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Buttonwillow, CA – Brandon Kraus scored his fourth win of the season in the DW Pumps Honda Prelude at the Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) at Buttonwillow Raceway on October 9, 2011. Felipe Cabezas in the TNI Racing Mazdaspeed 3 was the second car across the finish line and Pete Bovenberg in the MBO Racing Honda Civic was third. The top three were only 6/10ths of a second apart at the finish line.

Kraus had a great weekend and was one of the fastest cars in every session but at the start he fell back to second place. Dave Brown’s San Rafael Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart jumped to the lead at the start and started pulling away. Kraus had to push hard and catch up and pass Brown to take the lead. Eventually, Cabezas and Bovenberg also passed Brown and both were charging towards Kraus. In the closing laps, Cabezas was closing down the gap to Kraus and Bovenberg was closing down the gap to Cabezas. Kraus was very thankful that the checkered flag was waiting for him and said after the race, “If the race was one more lap, he (Cabezas) would have had me.”

Larry Bani, driving the GoGoGear.com/UTI BMW M3 was the highest placing rookie with a seventh place finish and won the Wera Tools Top Rookie award.

After the race, the team of Cabezas/Valtierra failed post race inspection and were disqualified from the race. That meant that Bovenberg moved up to second place and Curt Simmons who crossed the line in fourth in his Cornwell Tools Dodge SRT4 was now classified as fourth.


Special Awards

Felipe Cabezas finished second and won the Wine Country Motor Sports $150 shopping award.
Larry Bani, driving the GoGoGear.com/UTI BMW M3 was the highest placing rookie with a seventh place finish and won the Wera Tools Top Rookie award.
Curt Simmons won the ATI Gauge Pack award for the outstanding pace of the Dodge in the race.
The STACK award went to Felipe Cabezas for a great pass.
The PIAA Bright Idea of the Race went to Andy Chittum for jumping into a new car and challenging for the win.
The Mothers Clean Car Award went to Brandon Kraus for staying clean in a car with a great paint job.
The AEM award went to Andy Chittum who received an AEM performance gauge.
The Swift move of the race went to Pete Bovenberg for working his way up from fifth place to eventually finish second.
The Go Light award went to Dave Brown for jumping to the lead and leading the first lap.
The Sampson Racing Radios award went to Dave Brown.
The Race Ramps award went to Ron Valtierra for bringing out a brand new car and missing the race with a blown engine on Saturday.
The top three drivers each won Ironclad crew gloves. Brandon Kraus also received a pair of Ironclad racing gloves.
Brandon Kraus won a brand new Go Pro HD Hero camera for winning the race.
The top three drivers each won a free Optima battery, the Ultimate Source of Power.
The LeMans Karting Slowest Fast Lap of the Race award went to Larry Bani who received a $100 gift certificate to LeMans Karting of Fremont.