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NASA American Iron race at Virginia International Raceway February 18-19, 2012

photo courtesy Finish Line Productions

The 2012 NASA Mid Atlantic season kicked off at Virginia International Raceway on February 18. The weather was a mixed bag once again with temps in the 60s on Saturday and rain, sleet, and snow on Sunday with temps in the 30s.

On Saturday, Chris Cobetto and his 2011 Performance Autosport Mustang took the pole with a fast lap of 2:05.907, an unofficial track record, while Bill Greene took the AIX pole. Lap times were equal or better this year running the Toyo RA-1 compared to last year's Hoosier tire.

Five AI and two AIX cars took the green Saturday. Chris Cobetto was challenged by Stephen Kent early but maintained the lead throughout. The front two were followed closely by Robert Korzen and Ed Hunter. Wes Dearing dropped out early with engine trouble. Cobetto went on to win and set a new track record of 2:05.834 in four year old tires. Bill Greene ran well throughout and took the AIX win after and Daren Ardinger dropped out with electronic gremlins.

With a winter storm on the way, the races started early Sunday on a wet track with sleet and snow beginning to fall. Another early battle up front as Stephen Kent battled Chris Cobetto for the lead in AI. On the second lap, Kent dove inside of Cobetto going into turn one and made contact hitting Cobetto's right-rear corner. Cobetto managed to keep it on track but Kent spun off into the grass. Kent recovered but the damage took him out of the race. Ed Hunter managed to get by Korzen and finished second. Korzen took third. Without a qualifying lap, Jimmy Bost started in the back of the pack and dropped out early as the weather deteriorated.

Daren Ardinger fixed his electrical problem and ran strong in AIX on Sunday is his classic Chevy Nova. No other AIX cars attemped to race in the nasty weather giving Ardinger the win.
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