Jason Cherry: COTA Race Recap

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This past race weekend is a wrap!

First off, I am beyond ecstatic to see the direction the series is taking sports car racing. With massive entries in all classes, there was never a dull moment this past weekend at Circuit of the Americas, located in Austin, Texas.

The track proved to be an exciting platform for some great racing all throughout the weekend. Working with the new management was a pleasure, the track was fun, and the weekend went smooth for most teams. What more could you ask for?

This was my first weekend with my new team CA-Sport. What a great group of people. Huge shout out to my crew for providing me with a fast car the whole weekend. What car you may ask?! Well, this 2015 season I will be piloting the number 13 Nissan Altima in the Touring Car class.

Like I mentioned earlier…the direction the series is going… well now the Touring Car class is allowed aero features and man these cars are absolutely beautiful! With a rear wing and front chin splitter, I feel like a superstar driving my little Nissan Altima through the paddock and out on track.

Race 1 and 2 were pretty straight forward for me. I managed to finish p4 in both races due to some drive thru

Courtesy: Jason Cherry

Courtesy: Jason Cherry

penalties and contact that happened in the front running group. Kudos to the drivers that made it on the podium. They had a great run and it was exciting to watch the race unfold right in front of me. I definitely had the best seat in the house!

The series has implemented a new rule that if you go four wheels off track while in a race you must do a drive thru penalty… which worked in my favor this past weekend. I was able to secure some precious championship points, which put me in a good place for the next race weekend at Mosport.

Race 3- The rain race…the one chance our front wheel drive team had at getting two podium finishes. The great equalizer of Mother Nature decided to show up Sunday morning.

I was nervous going into the race as it was my first time in a front wheel drive, my first weekend driving the Altima, and my first time taking the Altima…a front wheel drive car…into the rain. It was a challenging transition throughout the race; everything was new to me. My teammate, Vesko, got a great start. He quickly took first position by turn one. I followed him and managed to go from p8 to p3 on lap one. After watching Andrew Aquilante, a very talented driver, in the V6 mustang dance around the track I managed to get around him and secure p2 by a substantial gap from the rest of the field. Lap after lap went by and then in my mirror the Porsche’s started closing. The track was drying and the true speed of those Porsche’s began to come out. They quickly closed on me, and after a few laps three of them managed to get by… that would be how the race would finish.

Vesko claimed the victory (Congrats Vesko!) and I came away from the race with a respectable 5th place finish claiming, yet again, some precious points for the championship.

Overall, this past weekend was a HUGE success for me, CA-Sport, and Nissan. The car is going back to Salt Lake City, Utah, in one piece and I am back home in Maryland sitting in a good position for a championship effort.

Next stop on the schedule is Mosport, now known as Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Stay tuned…

Tony Tellez

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