointment, Hal found that this region had ZERO Mustangs driving in AI. Thankfully, he ran into Norm Hamden and was signed up for DE1 by the next event with Norm as his instructor. Hal progressed quickly to race group and was soon driving competitively in the 944 Spec group (Norm has a way of getting people to run that group!). Between 2006-2009 Hal drove regularly in 944 Spec but after ongoing car issues and incidents he decided to take a break. His break was short lived and less than a year later he was back driving his 2006 Mustang in TTB. Sadly, in May 2012, his beautiful Mustang and the wall near start/finish at INDE had a little “incident”. After mentioning a new car he had read about, his son arranged for a salesman to bring the new car by his house for a “test” drive. Hal laughed as he told about the test drive of a lifetime with a very enthusiastic salesman. And just like that he was the proud owner of a new 2013 Scion FRS (just not THAT one LOL). The FRS has proved itself a great car. With what Hal considers “light” modifications, he has been having a blast driving in both TTC/D and PTC the last few years.

2006 Mustang

2006 Mustang

944 Racing in the Rain

944 Racing in the Rain

Some highlights of Hals time with NASA have been Nationals at Miller Motorsports Park in 2013. Hal described the feeling being overwhelmed as he took in the facility and excitement of the event. He proudly finished 4th in TTD that year. He also remembers checking off an item from his bucket list 30 some years later. In the 1970’s he flew a Helicopter over Road Atlanta and it instantly became a bucket item for him to drive. In 2014, he finally realized that dream as he drove in the East Coast NASA Nationals on Road Atlanta. And with much emotion, Hal describes one of his favorite moments within NASA AZ. After hitting the wall at INDE Motorsports Ranch, Hal describes how Jason Griepentrog (who he had just met that event) took the time to sit with Hal and make sure he was ok, then stay late at the end of the weekend to help load the car back into his trailer.

This year Jeff Abrams and Hal have been battling it out in both TTC and PTC. It is tight racing between the Scion FRS and Mazda Miata. Every race is a real competition with each of them going back and forth between 1st and 2nd place podium finishes all season long. Hal happily describes this year as the most fun he has ever had on track.

Jeff and Hal on the Podium in April 2015

Jeff and Hal on the Podium in April 2015

As the new PT Series Leader for NASA AZ, Hal hopes to grow the class and encourage more drivers to try it. He notes that lack of updated information and accessibly online have hindered the group and hopes to make some changes so that more people can see that PT can accommodate a wide variety of cars and budgets. Other future plans might one day include dusting off another Mustang that is nearly complete sitting in his garage, possibly starting up an AI group in AZ and maybe driving the Nurburgring that he also saw from air many years ago.

Nap Time at the Dunn House

Nap Time at the Dunn House

Know someone you’d like to see in a future Who’s Who? Email adina@nasaaz.com

NASA Summer Night at West September 2015

Night racing returned to NASA-AZ on September 5th at Wild Horse Pass West track.   It was a beautiful late summer evening with nice early cloud cover, a few light sprinkles and bunch of great cars and drivers out to test the lighting and get some track experience. As usual at our local events we were treated with a delicious food vendor serving burgers, tacos, burritos and cold sodas.

I had never been to a night event but was very surprised at how fun it was. Turning on headlights was definitely an unusual sensation in a race-car. And more than one driver got to grid with their headlights completely taped over prior to realizing that a change was necessary!

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This was a non-points event for the Race Groups so many of the bigger (non-lighted) cars didn’t show up. But many others did and it was a great chance to practice night and lighted operations for those planning longer enduros in the future where a long overnight drive will be required.

HPDE:

Big Crowd! I was totally surprised to see so many HPDE-1 drivers.   We had 15 paid entrants for DE1 and this is awesome to see so many first-timers come out for their future addiction.

Big round of thanks to the DE1 contingent: Nicole Booye, Ernesto Bustamante, Christian Caldron, Clayton Creekmore, Albert Dupre, Craig Foss, Mark Gonchar, Robert Johnson, Bryan Korte, Johannes Laraway, Heinrich Schultz, Avtar Singh, T. Philip Thomas, Keith Wong and Jason Zucco.     Hope to see everyone moving up to HPDE2 soon.

And speaking of HPDE2, there was a good crowd here too with 18 signed up. It’s great to come back and see the same drivers you remember from your previous HPDE1 event and track your progress together. Many of the drivers from my DE1 were with me at Comp School and are now beside me racing for the finish line in wheel to wheel action. Great fun ahead!

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Between DE3 and DE4 were over 30 more drivers. At this point it’s a good idea to start getting focused on driver safety equipment and start to consider when the next Competition School you might be eligible to attend is. It’s the most fun you will have on track!

Time Trial:

This was a non-points Time Trial event but the event was still be eligible for track records and contingency. With 20 drivers signed up and limited track time it proved to be an exciting few sessions.   The 3 sessions were not only full but combined with all classes on a dark track. It makes for exciting driving and everyone kept their heads on a swivel!

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Time Attack:

This was also a busy and short session for the UMS Tuning sponsored Time Attack which started at 11:00pm. We had 15 drivers signed up heading into the event for this relatively short 10 minute session.

Next event is Inde back in Wilcox, AZ: http://forums.nasaaz.com/showthread.php?t=7123

Remember this is a Comp School event and everyone looking to advance to racing and points events should be considering getting their Comp School out of the way.   See your class leader or mentor for more details.

 

NASA-AZ Info

Join the NASA-AZ forums to check out the latest info on upcoming events, questions and answers, Etc.

www.nasaaz.com

Also check out our Facebook page.

Edits and comments:  tomjohnson@cox.net   PS… Always glad to get input from other classes and drivers that want to help expand the information in the recap.  Pictures, notes, assistance, editing are always appreciated!

 

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