October 8th, 2006/Sonoma, Ca. - Dave Brown, behind the wheel of the #8 K&N Engineering/WORKS/GoodSport Racing Mitsubishi EVO 8, brought home his fourth victory of the 2006 Hankook U.S. Touring Car Championship season during the series’ second visit at the famous Wine Country racetrack in Infineon Raceway on perfect Sunday afternoon on October 8th, after starting and qualifying on pole position.
Last time around in Infineon Raceway, Brown was edged out by Toby Grahovec behind the wheel of the #30 Classic BMW/Red Line Oil BMW 330i for his first Hankook USTCC win. This time around Brown turned the tables on Grahovec who finished second. To make the challenge even more interesting, Brown was pulling a double-duty weekend also driving a WORKS prepared Mitsubishi EVO8 RS entry for the same weekend’s Super Street/EURO Tuner Time Trial-Attack event. “It’s a great weekend over all for the WORKS team, we brought two cars for the weekend, we won our Time Attack event and winning our fourth USTCC win of the season tops off the weekend.” an elated Brown stated.
Grahovec had to fend off a hard charging Dale Sievwright behind the wheel of the #3 MPACT Motorsports/MOTON Shocks/TC Design BMW 328i who collected third place after starting on the same spot. Grahovec started in second position, but had a bad standing start and dropped as low as sixth. Grahovec and Sievwright traded positions during the early stages of the race. Sievwright got by Grahovec for third until a full course yellow was brought out due to emergency vehicles on the track to collect Dino Hamilton’s damaged #87 GOJI.com/Hamilton Racing Dodge SRT-4 who hit the wall at the exit of turn 8 after having a strong run in second place chasing after Brown’s K&N EVO 8 race machine. Grahovec was able to make up for his bad start by getting a great re-start and passing Sievwright in the process. “I want to thank Classic BMW for giving me a great race car, I kind of screwed up the start and dropped back to sixth place, I managed to work my way up to third and tucked my car behind Dale (Sievwright). Luckily the yellow came out, unfortunately due to Dino’s (Hamilton) wreck, I hope he’s alright. At the re-start I was able to get a great launch around Dale. After that I tried to just put my head down and tried to go after Dave (Brown), but by then he was already two seconds ahead.”
Curt Simmons in the #49 Cornwell Tools/Sunnyvale Dodge/MBO Dodge SRT-4 held on to fourth place after a very heated battle with newcomer Bryan Clymer behind the wheel of the STaSiS Engineering built #99 Racerfans.com Audi A4 1.8T. Both Clymer and Simmons traded positions for about a dozen times until Clymer finally got a great past on Simmons, but unfortunately he went wide off track coming into turn 10 and hit the wall. A couple of cars behind reported Clymer’s Audi was leaking oil on the track. “I don’t know what had happened. I broke an oil line and I lost traction and went off. Good thing that we only lost a quart of oil and was able to pull in and didn’t blow the motor.” stated Clymer.
Rounding up the top five is Erick Miller behind the wheel of the #86 1ntenths Motorsports/Sequia Jewelers Honda Civic who posted his best finish so far in the series by locking in fifth and taking home the APEX Integration Rookie Award after dueling with Andy Chittum in the #38 LeMans Karting/BTM BMW 318ti who also posted his best series finish with the sixth place. Both Chittum and Miller fiercely drove side by side, but in the end Miller was able to edge and hold off Chittum. “I had a really tough fight with Erick (Miller). We traded positions a couple of times vying for the rookie of the race awards, alas in the midst of all the crazy stuff happening in the race. He was able to sneak by me in the inside and I couldn’t get by him again. I had a little better straight line speed, but he (Miller) was a little faster in the esses. It was an excellent, excellent battle.” Said Chittum.
The Hankook U.S. Touring Car Championship (USTCC) still has two remaining races, October 21-22 on the historic Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin track of Road America and the season ending race on October 28-29 in the Sin City’s own Las Vegas Motor Speedway road course in Las Vegas, Nevada just in time for the annual SEMA Show. With two hundred possible points still up for grabs, the championship remains to be seen.