- 14 September 2019
This late afternoon qualifying session is greater with more humidity and lower light conditions. Here at New Jersey Motorsports Park, this is the stage for qualifying for race one! At the front, our two main contenders look to gain any advantage possible as the championship draws down. Currently, Jonathan Kotyk is leading the points race, he has a twenty-two points over second Josh Green. On this weekend, there are one-hundred and sixty-five points up for grab. That’s fifty points for a race win, three additional points if you qualify first, then two more if you run fast lap of the race. Our two main protagonists likely have their eyes on each and every point that is up for grabs.
The master’s category remains in contention as well. Scott Rubenzer is leading the points, but he’s not turned up for competition this weekend. That leaves the door wide open for second place Mike Scanlan, though Scanlan will have to score well to overcome the gap. It’s a similar story for third place Bob Reid, he’s only nine points away from Scanlan, and a good showing could see Reid in contention for the championship win.
The track has gone green, all cars have the left the false grid and are on track. In these conditions it will take a few laps for the drivers to get up to speed. Early on, it’s Bryce Aron knocking out the fastest laps. He’s got legs on his teammate Jonathan Kotyk, but times are close. Josh Green gets into the fray now, there’s a little less than twenty minutes left to run, he’s second fastest and around a half second off of pole. A minute later, Kotyk jumps to the top spot. His time puts him seven tenths of a second out front. In master’s it’s Mike Scanlan currently the fastest. Charles Finelli, long time F2000 Championship driver, is second in master’s and improving quickly. Tom Schwietz sits third fastest in the category.
As time drags on. Kotyk improves again, as does Green. They sit first and second on the time sheets respectively. Aron is third, Alex Scaler is fourth, and Charles Anti is running strong is privateer entry in the fifth spot. There is ten minutes remaining in the session.
Green now improves, he still needs to find three tenths to catch Kotyk, but he’s been working with series new comer and teammate Tyler O’Conner to get a draft on the front straight. The strategy hasn’t yet paid off. Aron still sits in third, Scaler is fourth, but for fifth, Burton August now holds the spot. This has relegated Anti to sixth. Mike Scanlan is still the fastest of the master’s he’s seventh overall.
Six minutes remain, Kotyk and Aron are working together. Kotyk trails Aron by about five car lengths as they cross start finish. There’s no improvement to be found. Seconds later, Josh Green crosses the line, he improves again. It’s still not enough, he needs another two tenths to get Kotyk. The bad news for Green, he’s now in a pack with the Rice Race Prep entries of Scaler and August, surely four cars running nose to tail isn’t the scenario Green was hoping for.
One minute remains, Kotyk goes by to start his final lap. Green follows a few seconds later. This will be it; they will receive the checkered flag the next time by. Green returns to the pits, he won’t improve. Kotyk returns to the pits as well. The order stands. Kotyk takes pole and scores three bonus points. Green is second, Aron third, Scaler fourth, and August holds on for fifth. Mike Scanlan holds off Finelli, they will start seventh and eighth overall. Bob Reid improved to third in master’s, he will lurk just off of Scanlan tail in the ninth spot.