Skip Barber National Driver Blog: Brandon Newey Closes in at Road America
Monday, July 18, 2011
Skip Barber National Driver Blog:
Brandon Newey Closes in at Road America
(Jul. 11). Coming into the race weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, I knew that I was going to need some pretty strong results in order to close in on the championship leader. Road America is a great venue to go to and is one of everybody’s favorite tracks. Since it has such long straightaways and the draft is such a big part of racing in the Skip Barber National series, I knew it was going to be tough to win.
For the weekend’s first qualifying session, I was able to work the draft just right and put down the fastest lap of the session. This was my first California Scents Pole in Skip Barber so I was pretty happy about that. But I knew that just because I was starting from the pole, it was not going to make the race any easier. In the second qualifying session I was hoping that I could put another strong lap together, but it just did not happen as planned and I ended up with the fifth best time.
After qualifying it was race time and starting from the pole in race number one was a nice bonus but, like I said before, it doesn’t guarantee anything. The race seemed to be extra long since everyone was fighting for position the whole race but everyone was also racing clean. I was able to stay in the top three for most of the race and keep myself in position for the win. On the last lap heading down the long straight into turn five I was passed by two cars, which put me in third. I knew my next passing opportunity would be in Canada corner. We went three wide drafting down the straight and I passed a car for second braking for the corner. I was able to get a good run on the leader out of turn 14 and caught a good draft up the hill. The leader made it tight as I had two wheels in the grass when I crossed the finish line and I won by .084 of a second!
I started race number two from fifth but by the first turn I had made my way up to third. About halfway through the race some oil was dropped onto the track by another car and I had a huge moment in the kink at full throttle. My car got extremely loose and I was sideways using the entire exit curb and a bit more to keep the car straight. My race was very close to being over right there. Luckily I kept it on the track and was able to continue. The top three cars were able to break away from the rest of the field. We were able to keep the gap for the rest of the race making it a three-car battle for the win. On the last lap, I had the lead coming out of the last corner but Scott used the draft and passed me at the line and I finished second by .024 of a second.
Overall, Elkhart Lake was a really great weekend and we picked up some valuable points for the championship. I am really looking forward to the next race at Road Atlanta which is another great race track on the Skip Barber National series schedule.
Now I am looking forward for my duties as the “tire guy” for Bruno Andrade at Bryan Herta Autosport. Bruno’s first race with the team will be in Toronto, Canada. I love going to the street race in Toronto as there is always something going on and the race is right downtown! Working the Indy Lights races is great because I always learn a lot every weekend. Being in the pit with the team and listening to how the driver and engineer communicate and watch changes being made and what they do to the car is awesome to see.
2011 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda
Rounds 9 & 10: July 21-23 at Road Atlanta with Skip Barber Regional Series
Rounds 11 & 12: August 11-13 at Lime Rock Park with Skip Barber Regional Series
Rounds 13 & 14: September 9-11 at Autobahn with Skip Barber Regional Series
Rounds 15 & 16: Oct 6-8 at Lime Rock Park with Skip Barber Regional Series