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I initially joined this Week 13 event so I could work my license safety rating above 2.0 to avoid demotion to Class B, but wound up having an enjoyable race while contending for a win.

I ran a qualifying session shortly before the event, setting a 1:24.874 laptime. I knew it wasn’t a great time but I’m still mid-transition with this Charlotte ‘roval’ from hating it to liking it – so any time is good time.

I slotted into third-place on the grid and got a good start, holding position onto the infield. About half way around the lap the second-place car of Jeff Fedorovich spun out and I managed to avoid him, taking the place.

On lap four the leader ran into the barrier on the infield roadcourse, he was unable to get going and I inherited the lead!

I held the lead easily from Ville Ahopelto who now ran second. When he ran into the barrier pulling onto the oval found myself with a huge lead and felt like I was set for victory.

By lap 12 I started to see a fast car in my mirrors. Jorma Stenman had started in fifth-position and was now challenging for the lead! I could tell he was faster so when he got close enough to pass I did some simple defensive driving. It worked for a lap but I couldn’t hold back someone this much faster and he made the pass in turn one.

We ran out the race cleanly and I took second-place. I set my fastest lap, a 1:22.922, on lap 17, and had no incidents during the whole race – very pleased to see my safety rating go up by 0.33!


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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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