Posted (07/10/2007) -
The mid summer June Sprints at Road America has always been the barometer for gauging one's chances for the fall classic, the SCCA National Runoffs at Heartland Park. And for Huffmaster Racing and Rob Huffmaster, this would be a rare opportunity to size up all the "Big Dogs" in the very competitive T3 Class.
The lead up to the Road America race weekend started very casually for the Huffmaster family. Instead of the usual "trek around the lake" from Michigan to Wisconsin, the family enjoyed a nice and relaxing ferry ride across the lake on the SS Badger.
"It was a very enjoyable ride across the lake. It took the same amount of time to ride as it did driving around. Plus, once we arrived at the track, everyone was much more relaxed."
- stated Ray Huffmaster
"I was very excited to get to drive at Road America again. This was the first time I had been on the is classic track since a few years ago when I drove Huffmaster Racing's Mazda Miata in the Milwaukee Cup." - stated Rob Huffmaster
Huffmaster Racing choose to attend the pre event test day. Rob drove the Huffmaster Racing T3 Mazda RX-8. Ray had the driving assignment behind the wheel of Huffmaster Racing's DP class Mazda RX-8.
For Friday night, the Huffmaster family spent a relaxing evening going out to dinner. As has become a tradition, they were accompanied by their good friends, the Buttermore family.
There we two qualifying sessions before each race. In Qualifying session 1, Rob was 3 seconds under the track record. Things were looking up for the race ahead. To gain additional experience, Rob took the T3 Mazda back out for Qualifying session #2. This turned out to be a fortunate and unfortunate decision. The usually reliable Mazda Rotary blew a seal on the out lap, forcing Huffmaster Racing to have to retire the T3 racer for the weekend.
"We still are not quite sure how the seal broke on the motor. But, it was fortunate in a way that the decision was made to have Rob take the Mazda out. Originally we had thought about parking the car until the race. By the incident happening so early in the weekend, Huffmaster Racing was able to make the quick decision to alter our driver lineup and place Rob in the DP class Mazda."
- stated Ray Huffmaster
With the DP class 2nd round qualifying scheduled for Sunday morning, this provided Rob with a chance to place the Mazda high up on the grid. Rob did not disappoint, placing the Huffmaster Racing Mazda on the Pole.
The DP race also included several additional classes competing on the track at the same time. This included such higher horsepower classes as Touring 2 and American Sedan. Rob mixed it up with several of the T2s and American Sedans. A late race yellow bunched up the field. This allowed the 2nd place DP to close up right behind Rob before the race went back to green. Using his experience gained from restarts racing in the Grand-Am Cup, Rob quickly picked his way through traffic. This amazing start included passing 3 cars before the Huffmaster Mazda made it to turn 1. Another Yellow flag saw the race end under yellow flag conditions. Rob was awarded the DP victory, his 2nd DP national victory of the year.
"Rob drove another strong race. It was unfortunate that the T3 car had some problems. But with Rob's victory in the DP race, it now places him well up in the Great Lakes Division DP standings. There is the potential that Rob could now win both the T3 and the DP Divisional Titles. Its still the middle of the summer, and a lot can still happen, but everyone at Huffmaster Racing is going to work hard to make this possible." - stated Ray Huffmaster
"Despite the T3 setback, I worked hard at keeping focused on the job at hand in every session and race. I am proud of everyone at Huffmaster Racing for working hard and gaining another victory for Mazda at the June Sprints." - stated Rob Huffmaster
The Goal for the season is to qualify both Huffm