10/24 – 10/27/2012 — The Nationals at Atlanta Motor Speedway was a great experience, a lot of fun and Justin brought home the hardware.
DSR worked tirelessly all weekend to get the car up to speed. After qualifying Thursday night the heats were set for Friday. Justin finished 5th in the first heat race. Despite a driver driving his car over top of Justin during the second heat race, Justin was able to come away with a 4th place finish. Be sure to look at the Photos Page for 10 photos of the car as he drives over top of Justin’s car and flips over on its roof.
Friday night was the Race of Champions. Drivers were entered in this race if they finished in the top 10 in National points and drivers were also included if they were the top finishers in National points in their home state. Justin started on the pole and was able to hold the other drivers off to win the Race of Champions. The video of the race is on the Videos Page.
On Saturday after lining up on the front stretch of Atlanta Motor Speedway for the photo of all the drivers, all drivers were given the green to ride around the big track. You can see pictures from this on the Photos page.
On Saturday the Semi-Pro National race started with 26 cars. Justin started position 12. Justin made it up to position 7 before being caught up in a wreck. The race was nothing but cautions and wrecked cars. The race was supposed to run 40 laps. Due to the amount of cautions, the race was shortened to 30 laps. The race lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes with only 15 cars finishing the race. Justin was scored 26 for coming off after the wreck. It was a good decision considering the damages.
Justin left Atlanta as the 2012 Race of Champions winner and with a Legend car in one piece. Huge thank you goes out to DSR, Keven Wood, and Zack Skolnick. Also thank you to Justin’s Grandma and Aunt Tina and Uncle O.E. for their support for the Atlanta Nationals.
Friday Justin raced at Concord Speedway for the second time. He had a great qualifying run and started the feature in the 2nd position. Ran most of the feature on the bumper of the 81 car and finished in 3rd.
Saturday we went over to Caraway Speedway in Sophia , NC . Justin qualified 3rd and after the pill draw started the feature in the 5th position. Once the race started, we could tell the car was not handling well. It was a difficult 25 laps but Justin was able to hang on and finish 5th overall and 4th in the Semi-Pro division.
Sunday Justin went back to Concord Speedway for the last points race of the 2012 season. The races from Saturday night had rained out and had to be made up on Sunday. This caused the drivers to have to draw pills for starting positions rather than run qualifying laps. Of course, Justin drew the highest pill and started the feature in the last position. Justin’s car was very fast and he had made it up to position 4 when contact with 71 knocked the #99’s bumper loose. DSR was able to repair the bumper but Justin then had to go to the rear of the field. Again contact was made with a slower car in front and this ended Justin’s night. Justin was credited with a 6th place finish. Videos of all three races are on the Videos Page.
Went for the first time this season to Concord Speedway in NC. Justin was able to get some practice with both cars at the track in the afternoon. Justin qualified 3rd for the feature race. He was able to keep the third position throughout the race and finished closing in on the second place car. We were unable to use the GoPro cameras, but you can see a recap of the race at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnDnOWfKB8A.
09/22/2012 — Saturday we raced at Hickory Motor Speedway in NC. Lots of racing history at Hickory and Saturday saw 27 Legend car drivers show up for this race. This was the first time for Justin at Hickory . With only two practice sessions, Justin qualified p3 out of the 27 cars with a 17.366. After qualifying, the track decided to split the divisions for the features. Semi-Pro/Young Lions feature was first with a field of 18 cars. Justin started p3. The race went green for the first 17 laps with Justin losing one spot. He started p4 for the re-start and finished a strong 4th place overall and a 3rd place in the Semi-Pro division.
09/21/2012 — Traveled down to Anderson Motor Speedway in SC on Friday, 09/21. Justin had a good handling car for the night. Started the feature in p5 out of 21 cars. Justin was able to move up to p2 by lap 9. Unfortunately, #83 decided to hit Justin out of the way rather than race him for the position. Justin spun and had to start in the rear of the field. With over half the race complete, Justin was still able to race up through the field to finish 8th overall. Tough night but Justin showed again he can stay focused and gain as many spots as possible coming to the checkered flag.
The weather was perfect this past Saturday at Caraway Speedway in NC. Thirteen Legend car drivers chose Caraway for their Saturday night racing. Justin had a good handling car, but couldn’t quite find the same speed we had in practice last week. The #99 qualified fourth quickest but had to start the feature race in the sixth position due to the fact we won the last time at the track. At the start of the feature Keven Wood and Austin Thompson pulled away. Justin battled J. Osborne, Austin Osborne, and Adam Burton for most of the race. These four drivers were inches apart and ran a caution-free race. On lap 18 Justin had the third position but contact from behind resulted in Justin falling back to p6. He was able to stay in it and came across the finish line side by side with Austin Osborne with Justin taking 5th overall and 2nd in the Semi-Pro division. A solid finish and a good night of racing with everyone at DSR.
Racing up here in PA is over for the season so we traveled down to SC to Anderson Motor Speedway Friday. This was their Rupert Porter Memorial Shrine Race. There was only time for one practice run and no time for a heat race or qualifying. The Legend car field was set by a pill draw. Sixteen cars started the race with the #99 starting 4th. Prior to the start of the race, the track held an autograph session for the Legend car drivers. There was a large crowd on hand. During the feature race, I (Mom) sat up in the stands. It was so nice to hear the crowd cheering for Justin during the feature. So far, Anderson Motor Speedway has the best fans of any track we have raced at so far. Justin battled hard up front the entire race. Just like the last time we raced at Anderson , there were three cautions during the last five laps of the race and the race ended on a Green-White-Checker. Justin finished 2nd overall and 1st in the Semi-Pro division. My hands were still shaking after the race when I was taking the photos from Victory Lane so, unfortunately, the picture is a little blurry (see Photos page).
Went up to Lake Erie Speedway for their last race of the season this Labor Day Weekend. Thirty Legend cars started the day. Justin started 9th in the third heat and finished third. This put the #99 starting 9th for the Feature race. The field just could not get a good start and there were three cautions within the first six laps of the race. Contact with the #83 sent Justin to the back of the field on lap 6. Justin had a very strong car and did an amazing run through the field. The #99 crossed the finish line side by side with #98 with a 4th place overall finish and another 1st place in the Semi-Pro division. Be sure to watch the video of the race at the Videos Page.
We stayed in PA this weekend and went up to Lake Erie Speedway. Made a lot of adjustments to the car during practice and were able to get it dialed in by feature time. Justin won his fifth heat race of the season. After the invert, the #99 started p. 10 for the Feature race. The race went caution free for the first 20 laps. Justin was up to p. 4 when the first caution came out. There would be two cautions in the last 5 laps. Justin finished fourth overall with his fourth Semi-Pro win of the season at Lake Erie Speedway. Thank you to DSR and Keven Wood for help with the car.
SoBo — We traveled to Virginia early Friday morning for practice at South Boston Speedway that afternoon. Saturday was a National Qualifier race. After the first practice on Saturday, the rear housing on the car broke. DSR was able to replace the housing in time to get the #99 car out for the second and final practice. Justin qualified p. 6 out of 20 cars. On lap 2 of the feature race, #14 came into turn 1 way too fast losing control of his car and slammed into Justin sending him hard into the outside wall. The car was severely damaged and our night ended. Huge disappointment and a very costly weekend for the #99. Instead of racing at Charlotte during the last round of the Summer Shootout, we headed back to PA.
Lake Erie Speedway — It was a long night at Lake Erie Speedway with a 3 hour rain delay, but it was worth the wait. Justin started in the fifth position for the heat race and finished a strong 2nd place. This put him in p7 for the start of the feature race. After a caution involving 4 cars on Lap 1, the #99 restarted in p4. He quickly moved up to 2nd place with Matt Pappa running first. A caution on lap 12, though, brought the field back together. Justin had to give up the second position for a few laps to make sure he kept ahead of another Semi-Pro driver running fourth. The last five laps of the race saw Justin and Debrakeleer battling hard side by side for the second spot. They came across the line side by side with Justin taking 3rd overall and 1st in the Semi-Pro division.