Grant Notches PittRace Victory
Wampum, PA – Keith Grant led from pole to checkered flags in round nine of the Atlantic Championship Series season to take the win in the first of two races of the Pittsburgh International Race Complex weekend. Grant backed up his recent victory at Mid-Ohio, making it two in a row for the Polestar Swift 016/Mazda. Conner Kearby and Gaston Kearby, in a pair of K-Hill Motorsports cars, completed the podium.
It was Grant and C. Kearby on row one heading to the green flag, and sat one-two in the point standings coming into the weekend. Grant extended his points lead with not only the win, but points for pole and fast lap of the race, which came on the second-to-last lap of the 23-lap event.
“The car just handled great all weekend working with Polestar,” said Grant. “Anywhere I wanted the car to go I’d point it and it would go there. Conner kept the pressure on the first few laps and then just disappeared out of my mirrors.”
Kearby stayed with Grant for the opening laps as the two traded fast laps back and forth for the opening laps of the event. As the one-second or so margin went back and forth to the tune of a couple tenths, Kearby hiccupped, falling a few seconds behind. Then it was Grant who opened the wick and disappeared to the race victory with a torrid pace.
A second place run for Kearby, however, does net him valuable points in the No. 56 K-Hill Swift 016/Mazda.
“I made a bad adjustment on the car during the race, and Keith was that fast the entire time,” said Kearby. “After he was gone, I tried to run the fastest lap, but we didn’t get that.”
Fast times included a 1:33.019 for Grant versus 1:33.843 to C. Kearby, with G. Kearby with the third fastest lap of the race and also finishing third in the No. 69 K-Hill entry, narrowly beating Richard Zober.
“I kept looking back and saw nothing but green,” said G. Kearby. “The track is really awesome, we are enjoying it.”
Zober hassled G. Kearby for the second half of the race as he moved in on the K-Hill car solidly in his No. 66 Comprent Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda.
Zober would finish 1.5 seconds behind G. Kearby, with a fast race lap of 1:34.751 on the 18-turn track.
Storming to fifth and holding position for the duration of the race was Chris Ash, who picked up two spots with some nice moves in the opening segments of the race.
Brian Novak was sixth in his white Honda Performance Development Swift 014, while Bob Corliss logged a second place finish in the Atlantic Challenge category with a seventh place run for Comprent Motorsports.
Full results are available on www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com under the Results tab.
Round 10 of the Atlantic season continues on Sunday from Pittsburgh with morning qualifying and afternoon race.