MON 09.14.19

Adam Smalley lands third place in Portland

The weekend began at 6am on Saturday morning with the travel to the track to get the car ready for qualifying. The weather was cool and overcast, a good day for racing. There was no rain in the forecast and the track was green having had rain previously and no cars for a week or so. We know going into the weekend the cars set up and power is not the greatest having a stock motor and inability to get a proper set up ready. Nonetheless the goal was to give it our all and perform the best with what we have. we chose to run on old tires this event to gain more knowledge for when we put on new tires it would be more beneficial. Qualifying grid placement was favorable being right behind the eventual pole and off-pole cars. We put in a good lap to set us up well in the sixth position. After the session we decided to make a change to the suspension of the car to add a little more grip in the high-speed corners. Confident with the car ready we finished the rest of the prep with fueling and tire pressures it was time to race. Sitting on the outside row isn’t the greatest having lost a position on the start, and dropping back to seventh. I passed the driver ahead a got into the sixth position and started to try and chase down the cars ahead. As the race progressed the car was feeling a little slow and we realized we had gone to far with suspension but I was able to hold on to my position in sixth finish the race comfortably. This finish is big for us to finish in the top half of the field with experienced drivers that have been racing the Miata for over a decade. To prepare for Sundays event the weather looked to be taking a turn for the rain, so we decided to keep the suspension change to benefit the car for the wet slippery track. Sure, enough Sunday morning we showed up to a rain-soaked track with rain continuing to pour throughout the day. I have never driven a car in the rain so with this being a new experience for me I was a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect.Qualifying I went out and took it easy the first couple laps to see what the car would do and how the track would feel. Lap after lap I would close a second of the gap to the pole time as I was getting more comfortable and pushing the car closer to its limits. The final time I set was good enough to get me my best qualifying position yet to set me up in fourth for the race.Running laps in the rain by yourself is one thing it’s a whole different game to then race with people just as fast as you. On a slippery surface with spray leaving their car and blocking your view. On the start I lost a position and fell to fifth. I drove hard and put pressure on the car ahead pushing him to make a mistake a few laps in and I moved in to the fourth spot. Halfway through the race I found away into the third position. With the leaders out of reach and a large gap to the car behind I drove conservatively to be able to bring the car home in one piece. Crossing the finish line under the checkered flag sitting in 3rd place was unbelievable. Having finished third at the last event to bringing home two podium finishes in back to back evets as a rookie is a feeling like no other. It’s a huge accomplishment for myself and for the team. As the celebrations begin to come to a close. it is time to get the car ready for next season with goals of winning races and being crowned a champion.