May 22, 2007
NayKid Racing made their second start in the 2007 SPEED World Challenge an impressive one Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park (MMP). Cindi Lux (Aloha, Ore. ) earned the Rookie of the Race Award with a strong 13th place finish in her No. 2 Mintex Brakes/Red Line Oil Dodge Viper Comp. Coupe. Scotty B. White (Lake Tapps, Wash. ), who made his last SPEED World Challenge start prior to this year in 2004, had an exciting race taking the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for most positions gained in the event after moving from last on the grid to 15th at the checkered flag, a 12 position gain.
In their abbreviated schedule, the 24-turn, 4.5-mile MMP track was the first permanent race course that NayKid Racing has competed on this season. As such, it presented unique challenges that their first race of the season, the Grand Prix of Long Beach run on city streets, did not. With little testing as a baseline for setup, Lux, White and team manager Fred Lux (Aloha, Ore. ) relied on their extensive experience in the Dodge Viper SRT10, other forms of the sport, White’s previous SPEED World Challenge know-how and Lux’s coaching experience at MMP to get the top-15 results they enjoyed in the one hour race.The standing start presented its own challenges. White started 27th after a red flag was thrown on his hot lap. Lux qualified the No. 2 Viper Comp. Coupe in 17th. Due to the bright sunlight at the early morning start of the race, neither Lux nor White had a clear view of the starting lights. The reflection on the red starting lights on the grid led to a hesitant start by both drivers. However, White in particular quickly committed to getting as many positions as he could utilizing the V10’s low-end torque. He launched himself towards turn one splitting several competitors. Within a handful of laps of the start, Lux and White were fighting each other near the top-12. However, the understeer, or push, that White’s No. 3 blue and orange machine had suffered from all weekend began to become worse as the laps went on. Eventually, as he raced with Andy Pilgrim, he could not hold the car’s line and made slight contact with Pilgrim spinning in the process. White then began to regain the positions lost due to the spin. His overall gain of 12 spots earned him the Hard Charger Award but many of those racers he had to pass twice. Meanwhile, Lux was in a battle of her own. The five- way struggle for 12th the last five laps made for great racing but Lux was also suffering from a push. Unable to get full access to the horsepower offered in America’s premier sports car, Lux gained four positions to be the highest ranking rookie in a field that had seven other first timers.
The NayKid Racing Dodge Vipers can be seen competing in the Grand Prix of Utah at Miller Motorsports Park on SPEED Channel, Sunday, May 27 at 5 PM (ET). Racing NayKid, the reality show that follows the efforts of NayKid Racing this season, premieres on iDrive TV at 8 PM (ET), Wednesday, June 6.
“I guess Miller Motorsports Park would be the closest thing to my home track in SPEED World Challenge. With all the time I have behind the wheel at this track it was great worrying about car setup instead of getting comfortable with the track. But unfortunately we never got our hands wrapped around the handling of our cars. We had our issues but, overall, the team is starting to rally. Our crew showed why they are a championship caliber team with a huge amount of determination in getting these Vipers perfect. I think we’ll keep getting stronger and stronger. Having two cars in the top-15 shows we’re making progress. Winning the Rookie of the Race Award and Scotty grabbing the Hard Charger Award was awesome. We did make progress in our finishing positions in the race but we are not at all satisfied. No way! Unfortunately we are going to miss the next couple of WC races but we do have an extensive test schedule planned so we don’t lose our momentum. “
Scotty B. White:
“We’re obviously really happy to be up on the podium for the Hard Charger Award. It was fun to get out there on a real road course with these Dodge Vipers. Starting dead last certainly wasn’t the place we wanted to be after being red flagged in qualifying. But we got out there and peddled hard and brought the car home in one piece. It wasn’t the result we were looking for but with only one session to sort the car it was a good run. We had a huge push the whole race and that was the reason I got into Andy Pilgrim and spun myself. Andy tried to leave me enough room but I pushed into him and spun myself. Near the end of the race we were running quicker than most of the guys in front of us. But, without a mid-race caution, we weren’t going to get up there to run with those guys. We would have liked to get into the top-ten but to gain twelve positions was a good result. This SPEED GT series is the best racing in North America and I can’t wait for our next race in Toronto. “