The weekend started with a brake issue: no ABS. The ABS system in our car controls the power braking, and without it, we have far too much braking, resulting in easy lock-up. The problem was quickly fixed, and we were up to speed immediately.

With only one practice session left before qualifying, Jameson set out for his first time driving at Daytona International Speedway’s infield course, trying to learn the track and find setup changes that would need to be made for qualifying later that afternoon. AJ got some seat time as well at the end of the second practice session.

Qualifying went well, with Jameson setting the 5th fastest time for the ST class in our Mazda RX-8. We encountered some fuel issues during qualifying, which prevented us from going any faster, but we were happy with our qualifying time for our first time at Daytona.

Friday morning practice went even better, as we made some vital setup changes, and Jameson went fastest for the session with a 2:09.9 lap time, which would be our fastest time for the weekend. AJ started the session to get much needed track time and was able to get some good laps in before the race.

Jameson started the race, and quickly got to the front of the field, leading 23 laps of the 66 lap event, second most laps led only to the eventual winner. Because of our reoccurring fuel issues, Jameson had to pit for a second fuel stop, while other teams only required one stop. This put us out of contention for the win, or even a podium. Unfortunately, our race ended with a rookie driver spinning AJ on the last lap, resulting in a different car hitting AJ and damaging our car.

Although the race ended with a crash, we still made great progress throughout the weekend, and led many laps. It was a great effort from the entire Riley Racing crew and drivers, and we look forward to the next event.

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