Who’s Who in NASA: Tony Szirka


Full Name: Anthony “Tony” Frank Szirka

Where is your Hometown? Ligonier, PA

How long have you lived in AZ? Since 1995, moved to Phoenix in 2002.

Favorite Food(s): Yes

Favorite Music: Depends on mood…Metal to Rap

Occupation: Car Nerd

NASA Position / Run Group: Tech official / TTU




          Tony was born in Romania “but is Hungarian” he grew up in Oradea till the age of 9 when his family moved to America. They settled down in Ligonier, Pennsylvania where Tony grew up. Shortly after his 18th birthday Tony joined the U.S. Army where he was trained as a generator mechanic (52D) and stationed in Germany with the 3rd ID 103d MI Unit. During his stay in Germany Tony met his future tony-shannon-armywife Shannon who was also in the Army. They both dated during their tour in Germany and before Tony’s enlistment was up he asked Shannon to marry him. She said yes of course!! Tony got out of the Army and moved back to Pennsylvania in 1993, Shannon shortly followed as she had to finish her enlistment in the Army as well. They were married that same year in Pennsylvania while Tony was attending Vale Technical Institute. A year later in November their daughter Tabitha was born and Tony graduated from college with his degree in Automotive Technics and Management. In 1995, Tony and his family moved to Prescott, AZ to be close to some of Shannon’s family and to start life somewhere new with his family. Tony worked for York Motors in Prescott as an Auto Technician while Shannon attended college to become a Nurse. Also, during this time Tony was introduced to racing by an acquaintance, Erwin Rice, who invited him out to a track day with Gemini Racing. Tony started to attend many different racing events with Hotchkis and Baer Brake at Button Willow and Firebird Raceway. In January 2001, the Szirka family’s first son was born “Ulrik” bringing the male and female balance into check.

        In 2002, Shannon made a top secret trip to Phoenix for a job interview at a hospital for a surgery nurse position. She got the job and on the way back she stopped by the Volkswagen dealership and picked her out a new Jetta to drive back to tell everyone “to pack up we’re moving”. They moved to Mesa where Tony started working for Mode INC. running the engine dyno, building custom wiring harnesses and engines for Porsches. Tony, happy to be in the performance part of the automotive industry, decided in 2004 he would open up his own performance shop. So in August 2004, UMS Tuning was born. For those of you that don’t know UMS Tuning is named after Tony’s son Ulrik, they are the initials of his full name. With his own shop up and running Tony wanted to get back into racing so in 2006 he started running in NASA AZ with his 2003 Mitsubishi Evolution. Tony has worked his way up through the HPDE ranks and in 2010 he started running Time Trial. During this time Tony competed at Super Lap Battle from 2008 to present, Modified Tuner Shootout from 2009 to present, and Global Time Attack in 2011. Some of Tony’s most memorable experiences in racing happened this year while running with GTA. He was their Race Steward which gave him the opportunity to race at different race tracks to include, New Jersey Motorsports Park and Autobahn Country Club. When Tony isn’t busy running the shop or racing you might find him at the karting track, riding his BMX bike or just relaxing at home with his family and pets. Well that’s a wrap for Tony “Sriracha” Szirka be sure you say ‘Hi’ next time you see him if not he might fail your car at Tech as he is a NASA AZ Tech Official.


Written by: Travis Barnes

NASA-AZ Final Event of the Year at Firebird East Recap

                With December brought the final event of the year for NASA AZ at the always popular Firebird East. Going into the weekend a cold front came on with a forecast of proposed showers for Saturday and cold temperatures for Sunday. By the time race weekend came, the forecast proved true, but that did not stop the eager drivers from making their way to the track for the last time before the New Year.

Race Group

                Norm Hamden shows an amazing example of car control hanging his car out while Jeff Wojnar and Rick Downing hold their line going 3 wide through turn 9!! This is just one of many examples of the fight that went into the Small Bore Sprint race on Saturday.


            It was dark, wet, and just plain cold all day on Saturday. This however was not enough to stop our racers from going full bore in a final attempt to gain points for the year.  Small bore qualfiying was nothing less than a taste of what was to come during the sprint race later that day. With drivers dipping 2 off here and there, pushing as hard as possible for starting position, everyong showed that a little weather was not going to stop any of them from making their last event of the year worth while. The big bore qualifying session showed Mark Alger jumping away from the pack quickly to set his pace and make a quick exit. CV Wells ran consistently getting used to the track conditions that would later only get worse. John Dowling and Brian Turner did not seem to want to come off track. Whether they were pushing eachother for faster and faster qualifying times or were just having a blast enjoying the track conditions, they put on quite a show.

Saturday Small Bore


                As if to make things even more interesting, mother nature decidided to shower on our racers just as the Small Bore group took the green flag. With 20 cars on track and questionable conditions, this was sure to be quite the race.  With everyone charging out of the gate, it wasn’t one lap into the race we saw drivers going four wheels off in the popular end of turn 4. Norm Hamden and Tage Evanson in his rented #8 944 were off to a quick battle for the lead. They did their best to pull away from the pack but Simon Pavlick would not make it easy for them running just behind. Scott Phillips has been the driver to look out for this year and he certainly made his presence known as he picked off one driver at a time making his way through the pack. In the RX7 group, Shane Kneisel made quick work of taking and holding onto the lead. He would eventually take the overall win for the RX7 series on Saturday. Less than half way through the race, Tage Evanson had a big off in turn 7 leaving Norm Hamden a wide open door to run away with the lead. Never one quit, Tage wasted no time making back the 3 positions he lost putting him right back at the front of the pack but not before Darren Griffith in the #7 944 made a sneak attack on the whole pack eventually passing Norm for the overall lead! With just a few laps left Norm Hamden found himself in the sand trap leaving Darren Griffith to take the overall win. Other great battles during the small bore race included Tage Evanson and Scott Phillips during the second half of the race with Scott eventually taking back his position, as well as Leland Forbes and Steve Marlow running heel to toe.

 Saturday Small Bore Results

Class 944 Spec

1st : #7 Darren Griffith

2nd : #8 Tage Evanson TeamArizonaPain.com

3rd : #04 Pete Dimuzio

Class PT-E

1st : #97 Scott Phillips

2nd : #624 Simon Pavlick

Class RX7

1st : #20 Shane Kneisel

2nd : #45 Jeff Sachs

3rd : #66 Michael Babcock


Saturday Big Bore


                Saturdays big bore drivers got the short end of the stick. With race rubber ready, a downpoor hit just before the big bore session. This led to only 6 cars going out on track with one being Mark Alger whom left the race before the green flag to return with rain tires.  Each of the drivers showed great patience rounding the track waiting for the the surface to slowly dry up. Unfortunately the course never completely dried, but this wasn’t enough to stop drivers such as Jeremy Renshaw in his BMW and Leroy Moore in the Flatout Motorsport Pro Truck from going out and having a great amount of fun. In fact, Jeremy Renshaw was actually able to lap the entire field!

Saturday Big Bore Results

Class PT-B

1st : #11 Jeremy Renshaw

Class PT-A

1st : #46 John Dowling

2nd : #524 Brian Turner

Class SU

1st : #9 Leroy Moore

2nd : #12 Dan Klaudt

3rd : #4 Mark Alger


Sunday Small Bore


                Sunday while still cold, was completely clear and proved to be a great day for racing. The small bore raced had an interesting start. In the RX7 class, Jeff Sachs qualified pole. During the out lap of the race, Jeff set the pace for the start; however the other drivers fell back eventually giving Jeff a full corner on the pack when the green flag dropped.rx7 Over the next few laps Jeff continued to add distance from the pack and went on to the win for the RX7 class. Simon Pavlick and Scott Phillips were back at it again, trading positions and turning some great lap times. They made a huge gap from the rest of the pack and despite Scott’s best efforts; Simon took the win on Sunday. Leland Forbes in his #510 Integra and Darren Griffith had a great battle until Leland had to make a quick pit stop to ironically secure a piece of his safety equipment.

 While Darren was leading the race, Norm Hamden and Steve Marlow battled closely behind for 2nd place until Norm found an opportunity to pass and took the position. Having gapped the Spec 944 pack, Darren found himself attempting to trade positions with Ford Spec Racer Elliot Firereich. After a few great laps Darren made the pass. He would have surely gone on to win the Spec 944 race had a mechanical failure not stopped him in his tracks. This left Norm Hamden to take a well-deserved win.


Sunday Small Bore Results

Class PT-E

1st: #624 Simon Pavlick

2nd: #97 Scott Phillips

Class 944 Spec

1st: #99 Norm Hamden

2nd: #47x Steve Marlow

3rd: #8 TeamArizonaPain.com

Class Ford Racer Spec

1st: #1 Elliott Friereich

Class PT-D

1st: #510 Leland Forbes

Class RX7

1st: #45 Jeff Sachs

2nd: #2 Kevin Michaels

3rd: #21 Devon Dahn


Sunday Big Bore Race


                Sundays Big Bore race was interesting to say the least, before the race even began. A number of class championships landed on the results of this race. PT-A would rely on this race to determine the winner. The championship was between John Dowling and Brian Turner. The winner of this race would take the overall championship. The ST-2 championship was between Bryan McCormick and CV Wells. Because of the weather on Saturday, the drivers formed a gentleman’s agreement that neither would race until Sunday and that would decide the winner.  With that being said, the green flag dropped and Clay Koevary in the #36 Porsche was off to a quick lead followed by Mark Alger in his Viper.


In ST-2 CV Wells was holding onto 1st place but Bryan was close behind and determined to take the win. In PT-A, Brian Turner and John Dowling were putting on a great show. A mechanical failure leaving John with only half of his gearbox to choose from, let Brian take the pass but it wasn’t enough to catch Erik Davis. Kudos goes out to Jeremy Renshaw as he paced the race behind John and Brian as not to disrupt their battle for the championship. While Clay Koevary ran away with the overall win, CV Wells and Bryan McCormick continued to stay close together.


Due to a miscalculation on fuel, CV Wells car began experiencing fuel starvation during the plentiful FIR East right hand turns, making him unable to blast out of many turns like he had in previous laps. With only one lap to go, Bryan made a quick turn onto the straight and made a pull for CV. Bryan got the pass and went on to take the ST-2 1st place position. Unfortunately due to a penalty from the start of the race, passing under a yellow to regain his position lost during an out lap spin, Bryan was pushed back to 3rd place. Initially this penalty was assumed to give CV Wells the ST-2 title, however due to a miscalculation of points and the gentleman’s agreement just a day before, a “0” score drop for each them allowed Bryan McCormick to take the ST-2 championship!

Sunday Small Bore Results

Class SU

1st: #36 Clay Koevary

2nd: #4 Mark Alger

3rd: #9 Leroy Moore

Class ST-2

1st: #24 CV Wells

2nd: #3 Tyler Thompson

3rd: #727 Bryan McCormick

Class PT-A

1st: #67 Erik Davis

2nd: #524 Brian Turner

3rd: #46 John Dowling

Class PT-B

1st: #11 Jeremy Renshaw



Following a great season battling right to the end with John Dowling, Brian Turner had this to say,

                “We knew going into this weekend that I had to finish ahead of John D to clinch the PTA season. Saturday I was hoping to be in position during the race in the rain to make a move. Unfortunately I cut my race short by running out of fuel (d’oh!) leaving it up to Sunday to clinch. Sunday qualifying saw most everybody improve their personal bests. After a clean race start Eric Davis checked out with a comfortable lead in PTA. My car held up this time during the race, but John’s car decided to throw in the towel Sunday about 20 minutes in with a transmission issue which allowed me to clinch the season. 

 I’d like to thank my dad/crew chief for all of his hard work during the season. I couldn’t have done it without ya! John D-It’s been an honor for me to race with you. Thanks for all of the close battles this year! Jeremy-Thanks for letting John and I duke it out Sunday! Doug- Thanks for your help at the enduro!”

 John Dowling knowing first-hand the hard work and effort that goes into winning a championship said this.

               “I would like to congratulate Brian, and more importantly, his entire team for their 2011 win and final race at the East Track. I have been racing since 2005 with over 250 pole positions on the purple 911 with 9 or 10 regional championships since 2005, including winning the last 2 years of the St. Johns Grand Prix. Many newer model cars from BMW M-3’s to 997 have made the attempt to end the winning streak, congratulations again to Brian’s entire team and their efforts for 2011. 
A broken shifter tube occurred about 15 minutes into the race. I continued in 3rd gear. When the rev limiter went off I coasted to the end of the straights. This cooked the brakes and made the car a handful. Scary, “My Laps dot com” lists a 1:03.236 on lap 24. Who needs gears?”

Here is a reflection from Jeff Wojnar on the appreciation we all have for those that make all of this possible.

                “I would like to include a huge thank you from myself, and the other 944 Spec racers, to Adina, Tage and the entire NASAAZ staff. The season and events are top notch; operated with an incredibly enthusiastic and positive attitude. I feel comfortable and welcome at each event. I look forward to the exciting 2012 season organized by Tage for this club.”

Finally, we would like to welcome back Clay and the Koevary family with their #36 Porsche Cup Car as well as Tyler Thompson in the 2009 World Motors BMW back to NASAAZ. We hope to see both teams back next year along with everyone who participated this year.



Time Trials


                There was a great showing in Time Trials for the last event of the year. With over 30 competitors here are your results from TT. Saturday was led by TeamArizonaPain.com who despite mechanical difficulties ran a 0:57.153 for 1st place TT-R and a new track record. In 2nd was Richard Koevary running a 1:01.7. TT-U was led by the always fast Mark Alger who in his second session ran a 0:58.637. In 2nd were Wayne Oxtoby with a 1:03.4 and Gary Felton in 3rd running a 1:04.2.


                TT-S was led by CV Wells who ran a blistering fast 1:00.3. Bryan McCormick took 2nd by a tiny margin running a 1:00.6 and Pete Creek took 3rd with a 1:01.4. TT-A was led by your PT-A champion, Brian Turner running a 1:03.4. In 2nd was Ravi Tomerlin with a 1:05.5 followed by Gabe Ortega who managed a 1:05.8 despite having car troubles all weekend.



                Coming our strong on Saturday, Matt McIntyre ran a 1:02.0 in his first session for a new track record and 1st place TT-B. In 2nd was Jeremy Renshaw with a 1:02.8 and Phil Robles in 3rd with a 1:05.6. Running away with TT-C was Dave Schotz running a 1:03.9 followed by Joel Schotz with a 1:07.7 and Justin Markieqizc with a 1:08.5. Brad Lundahl ran a 1:08.1 for 1st place TT-E. TT-F was won by Eric Jacobsen with a 1:13.6 with Paul Bloomberg in 2nd with a 1:14.5.

                Highlights from Sunday were as follows. TeamArizonaPain.com, who was back for 1st place TT-R, was unable to break their record set the previous day. Due to mechanical failures, the team was actually borrowing a Radical SR3 owner by DE4 driver Terry Lee for Sunday. Despite the car having both handling and engine problems, it was not enough to stop this team. Mark Alger led TT-U once again while Pete Creek took Sunday for TT-S. Brian Turner came out and ran a 1:03.0 for the win in TT-A and a new track record. Matt McIntyre having set the TT-B track record the previous day bettered his time once again running a 1:018. Dave Schotz took TT-C but was unable to improve his time from Saturday. Robert Rose took TT-D again improving his time and Eric Jacobsen took the win for TT-F.

                Also look for a few new faces in Time Trials for the 2012 season. These drivers were on track testing with the other TT drivers and will all be moving up next year. Those drivers are Justin Bowie, Albert Borboa, Jason Griepentrog, and Taylor Wilson.


Taylor Wilson


Albert Borboa


Justin Bowie



UMS Tuning Time Attack Series


                With this being the final event of the season, many competitors were anxious to set a great time and clench a podium spot for the year. The point’s race was close and many positions came down to this event. Despite track conditions, drivers did their best to maintain their overall positions. The results are as follows:


1st: Robert Rose

2nd: David Lutter

3rd: Leland Forbes


1st: Ravi Tomerlin

2nd: Phil Robles

3rd: Melanie Bedrin


1st: Russ Whelan

2nd: Taylor Wilson

3rd: Justin Bowie

                For end of the year results be sure to check the NASA AZ forums. Also be sure to watch for the announcement of the 2012 rule setting meeting. We want everyone to be a part of growing this series.



                Great job to all the drivers that came out for HPDE over the weekend. With only a few off track excursions, many drivers were finding their confidence behind the wheel. We had a number of drivers graduate into the following class as well. From DE2 we had seven drivers move up to the DE3 ranks. Those drivers include Gabriel Wiley, Chris Plumlee, Zach Spisak, Rodney Pesavento, Adam “Addrock” Rosin, Ambrose Earle, and Karl Wehrle. DE3 drivers moving into DE4 include Martin Smit, Kevin Gay, and Dan Kellet. If you are a driver in HPDE and would like to move up next year, be sure to contact your group leader during the holiday break and set up a check ride into the next group. We encourage each of you not to become comfortable in your current group, and always look to challenge yourself by moving up and advancing your driving abilities.

Well that wraps up 2011 we want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and we hope to see everyone back next year!

 Next Event Info

 Our next event will find us at Firebird Main for the season opener.

 We will be running the FAST configuration too so don’t miss out!!


 Race Groups (Both days)
Time Trial (Points events both days)
Time Attack (Sunday only)
Saturday night BBQ too!!!

Jan 14-15 Registration is open click here to sign up!


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


Also check out our Facebook page.

NASA-AZ Facebook


Written By: Taylor “Dr. Koby D” Wilson

Editing and Pictures By: Travis Barnes 

Editing: Tage Evanson

Photos of the slide by Tom Barnes from www.twistedpriorities.com

Firebird West NASA-AZ Enduro Recap


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

           November brought NASA AZ back to one the beloved home tracks, Firebird West. Now, saying beloved is rather one sided as it always seems to be the chance for the little power guys to beat up on high horse power. The quick track with its tight turns and fast lap times gives the momentum cars a real edge on the so called straight line racers. Not only that, but the weather does not get much better than November for racing. The return to Firebird West not only brought fast times and great weather, but also an extra element of fun for the racers with the addition of a 75 min race ran under NASA’s Nationally sanctioned Enduro rules.


Race Group


            As we near the end of the year and the weather cools off, it makes for the perfect time to host the annual NASA AZ enduro.  After the Arizona racing community lost PIR, the track choices remaining to host the end of year enduro in either Nov or Dec (with the dates that were available), FIR West really was the best pick.  With a shortened race, temporary hot pit and 2nd loop installed, the racers quickly realized that NASA AZ will always find a way to make the best out of what we have.

"All racers were accounted for the mandatory race group meeting on Saturday"

"All racers were accounted for the mandatory race group meeting on Saturday"


             To any true endurance racer, 75 mins is hardly a test of endurance for some, but considering most AZ drivers only do 25-40 min races, this most definitely would be a challenge for many since we don’t host enduro races very often.  FIR West is a tight technical track but no more difficult to pass on than any other track in AZ (actually easier than FIR East). The strategy and performance for a team’s pit stop was actually just as important if not more than performance on the track!


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

              With a 75 min race and nearly all teams coming in for a pit stop regardless if they needed one or not (PTF-PTA were required to add at least 5 gallons of fuel at some point during their race), qualifying was not nearly as important as it typically is for a sprint race.  One highlight from qualifying worth mentioning was rookie racer Simon Pavlick, who grabbed the top spot in the “Small Bore Qualifying” and later went on to set a new PTE track record during the race at his very first NASA race ever!

           Now, moving on to the main event! Sometimes it’s tough to see the battles in race group once things get going, but if you follow the season points and keep up with the real time race results via “Race Monitor”, it will completely change your perspective on this race or really any of the NASA Sprint Races.

           With double points up for grabs and NASA’s strict enduro rules in play, it was nearly impossible to determine the finishing positions until the dust settled in impound with multiple infractions against teams from passing under yellow to non-compliant classed vehicles to fuel spills and anything else you can imagine to add to the drama! 


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

           On track there was actually a ton to watch from a spectator view.  Only 2 laps into the race, Mark Powel who qualified 1st in his class blew his motor and had to retire from the race and was forced to end his entire weekend early.

           In SU, Mark Alger and TeamArizonaPain.com went at it all race long.  To most folks looking the TeamArizonaPain.com Radical had a clear on track advantage over Alger’s Viper (running consistent 57’s at one point during the race!) but what most spectators probably didn’t know was the Radical couldn’t run the entire 75 mins without a fuel top off and the Viper could.  This meant the Radical had to pass the Viper a total of 3 times (and not just for position) in order to win SU and the race overall.  In the end it was TeamArizonaPain.com coming across the finish line first.  Unfortunately a fuel spill during a pit stop, which was deemed no penalty by NASA officials, had teams questioning the win. The following day in a fine showing of sportsmanship, TeamArizonaPain.com stepped forward and accepted a 5 minute penalty for the spill moving Mark Alger into 1st place SU and taking the overall win.

            ST-2 was led mostly by CV Wells in the Corvette but fans could tell that would not last long the way his rear tires kept locking up and eventually caused a tire failure which ultimately handed Bryan McCormick with the win and 2nd for Tyler Thompson.  Perhaps the most impressive performance of the race weekend was how quickly CV’s crew changed his tire on Sat (as well as one during the Sun sprint race).  NASCAR, eat your heart out!  With his 3rd place finish, Wells was able to hang on to his season points lead leaving the last race next month as the deciding factor between him and Bryan McCormick.


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

             PT-B was a tight race as usual between Jeremy Renshaw and Matt McIntyre.  Renshaw however lucked out with perfect timing of his pit stop (prior to a full course caution) he was able to make up some serious ground on McIntyre since the NASA enduro rules state the pits are closed unless you already entered them prior to the full course caution.  Unfortunately after the race there was… drama.  Let’s just say the end result was BOTH drivers were DQ’d from the race results on Sat. 🙁

          PT-A had four competitors all running nearly identical lap times!!!  In the end it was John Dowling in 1st with Brian Turner coming in 2nd.  Rumor has it, John’s pit stop took under 1 min and with on track lap times so close was the likely well deserved win!  Simon Pavlick ran uncontested in PT-E.  944 Spec saw 7 teams on track.  The team of Steve Marlow and Kent Buckley saw the quite the race.  Marlow qualified the team in 5th however Kent started the race for the team. After fighting his way up to 1st place, Kent came in after almost 50 minutes as he missed the halfway flag. Steve took off and held on to 1st place for the rest of the race. Unfortunately during Buckley’s stint, he made a subconscious pass during a local yellow. This unfortunate mistake resulted in a disqualification!  That being said, 1st place went to Rob Giorgio and Leroy Moore.  2nd place was Dean Schaeffer and Joe Paluch with Dave Hauck and Austin finishing 3rd. Finally we have Lou and Bob running 1st in ST-1.

Congratulations to all the teams for their efforts and participation to make this event so special each year.  We leave you with a few quotes from our racers.


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

 CV Wells had this to say:

           “The #24 Caldera Ventures Corvette had an 11 second lead in ST2 when I blew a tire. My AWESOME volunteer crew had me back on track in minutes so I could finish 3rd and maintain my points lead. Another tire blew in Sunday’s race and my crew changed that one in less than 2 minutes! Astounding performance guys!”


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

 Simon Pavlick:

          “I want to thank Gabe and Stephen for their excellent job doing pit crew for me. Also, I want to give a *thumbs up* to Austin Newmark. Austin and I were practically bumper-to-bumper for about the first half of the enduro!”


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

Making light of the incident resulting in a DQ, Paul Lynch wanted to keep things light and fun and had this to say:


          “Dr. Paul Lynch of Team ArizonaPain.com was in EXCELLENT shape for the enduro race…many of the teams and ladies at the track commented on his chiseled physique. During the driver switch many of the young hotties packed in close and tried to get an autograph in a beatle-mania type moment. A few of the more hysterical girls were crying and “spilled” a few tears in the paddock next to the ArizonaPain.com Radical. These were, of course, misinterpreted as fuel and the Radical was slapped with a 5 minute penalty.”

Finally, here are the words of Tage Evanson:
          “My car fire has changed my life in so many ways. Beyond the scars, the most noticeable is the lack of a race car (that I own)!!! I need to give a huge thanks to my wife for letting me continue to enjoy my passion and to Paul Lynch and Arizona Pain Specialists. Without all their tremendous support I wouldn’t be racing today.”


Here are the top results from Sundays Races:

Class SU


Mark Alger

Dan Klaudt


Class ST-2

Bryan McCormick

CV Wells

Jim Fluckey


Class PT-B

Jeremy Renshaw

Matt McIntyre


Class PT-A

Brian Turner

Erik Davis

John Dowling


Time Trials


Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

            The return to Firebird West in November was a favorite amongst Time Trial drivers as the slightly smaller track seems to even the playing field and really toss up the times amongst the drivers. Despite some Friday night rain, everyone came out strong and stayed progressively faster as the day went on.

             TT-R was a class of its own with only TeamArizonaPain.com running. Despite showing no times their first sessions out, the team eventually put down a blazing time 0:56.03 smashing the previous track record.  TT-U had quite the line up on Saturday with seven drivers putting down times. The fastest of the day was set by the always consistent Mark Alger with a 1:00.269 which was also good for a new track record.  Ken Gerhart set a fast time of 1:02.662 and Gary Felton put down a 1:03.241. 

          TT-S consisted of three drivers on Saturday. Bryan McCormick blasted off a 1:01.508 which is fast enough to compete with most of the TT-U drivers. Always running on pace was CV Wells with a 1:04.655 and Gordon Levy with a 1:07.065.

          TT-A top drivers were separated by only 3 seconds. Brian Turner set a fast time of 1:05.021. Gabe Ortega managed a 1:06.859 with the consistently quicker Ravi Tomerlin not far behind setting a 1:07.215.

          TT-B was led by Matt McIntyre showing a fast time of 1:04.187. Jim Fluckey was 2nd fastest of the day with a 1:05.927 and Bob Gottlieb came in with a 1:12.310. The top 2 TT-C drivers were separated by only 2 tenths of a second during their second sessions. Joel Schotz ran a 1:06.628 followed closely behind by Dave Schotz running a 1:06.891. TT-D driver Steve Marlow set down a 1:13.365 and finally, our TT-E drivers were separated by only a half of a second with Brad Lundahl running a 1:09.063 and Doug Evans running a 1:09.540.

           Highlights from Sunday were as follows. TeamArizonaPain.com ran a fast time but was unable to better their time from Sunday. Mark Alger Led TT-U on Sunday as well, all while running almost a second slower than the previous day. Bryan McCormick once again led TT-S but was also unable to better his fast time from Saturday. Gabe Ortega was able to improve his times on Sunday by almost 2 seconds beating Brian Turner’s Sunday best by only .2 seconds. Dave Schotz was able to pull out the fastest TT-C time on Sunday improving his time by over a second. Robert Rose made an appearance in Sundays TT-D sessions setting an overall fast time of 1:07.233 to put away the rest of the pack, but not by much.



          Firebird West is a great track for the HPDE crowd. The tight track and even tighter paddock is a great scene allowing both new and seasoned drivers to mingle amongst one another. The tight space also allows the HPDE drivers the chance to talk driving line with the experienced TT and race group drivers. As you move up the ranks in HPDE, be sure to reach out to another driver for a friendly hand shake and conversation (especially in line at the Sat night BBQ!). Before you know it, you just may be on track together. Also, great job to all the drivers for keeping it on the track. As a whole there were no accidents at the event and officials were glad to enjoy a whole weekend with no wrecks or clean ups on aisle 4. As a friendly reminder, be sure to fill up you tank before heading out onto track. Per NASA CCR section 6.5, any driver who runs out of gas on track will be pulled from the event for the day.


UMS Tuning Time Attack

          With 25 cars registered the UMS Tuning Time Attack series just won’t go away, not that we want it to. Allowing drivers of HPDE3 and up to come out and get a registered time, the groups line up for what is becoming one of the biggest time attack series in the country.

           TA-C was compiled of four cars. In 1st was Russ Whelan, the man to look out for. Russ has gotten faster at every event and will be someone to watch for in the upcoming season. Jim Cozzolino in his NSX placed 2nd and John Garrison came in 3rd.

          TA-B is consistently growing. With 8 entries the top 3 were as follows. Gabe Ortega ran a fast time of 1:05.050 placing 1st. In 2nd was Jesse Robles with a 1:05.654 and KSport Cowboy Phil Robles right behind in 3rd with a 1:06.243.

           TA-A has become the biggest group in the UMS Time Attack Series. With 14 competitors in this group the times were spread over an 8 second variable. Coming in 1st was Robert Rose. Making a great showing was Eric Kennel running a 1:08.273 for 2nd place and Leland Forbes placed 3rd with a 1:08.544.

           Anyone who is in DE3 or above is welcome to join in on the series. It is a great way to see where you could potentially place as drivers progress in Time Trials and Race Groups. If you are in DE3, or are soon to be, be sure to talk to an official about joining in on the series.


Next Event Recap

          Next month takes NASA AZ back to Firebird East for the last event of the season.

 We hope to see everyone out there to end the year with the largest group possible.

 Race Groups (Both days)
Time Trial (Points events both days)
Time Attack (Sunday only)

Dec 3-4 Registration is open click here to sign up!


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


Also check out our Facebook page.

 NASA-AZ Facebook


Written By: Taylor “Dr. Koby D” Wilson

Editing and Pictures By: Travis Barnes 

Editing: Tage Evanson

Photo by Paul Green from projectonethirty.com

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