K1 Speed’s north San Diego location in Carlsbad California wrapped up their Challenge GP race season for the 1st half of 2011 this past Sunday with round 6 in the race series. Double qualifying rounds kept drivers on their toes and when the dust settled it was points leader Matt Merrill taking the overall pole position for the A-Main beating out up and comer Robby Stanovich and regulars Justin Tolman and Johnny Miller who are in a hard pressed battle for the overall points championship. K1 Speed sponsored California Lightning Sprint car driver and long time Challenge GP participant Jon Simms was in the mix as well making a run for the points chase and had a solid qualifying session to help set the field for the A-Main.
B-Main race action would kick off the main event rounds with a mix of new and old faces including Thomas Litton, Trevor King and long time resident customers Jason and Mattix McCormick making their Challenge GP debuts. The green flag rolling start got the field freight training down the main straight and into turn one with Jason out in clean air with his pole position start he would have a bit of a battle with Trevor and Thomas off his back bumper. Back of the pack race action with the other drivers saw Mattix McCormick make her way through the field to finish out her night in 4th. Jason would lead for a majority of the race but would fall of the pace and fall back to 3rd to finish out his night. Trevor King was on the move and found his way around Thomas to take the win in the B main and Thomas would hold onto second to finish out his night
The A-main would be the race to watch with the top 4 in the over all points spread out throughout the field. With the field set on the pace lap the field remained tight off the last corner for the green flag as pole setter Matt Merrill would lead the group down into turn one, everyone came out clean and the chase was on to run down Matt. Robby Stanovich who has been a strong contender in Challenge GP races at other K1 Speed locations found his way around Matt on the 3rd lap to take the lead away. Once he was out in clean air Matt held onto his solid second place position as Robby put distance on the rest of the field with an average lap of 29.00 seconds for the entire race. That would leave Johnny Miller and John Simms to battle it out for third and fourth. Johnny would find his was around Jon but was unable to catch Matt by the checkered flag. Robby would go on to take the win followed by Matt with Johnny rounding out the podium in third.
The overall points chase was close but Matt Merrill would go on to take the top spot on the podium with Johnny Miller taking second. Justin Tolman would take third overall after a hard charge to the front in this race coming from 9th to 5th and scoring enough points to maintain his third place position over Jon Simms who would finish in 4th just 4 points behind Justin.
This was a great season for all and the new season will begin next month with an all new track layout for drivers to race on.