The high-speed confines of Auto Club Speedway hosted Round #3 of the 2011 Pro Track Challenge/Circuit Battles competition. As has been the case with Auto Club Speedway since Redline Track Events began hosting motorsport events there, the track chewed up and spit out a number of competitors. To say this track is hard on cars would be an understatement!
The action kicked off on Sunday morning with Qualifying.
It became immediately evident that both Joey Scarallo and Lou Gigliotti were a step ahead of the remaining competitors, as both the Group A Wheels GTO and the LG Motorsports Corvette consistently ran lap times much quicker then anybody has in the past with Red Line Track Events. Joey only got to do 2 flying laps in the Group-A Wheels Pontiac GTO, but it was good enough to capture his second pole of the season and set the track record for Circuit Battles!
With the pole position for the 5-lap Super Session seeding race, Joey Scarallo was positioned well to earn the Top Seed in the Circuit Battles bracket. However, Lou Gigliotti jumped out to an early lead at the drop of the green flag, and maintained that lead for two laps. Just before the beginning of the 3rd
lap, it sounded as though the LG Motorsports Corvette suffered a drivetrain malfunction, with Gigliotti bringing the car to a halt at the exit
of Pit Lane. With little competition from the other competitors, Scarallo stretched his lead out over Paul Brown, maintaining a comfortable margin between himself and the 2nd
place car. Mike Cronin Jr. One he took the lead Scarallo never looked back in the Group-A Wheels car to capture his second seeding race victory.
With only 6 cars able to compete in the double-elimination bracket, both Scarallo and Cronin Jr. would effectively receive Bye wins in their first round. Cort Wagner was able to dispatch Lars Wolfe, with Paul Brown earning the victory after Dez Ballard suffered an engine failure.
Joey first Circuit Battle was against Cort Wagner. Joey took the lead and won the race sending Wagner to the loser bracket, and moving Joey onto the next round in the winners bracket.
Next Joey went against Paul Brown and just as he did with Wagner, Joey continued to be bragadocious and continue his winning ways. This moved Joey into the finals and Brown down to the losers bracket. Paul Brown would fight his way through the losers bracket to put him against Joey Scarallo in the Group-A Wheels car in the finals. Brown would need to win two Circuit Battles in a row to beat Joey since he had a lose already.
In the first attempt of the final Brown would kick his twin turbo car into high gear to get the jump over Scarallo. Joey did everything he could to get by him in the infield but sadly it was not enough to beat brown in the first attempt. Now the score was tied at 1-1 with Scarallo and Brown. The next Circuit Battle would determine the winner of round 3.
Joey learned his lesson from the last battle and got a better timed start. Even still the duo went side-by-side into the banking racing into Turn 1 just millimeters apart. The two took eachother as late as possible into the brake zone reaching the absolute maximum threshold. For Paul Brown it would be too much because he locked up the brakes and went wide, but Joey made it through. Joey managed to hold off the twin turbo car to capture to win in round 3!
Joey Scarallo set some great records in the Group-A Wheels car at Auto Club Speedway to finish off the great performance on track to go with Group-A Wheels performance off track. Here is what he set:
Track Record for Auto Club Speedway in Circuit Battles
First team and driver to make it to the finals in the winners bracket more then once
First team and driver to become repeat seeding race winners in Circuit Battles history.
First team and driver to become event winners in Ciruit Battles history.
First team and driver to become repeat pole sitters in Circuit Battles history.