Keith Grant Finishes on Top in Race Two
Alton, VA – Keith Grant stood on top of the podium with a first place finish after race two at the Atlantic Championship Series VIR weekend. After running on Grant’s tail for the entire race Keyvan Andres had to settle with a second place finish for the day. Behind Andres was the ever-consistent Garth Rickards who claimed the third podium spot for race two.
Grant was able to climb a couple steps of redemption after a personal mistake left him in third place for race one of the weekend. The Polestar Racing Group driver led the entire race in his black and yellow Swift 016/Mazda. Grant came into the weekend leading the points after multiple podiums and a win in Road Atlanta. This was also his second start from pole position for the weekend and he will able to continue his fight for the championship in the No. 40 car at Mid Ohio in July.
“What a redeeming day, the car was just on rails the whole day, I had pressure from behind the entire race; really enjoyed it,” said Grant on his race two victory.
Behind Grant was K-Hill Motorsports driver Andres, who was unable to make it four in a row after his third win of the season in race one of the VIR weekend. Despite some trouble during qualifying Andres was still able to grace the podium with a second place finish for race two and spent most of the race just a few tenths behind Grant.
"Well we had some troubles with my gearbox in qualifying so if I would have qualified a bit further up front that could have helped a little bit,” said Andres on his issues during qualifying. “When I was really close behind him (Grant), a lap car came between us and that’s what screwed my race up, but that happens. Hopefully we’ll get the wins at Mid-Ohio,” Andres continued.
In third place for the third time this season was driver of the No. 83 K-Hill Motorsports car, Rickards. Rickards made some headway in his streak of third place finishes in race one where he ended up with a second place finish. Despite putting down some fast laps for the race Rickards was unable to overtake Andres.
“We would catch them every time and then we would come up on lap traffic and just catch it at the wrong time,” said Rickards on his attempts at the front. “The car has been fast all weekend, the guys have been working hard and I can’t thank them enough. I’m just looking forward to being on the top spot and I’m going to keep working at it,” he finished.
Celebrating his high school graduation this weekend was fourth place finisher Conner Kearby. Although qualifying in second place for race two, the K-Hill driver of the No. 56 Swift 016/Mazda fell back to fourth and held that position throughout the race.
Completing the top five overall but picking up a win in the Atlantic Challenge division was Gaston Kearby. G. Kearby lead the Atlantic Challenge field in front of fellow K-Hill driver Bruce Hamilton, who placed second in the Atlantic Challenge and sixth overall.
In third for the Atlantic Challenge as well as seventh overall was Lewis Cooper Jr., marking his second Atlantic Challenge podium for the weekend as he placed first In the Atlantic Challenge in race one.
In eighth was Comprent driver Bob Corliss, who just missed the podium for the Atlantic Challenge in his Swift 014/Toyota. Running close behind Corliss was John Burke who ended up in ninth at the end of the race after Burke and Corliss traded positions. Completing the top ten was Chris Ash.
Connor Burke had some mechanical issues early in the race causing him to make an extended pit stop leaving him with a twelfth place finish. Rich Zober also pulled off early in the race and was unable to finish.
Full results can be found at www.AtlanticChampionshipSeries.com under the results tab.
The Atlantic Championship Series continues in July at Mid-Ohio for rounds seven and eight.