Mid Ohio is probably my favorite track on the schedule, and I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of my Compass 360 Honda Civic Si on this challenging racetrack. It is an incredibly technical and demanding racetrack, but is so rewarding when you string together a good lap.
The schedule for the weekend was really compact, and I liked the fact that there wouldn’t be a lot of down time between on track sessions. On Thursday we had testing, official practice, and qualifying all in one day. Testing was first thing in the morning and I was really excited to get back on track after a month long break. The day went quick with a lot of time on track for practice. Qualifying was late in the afternoon, and after a few laps I found myself sitting in 5th position. I chatted on the radio with my crew and we decided to bring the car in and preserve tires for the race. This seemed like a good strategy, but last minute several cars went back out and put down fast times, which would leave me to start in 9th position.
Race 1 was first thing on Friday morning, and it would be a rolling start. When the green flag dropped I managed to pick up a few positions, but after the first lap I found myself sitting in 7th. Mid Ohio is a really tough track to pass at, and I found myself sitting there for the entire race.
I realized quickly that for race 2, I would need to get off to a good start because there was not a lot of passing opportunities. I have come to like the standing starts, and we would be doing them for both races 2 and 3. I was starting 7th for race 2, and picked up several positions at the start. This race was much more exciting, with quite a lot of passing going on. I had a fun battle going on Kris Wright and Steve Kohli, with all of us swapping positions a few times. I ended the race in 5th position and received the Best Standing Start award.
I had been getting better each time on track all weekend, and I wanted to continue this momentum for the final race of the weekend. I started race 3 in 5th position, and was able to pick up two spots on the start, though I quickly fell back to 4th. I would sit here for the remainder of the race, and though I was by myself, it was probably the most challenging race I drove that weekend. I do much better when I am chasing cars in front of me, so when I had a several second gap to the cars behind me was not where I always ran my best. I was proud that I was able to keep this gap for the whole race and come across the line in 4th place.
It is always encouraging to get better every time you are on track and I am looking forward to continuing this momentum at Miller Motorsports Park next weekend! As always, a big thank you to Compass 360 Racing and my driving coach, Lawson Aschenbach. Without my partners, Chesapeake Electrical Systems, Inc and the Jacobs Company I wouldn’t be racing, and I am incredibly grateful for their continued support. See you all at MMP!