Rounds 9 & 10 * New Jersey Motorsports Park * July 21 – 23
Saturday morning drivers awoke to a damp track from the overnight rainstorm, yet the hot Jersey summer would ensure dry qualifying for Rounds 9 and 10, as drivers took to the track with the heat index well above 100 degrees. Alex Mayer put his Mayer Motorsports – Technotecs / Wilwood Brakes – JDR on pole, followed by the #13 Sunrise Solar Solutions – Firman of Doug Hertz and the #2 Firman of Zane Gibbs. Steve Hamilton would put his #93 CSI Leasing / EPC – JDR alongside Gibbs by only 2 tenths of a second, with the #18 Waterfall Security Solutions / Briky Coolers – Firman from Area 81 Racing of Tim Pierce would round out the top 5 for the single round of qualifying for Rounds 9 and 10.
Taking the green flag from pole on Saturday, Mayer led the #13 of Doug Hertz, followed closely by the #9 Citation of Jason Slahor, who made a banzai start up the inside, moving up to third. Less than a lap later, Hertz would retire with mechanical issues, leaving Slahor to hang on to second place ahead of the #93 of Steve Hamilton in the CSI Leasing / EPC computers – JDR as the cars crossed the halfway mark.
Attrition was the word of the day as Hertz and the #11 (normally #2) Firman of Zane Gibbs were sidelined with mechanical issues on lap 2, the #18 Waterfall Security Solutions Firman of Tim Pierce ending up two laps down after having to self-rescue his car from a tire wall, and on the last lap the #93 of Steve Hamilton would come to a halt on the back straight.
When the checkered flew, the #9 of Jason Slahor came home with second, the #1 Calasanz – Elan of Kevin Boeckle climbed from 9th to 3rd to take home the Sunoco Race Fuels Hard Charger Award and $200 Cash, Richard Franklin drove his #81 Waterfall Security Solutions – Stohr to 4th to claim the Wilwood Brakes Tough Break Award, and Mike Meyers hung on in his #111 Philly Motorsports – DBF1000 to round out the top five for Round 9.
Sunday Afternoon was again hot and muggy with rain threatening late in the day. Once again, #77 Alex Mayer led the field to the green, followed by the #18 of Tim Pierce and the #9 of Jason Slahor. Pierce and Slahor battled lap after lap for who would come out of Round 10 with the advantage for second in the championship fight, with the #9 of Slahor coming out ahead in the end, moving from 6th to 2nd to also take home the Sunoco Race Fuels Hard Charger award and $200 cash. Pierce would take home third place points in his Waterfall Security Solutions – Firman, with Mike Meyers earning the Wilwood Brakes Tough Break award for 4th, while the #81 Richard Franklin held off the #1 of Kevin Boeckle at the checkered flag for 5th in Round 10.
Friday evening was once again the NAF1000 random drawing awards and social, and this week Mayer Motorsports and Robin Mayer provided a wonderful spread of Hoagies, Philly pretzels, Penne pasta and much, much more. When the random awards began, Steve Hamilton and Alex Mayer kicked things off taking home $200 Cash from Taylor Race Engineering, followed by Jason Slahor and Richard Franklin being given $100 Cash thanks to Jongbloed Racing Wheels. Not to be left out, Kevin Boeckle and Mike Meyers numbers came up for $50 thanks to Hurley Race Products. As the Discount Certificates began, George Dean Racing Engines provided $200 certificates to Tim Pierce and Steve Hamilton, while $100 discounts from Rilltech were awarded to Richard Franklin and Alex Mayer. Rebel Gears handed out $80 certificates to Doug Hertz and Jason Slahor, followed by American Racer Tire handing out a free tire to Zane Gibbs and Richard Franklin.
The final race in the 2017 North American Formula 1000 Championship presented by American Racer Tire is only a few months away. Mark your calendar for September 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.