US Touring Car Championship Round Two
17 May, 2011
May 15, 2011, Willows, CA – After Saturday's qualifying session, Brandon Kraus in the #9 DW Pumps/BlackTrax Performance/Roger Kraus Racing Honda Prelude started where he left off yesterday’s round 2 race, up front for another P-1. Kraus takes pole position for the second race in a row for the Nitto Tires U.S. Touring Car Championship round two at Thunderhill Raceway by scoring a fast lap of 1:58.525, slower than his pole position time from yesterday’s round two race. But Kraus still managed beat the time of Curt Simmons in #49 Cornwell Tools/Stevens Creek Dodge SRT4 who was 1.981 seconds behind. Simmons is trying to save his race car for this afternoon’s main event. He is most likely trying to gun for and halt Kraus’ fast phase assault in the series.
Ron Valtierra in the #43 TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3 is keeping it consistent and locking in third position to start round three. Dave Brown in the #12 Hawk Brakes/Bridgelux/WORKS Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart locks in the fourth starting position to complete the front two rows of the starting grid, despite still nursing differential issues in his new racer. Larry Bani in the #5 UTI/Gogogear.com BMW M3 is also being consistent, with a fifth place starting position to round up the starting top five positions.
Pete Bovenberg in the #94 MBO Motorsports Honda Civic Si was forced to skip qualifying, as his crew were trying to finish rebuilding the front end and install a new engine in the Honda after a blown motor on Saturday caused an engine fire. The defending champion will have to line up at the back of the starting grid to start the race and try to earn as many much needed points for the overall points standings and championship.
Two-time race winner Kraus is not having a quiet weekend. After completing qualifying, the Honda was having throttle body sensor issues. His crew will have a chance to correct the issue before race starts. Hopefully it will not plague him any further once the round three race is underway. With this in mind, Kraus’ top contender for the win, Curt Simmons will test and push him to try and take home the win away from Kraus.
Over a dozen of Nitto Tires USTCC drivers & teams will compete in today’s round three race around the challenging 15-Turn three mile track of Thunderhill Raceway. Will Brandon Kraus make 3 for 3? Or will someone else, not named Pete Bovenberg put a halt on Kraus’ wins assault? As the 2011 Nitto Tires USTCC Season continues to take shape for another highly competitive season; returning drivers, teams and past champions will line up for the round three race for another exciting 30 minute all-out sprint to the finish. This round three race of the 2011 Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship will be shown on tape delayed broadcast on Final Drive TV