View Full Version : AI-West Report

07-02-2003, 12:22 PM


Round Four of the American Iron West Championship Series took place at Infineon Raceway on June 28-29, 2003. The racers arrived in the middle of a heat wave that saw temperatures over 100 degrees for Friday’s practice session. Racers in attendance were Guy Cunningham, Paul Mashouf, Keith Videtto, John Lindsey, Tim Nichols, Neil Hershorin, Christine Knight, Bruce Griggs, Terry Buch, Tim Gilpin, Mike Armstrong, Brian Murphy, Jim Wilson, Vageli Karas, and Kevin Chambers.

The weekend’s drama began early when Vageli Karas split his Sportsman block in half when a broken valve turned a piston into a melted metal slug. Fellow competitor Kevin Chambers loaned Karas an engine so that he could stay in the hunt for the weekend and then Kevin’s father Wendell jumped in to help Karas swap the motor in the pits. After much thrashing, the vaunted #3 car was up and running again just shy of midnight.

Saturday morning saw a slight drop in the mercury, but it was still warm. Bruce Griggs took the overall and AIX pole with a 1:49 lap followed closely by Guy Cunningham with a low 1:50. The racers gridded up for a standing start and roared away clean up the hill into Turn 1. Griggs and Cunningham opened an early lead on the rest of the pack, which left Karas, Lindsey, Buch, and Chambers in a four-car freight train thundering after them. After some shuffling, the order was Griggs, Cunningham, Karas, Buch, and Lindsey. The final finish saw Griggs and Cunningham taking the checker and the win in their respective classes. Karas took the second spot in AI with Chambers up next in third. Buch and Lindsey had an epic battle that saw Lindsey trying a last lap banzai move in Turn 11 that Buch managed to fight off to take second and hold Lindsey in third.

Sunday morning dawned twenty degrees cooler than Friday, much to the relief of fans, drivers, and crews alike. The group took the field for qualifying and Bruce Griggs again was on the pole with a 1:49 with Kevin Chambers on the AI pole just behind Griggs at 1:50. The field managed a clean standing start and took off in a haze of tire smoke and clutch dust. Bruce Griggs pulled out to an early lead with Chambers just behind. As the race went on, Terry Buch moved through the field into second position ahead of a fast pack including Nichols, Karas, Cunningham, Mashouf, Videtto, and Chambers. The AI race saw some further drama when both Karas and Cunningham were forced to retire early with mechanical problems. Nichols soon worked through the pack and began chasing down Griggs and Buch while setting the fastest lap of the weekend at a time of 1:49.046. Unfortunately, Nichols’ bid for the top spot ended with a scary off in Turn 9 and ignition problems that relegated him to fourth place in AIX at the end of the race. This left Paul Mashouf to challenge Buch for second in AIX. Mashouf made the pass to secure second and Buch ended up in third. With the early exit of Karas and Cunningham, the duel for the AI lead was left to Videtto and Chambers. These two were inches away from each other in what was one of the best battles yet to watch in the series. After swapping positions many times and fighting for every corner, Videtto emerged the victor to take his first win in the series, which was richly deserved. Chambers came home in second with Tim Gilpin next up in third.

The next round of the Series will take place at the new Reno-Fernley Raceway in Fernley, Nevada on August 9-10, 2003 during Hot August Nights.

07-02-2003, 05:43 PM
Thanks John, what's up with the MM cars out West?? Just curious.

07-02-2003, 08:56 PM
Hey John, I get dibbs on your car for the touring laps at Lowes!! That is if it is not to expensive. Plus I think you have the only seat that I might get into! I got in Hoovy's one time and they had to pull me out. I dont seem to have one of those cute butts women like, like Henry does! PIG ROAST JULY 12TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

07-02-2003, 10:10 PM

Not sure what you mean. There are only a few MM cars running out here and we're all doing well.


07-02-2003, 11:30 PM
I just haven't seen you guys at the top? Compitition getting tough out there? Good luck

07-03-2003, 11:54 AM

Got it. You're right. The competition is extremely tough from the Brand G boys and they always show up ready to rumble. Their cars are very well prepared, the drivers are top-notch, and the battle is always on. We've managed a few wins and we'll be gunning for more as we get the car optimized and the drivers calibrated. You guys would be amazed at how tight the racing is out here and how hard we run the cars.


07-03-2003, 12:54 PM
As always, John, thanks for the report. It is great to hear about the action and tight racing going on. The competition is getting good on this side as well and the AI wildfire is spreading, thanks in big part to our fearless leader, Dan Schlick, and a good group of guys. I look forward to getting back on there myself.

Hmm, good, tight racing on both sides.....just imagine what it will be like if all of us ever get together!!

AI/X #08
07-03-2003, 12:59 PM
I have posted this on other forums, but Cerra Racing and JB racing are both hauling out to Las Vegas in November to run with the West crowd. We are inviting others to join us and there is strong talk of the Ohio/indiana series director possibly helping to fund this. We have been talking and there is some interest so who knows. Maybe we'll have the biggest field ever at Vegas. Not a bad place to all meet up.:D Cerra's might take the semi instead of the two car hauler if we have some interest. Mark