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NASA Texas AI/CMC Hallett Race Writeup - lots of images!

Adam Ginsberg

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Written by Adam Ginsberg.



22 August 2004


The NASA TEXAS AI/CMC Series Goes on the Road to Oklahoma!!!


AI/X and CMC cars from Texas, Oklahoma and Omaha Nebraska traveled to the historic 1.8 mile track known as Hallett Motor Racing Circuit ( http://www.hallettracing.com ). Located just west of Tulsa Oklahoma, this was the series first venture north of the Red River in the 2004 racing season. This track is challenging, and many have never raced on its surface before – making the 14-15 August weekend the one to watch!



+ 4 AI/CMC sprint races toward championship points (20 minutes each)

+ 1 practice session and 2 qualifying sessions (15-20 minutes each)

+ 7 total race group sessions and well over 2 hours of track time!

+ Standing Starts!

+ 7 American Iron cars.

+ 1 AI/X car ( all the way from Omaha NE! )

+ 1 CMC car

+ 2 Competition Licensing students working towards AI competition.

+ 9 Mustangs ( hey, where did the all F-bodys go? )

+ 2 Pole Position qualifiers – John George (AI) Sat Race #1…Wayne Manor (AI) Sun Race #1

+ 2 winners for the weekend - John George 2X (AI)...Wayne Manor 2X (AI)

+ 3 new track records set! AIX ( Buddy Cisar - 1.26.478 ), AI ( John George – 1:26.548 ), and CMC ( Adam Ginsberg – 1:31.266 )

+ Brakes were the hot commodity this weekend! Other casualties included 1 power steering pump, 2 clutch cables, 1 clutch, 1 transmission, 1 AMB transponder, 1 electric radiator fan, 1 torque arm, 1 drive shaft and many sets of well used brake pads.

+ Consistent top lap times were in the mid- 1:26’s for AI, and 1:32’s for CMC.

+ Sportsmanship and camaraderie ruled the pits, with racers giving other racers parts to get them back on track!

+ John George and Wayne Manor, again, raced door to door in multiple AI races, making for a great race, and a fantastic show for the spectators. Rookies David Armstrong and David Donovan ran strong and hard, each leading for a bit in Sunday’s Race #2. Mike Bell and Richard Pedersen continue to run door to door.

+ Safe, fun weekend with good food, and great weather!


FRIDAY SCHEDULE – not a “Happy Hour” but a “Happy Day” – Hallett graciously hosted a full day of practice for any racer. Mike Bell, David Armstrong, David Donovan, Richard Pedersen and John George all showed up for some practice sessions.


In addition to the racers, many future AI/CMC folks, spectators and corner carvers came out as well – Lewis Tanner, Mark Tackman, Scott Nelson, Darren Brune, Seth Ginsberg, Brock Ivers and others showed up to support NASA Texas AI and CMC racers!


1) American Iron’s point leader John George killed a power steering pump, clutch cable, and an errant turtle that tried to pass him in T9. The turtle lost his battle.

2) AI’s Robert King brought his under-construction AI car to Hallett to continue towards his competition license.

3) CMC’s Adam Ginsberg was the sole CMC entry, allowing him to make up valuable points towards the season championship! CMC’s Todd Covini and Eric Varner were unable to make it.

4) Camping and BBQ were the sleeping and eating conventions for several racers and potential/future AI and CMC’ers. Adam Ginsberg, Lewis Tanner, Bud Sharp, David Schwarze, Chris Lyons and Richard Pedersen all camped at the track ( some in tents, one in a van, others in a motor home )

5) The weather was cool, and highly suitable for racing – not the norm for Oklahoma in August!




John George’s 5.0 Resto coupe at sunset. Image by Lewis Tanner.


SATURDAY MORNING'S PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING SESSIONS brought out Hallett’s infamous “chicken reveille”, cool, clear and sunny weather conditions. Since this was the series first trip to Hallett, everyone was waiting to see what kind of track times would be produced. The mandatory drivers meeting got underway, with the AI/CMC racers taking the track shortly thereafter.




Saturday practice – Pedersen, Ginsberg, Armstrong, and Donovan. Image by Mark Tackman.


In no short order, John George in his 5.0 Resto Mustang coupe, and Wayne Manor in the blue #38 hatchback were the ones to watch, both posting qualifying times of 1:25.194 and 1:25.853, respectively, giving John the pole. Mike Bell ( AI ) set a 1:27.775, Buddy Cisar ( AIX ) with a 1:28.800, and Richard Pedersen close behind with a 1:28.815.




Buddy Cisar’s AIX SN95 Mustang. Image by Lewis Tanner


Chris Lyons ( AI ), David Armstrong ( AI ), Adam Ginsberg ( CMC ), and David Donovan ( AI ), respectively, were all within 2 seconds of one another, making for the beginnings of an exciting first race.




David Donovan’s #7 car, crossing the finish line. Image by http://www.hallettracingpics.com


SATURDAY’S LUNCH was an open BBQ next to John George’s trailer. The tradition in Texas AI/CMC racing continued with our group BBQ/luncheon being held with plenty of food shared with everyone in the AI/CMC pit area. Sylvia Manor, with her usual cheerful demeanor, alongside Sharon Lyons, helped feed the hungry racers. Thanks for the outstanding hospitality, ladies!


SATURDAY’S RACE #1, after lunch, gridded John George, Wayne Manor, Mike Bell, Buddy Cisar, Richard Pedersen, Chris Lyons, David Armstrong, Adam Ginsberg and David Donovan in that order. A miscommunication with race control turned this from a standing to a rolling start, but it was exciting nonetheless.


John George and Wayne Manor performed a near repeat of MSR for most of the race, running door to door. The AIX entrant of Buddy Cisar fought hard against Mike Bell, with Bell in the lead for several laps until a slipping clutch forced Mike to hand over the spot to Buddy. Cisar’s screaming yellow Mustang chased Texas AI points leader John George, and managed to run the AIX lap record of 1:26.478. Wayne lost his brakes going into T6, giving Richard Pedersen the position. Chris’ Maximum Motorsports-prepared AI car worked hard to chase down Richard Pedersen’s #91 Mustang. In the middle of the pack, Adam Ginsberg’s CSD Custom Auto/Kwik Kar Mustang raced against the AI cars of David Armstrong and David Donovan, cutting a new CMC track record - 1:31.266. Adam managed to keep them both in his rearview mirror. That, however, would not last all weekend.


For the Saturday Trophy race, the AI battle put John George 1st, Richard Pedersen 2nd, and Chris Lyons 3rd. Buddy Cisar finished 1st in AIX, with an overall of 2nd. Wayne Manor, Adam Ginsberg, David Armstrong, Donovan and Mike Bell rounded out the rest of the finishing field. Congrats to Chris Lyons on his first podium finish of the 2004 season!


Continued on next post.....

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Chris Lyons’ MM coupe just barely edging out Wayne Manor’s GR40 suspended hatchback. Image by Lewis Tanner.


SATURDAY RACE #2 With NASA Race Control fully on board, the AI/CMC racers did an inverted standing start! The grid consisted of Bell on pole, Donovan, Armstrong, Ginsberg, Manor, Lyons, Pedersen, Cisar and George.


At the green flag, Manor jumped hard, splitting between Ginsberg and Donovan, passing both before T1 in an effort to hunt down Bell. Bell fought to keep Wayne in his mirrors, but couldn’t manage to hold off Wayne’s attack. John George quickly dispatched the rest of the field, with Pedersen, and Cisar hot on his bumper. Within a few laps, the AI freight train of Manor, George, Pedersen, Bell and Cisar began its incessant pounding on the Hallett racing surface, swapping positions, and racing door to door in spectacular fashion. Nothing could stop the Pony Express!




Manor, George, Bell and Cisar climbing thru T9. Image by Lewis Tanner


Mid-pack, Ginsberg, Lyons, Donovan, and Armstrong battled fiercely, all clawing for a spot. Exiting T9, Lyons made a move on Ginsberg along the back straight. Chris tried to hold it through T10, but his transmission gave up the ghost, forcing him off into the grass, jumping a berm and ending his race weekend. As the race progressed, Manor and George, with Bell and Pedersen close behind, raced hard, non-stop, door handle to door handle. In doing so, John ran the new AI lap record of 1:26.546, with Manor turning a very close 1:26.626. Armstrong was caught behind slower traffic as the rest of the field moved out, but he worked hard to play catch-up.




The #20 Mustang of David Armstrong. Image by Mark Tackman.


Midpack, the race was between Ginsberg and Donovan, even though they are in separate classes. David’s AI car had the power and suspension advantage over Ginsberg’s CMC car, but Ginsberg refused to give in. Adam managed to hold onto his position, until David made a bold power move going into T4, putting Ginsberg in his dust. Not to be daunted, Ginsberg stayed tight for 2 hard laps, pressured Donovan, causing him to go wide and spin in T2, taking the postion back! Donovan, now red-faced due to his mistake, charged hard, running his fastest time of the day with a 1:30.900, caught Ginsberg, made a move coming out of T9, and retook his lead. With 2 laps to go, the #5 CSD Custom Auto/Kwik Kar Mustang of Ginsberg stayed close. A minor mistake by Donovan coming out of T6 allowed Ginsberg to regained his position, edging out Donovan at the checkered flag.




Ginsberg and Donovan, entering T10. Image by http://www.hallettracingpics.com .


Meanwhile, Armstrong was making headway, and catching up to the rest of the field. Manor and George continued their domination of the front of the pack, but Bell and Pedersen were doing a fair share of battling. Pedersen was all over the back bumper of Bell, trying to force a mistake by the #16 driver, but to no avail – Mike held on tight, and crossed the finish line ahead of the Three Dog Racing blue and yellow hatch of Richard. The overall finishing order was Manor, George, Bell, Pedersen, Cisar, Ginsberg, Donovan and Armstrong.


SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER was held “smorgasboard” style in the paddock area. Lot’s of burgers, brats, sausages, hot dogs, beer, laughter and good times on tap to keep the AI/CMC racers energy up. Sharon Lyons deserves a huge thanks for all her hard work, and delicious cooking – she kept the racers from getting hungry, and on Sunday, went for a ride with Bud Sharp in his Griggs-suspended 90LX open-track coupe!


SUNDAY MORNING QUALIFYING was bright and early first thing in the morning at 0800. The weather looked threatening, staying overcast for the entire day, but the track stayed dry. Directly after the Sunday drivers meeting, the AI/X and CMC cars headed out to qualify. When the cars rolled off, John George’s Griggs Racing Mustang time of 1:26.742 wasn’t enough to Manor’s 1:26.522 - Manor took the pole! Bell hammered a 1:27.301, Cisar a 1:27.908, and Pedersen with a 1:28.940. Donovan bested Armstrong, cutting a 1:29:870 and 1:30:718 respectively.


SUNDAY'S RACE #3 was another standing start, gridding a staggered 2-by-2. Manor, George, Bell, Cisar, Pedersen, Donovan, Armstrong, Ginsberg in that qualifying order. Lyons did not start, as his transmission was still on hiatus from Saturday, with no fix in sight.


When the green flag dropped, the pack raced into turn 1. Cisar radioed his crew chief, saying he felt something snap in his yellow AIX-beast as he launched to chase the Manor-George two-some. Bell was hot on the trail. Donovan and Armstong jumped Pedersen with their superior power, but Richard managed to close the gap, splitting the two rookies, going 3 cars wide into T1! Donovan held the inside line, keeping Pedersen to his right and Armstrong dropping behind. By T2, known as “Stop Sign”, the AIX car of Cisar went off into the grass with a broken torque arm and driveshaft, ending his weekend. Towards the back, Ginsberg launched his CMC car hard, splitting between a FFR on the left and a HC car on his right. The FFR and Adam’s Kwik Kar #5 went 2 cars wide in T1, forcing the HC to fall back driving up the hill. By T2, however, the FFR took the advantage, as Adam’s brakes gave a long pedal, forcing him to back off.


The race towards the front got hot – with John and Wayne duking it out and Wayne in front, Mike Bell took advantage of the situation, and passed John going into T1. Bell, in his BNS-Racing Mustang continued his advance, pulling a gutsy move by diving under Wayne into the Stop Sign (T2), and grabbed the lead! Bell, Manor, George, Pedersen….and it’s only lap 5!![




Mike Bell leads Wayne Manor, John George, and Richard Pedersen coming out of T9. Image by Lewis Tanner.



Continued on next post.....

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After a full lap, Wayne dove under Bell coming into T2, exiting side by side, staying that way until Wayne slid ahead at the exit of T6, taking the lead back from Bell. John was close behind, and moved under Bell at T7, taking away 2nd as they exit T9. George caught up to Manor, dove under going into T10, and the two raced side by side until the exit of T1, with John coming out ahead. Bell and Pedersen, meanwhile, played “who’s nose will be in front”, with Pedersen taking 3rd away from Bell coming into T2. Mike Bell didn’t sit still for long, coming back hard, and retaking 3rd going into T10. The fighting was fierce!




The chase is on! Wayne in front, John, Mike then Richard. Image by Lewis Tanner.


The toil of the tarmac continued, with Manor in the lead, George 2nd, then Bell and Pedersen. George tried a move on Manor in T9, wasn't able to make it stick, allowing Pedersen to pass him and Manor both to take the lead!! 4 leaders within 10 laps!!




Richard ( #91 ) leads Wayne ( #38 ) and John ( #23 ) coming out of T9. Image by Mark Tackman.


At the end of Sunday’s trophy race, it was Wayne Manor by a foot ( literally! ), John George’s 5.0 Resto/Griggs Racing coupe second, Richard Pedersen’s Three Dog Racing hatchback 3rd, Bell 4th, Donovan, Armstrong (with his weekend best of 1:29.818), then Ginsberg.




AI podium ( L-R ) – John George ( AI, 2nd ), Wayne Manor ( AI, 1st ), Richard Pedersen ( AI, 3rd ). Image by Mark Tackman.


SUNDAY'S RACE #4 was again gridded for a standing start based upon finishing order of the previous Race #3. Ginsberg and Armstrong on pole, with Donovan, Pedersen, George and Manor in that order. Bell and Cisar did not grid due to equipment failures.


At the start, rookie David Armstrong came out hard, charging towards T1. George, Manor Pedersen and Donovan took up the chase, and began picking off the slower non-class cars. Armstrong ran strong, when on lap 3, George made his move going into T2, passing on the inside. John began to stretch his legs, leaving Wayne and Richard to find a way around the red #20 car of Armstrong.




John gains ground after passing David Armstrong, with Wayne and Richard close behind. Image by Mark Tackman.


Manor showed Armstrong the #38’s nose several times in an attempt to pass, and was finally successful in T1 of lap 6. Pedersen recognized Armstrong had lost momentum, and drove his Mustang under David in T2 to take the position. Now it’s George, Manor, Pedersen and Armstrong, with Donovan gathering up the rear. Ginsberg developed brake troubles, pitting in lap 9 with a loose drivers front brake caliper.


The #20 car of Armstrong tried to follow Pedersen thru T6, but dropped a wheel off at the exit and spun. Richard Pedersen now piled on the driving effort to run after Wayne. The #38 Manor car saw Richard coming, began driving a defensive line in an effort to hold him off, but Pedersen was able to outbrake Manor into T10, and take over the 2nd place spot. John George’s 5.0 Resto/Griggs Racing coupe continued his run towards the checker, with with Manor’s #38 taking Pedersen in T2 with a late braking maneuver, regaining 2nd. At the finish, it was John George, Wayne Manor, Richard Pedersen, David Donovan with personal weekend best of 1:29.062, then Armstrong.




John George in front, Wayne Manor 2nd, and Richard Pedersen 3-wheeling out of T9. Image by David Donovan.


CONCLUSION - The NASA Texas race officials said the standing starts and general racing action was incredible – not a single incident by any racer. The racing was fierce, with no one holding back! The AI rookies – Armstrong, Donovan, Lyons – have shown they can go toe-to-toe with the top drivers in this series.


The CMC 2004 Season Championship points race has heated up significantly, with Adam Ginsberg taking the lead over Eric Varner, putting Todd Covini in 3rd. The season finale @ TWS will decide the first NASA Texas CMC Champion!!


Watch out for TWS in September!!!!



MSR 1:23:704 John George (AI) 3/7/04

MSR 1:26:187 Todd Covini (CMC) 7/11/04


TWS 1:56:188 John George (AI) 4/3/04

TWS 2:01:391 Todd Covini (CMC) 4/3/04


Hallett 1:26.478 Buddy Cisar (AIX) 8/14/04

Hallett 1:25.617 John George (AI) 8/14/04

Hallett 1:31.366 Adam Ginsberg (CMC) 8/14/04


* Track records only recorded from races in race trim.


HARD LUCK AWARDS goes out to Buddy Cisar and Chris Lyons for their torque arm, drive shaft and transmission failures. And, to all those used up brake pads!


POST RACE IMPOUND AND DYNO RECERTIFICATIONS - were checked from the last MSR race. All competitors dyno sheets were checked, and proven to be legal by the 2004 AI rules. Also, the sealed EEC’s were all found to be untouched.




1 1907 George (AI)

2 1685 Pedersen (AI)

3 1194 Bell (AI)

4 885 Dickey (AI)

5 847 Donovan (AI)

6 793 Manor (AI)

7 647 Armstrong (AI)

8 445 Lyons (AI)

9 325 Covini (AI)

10 218 Carr (AI)

11 155 Patterson (AI)

12 70 Johnson (AI)

13 70 Mixon (AI)

14 0 Costas (AI)

15 0 King (AI)

16 0 Kinman (AI)

17 0 Kuhn (AI)

18 0 Love (AI)

19 0 Mosty (AI)

20 0 White (AI)

21 0 Brannen (AI)

22 0 Ivers (AI)




1 258 Cisar (AIX)


*** AI points per NASA CCR rule 22.1 and AI rule 10

100 for 1st...90 for 2nd...85 for 3rd, etc.

4 points for qualifying Pole position




1 1547 Ginsberg (CMC)

2 1183 Varner (CMC)

3 1182 Covini (CMC)

4 0 Zazzarino (CMC)

5 0 Kent/Liebbe (CMC)

6 0 Bishop (CMC)

7 0 Tanner (CMC)

8 0 Casas (CMC)

9 0 McComb (CMC)

10 0 Reach (CMC)

11 0 Turner (CMC)

12 0 Runyan (CMC)



***CMC points per CMC rule 9

100 for 1st...97 for 2nd...95 for 3rd, etc.

1 point for qualifying Pole position



For more information, the following websites should be able to answer any

of your licensing/rules/racing questions:







Round 6 of NASA Texas AI/CMC racing will be on September 25 & 26 at Texas World Speedway. This will be our final event of the 2004 Season and should prove to be our biggest!!! Register online @ http://www.nasaproracing.com!


If you still have questions, feel free to contact the following at any time!


Todd Covini

NASA Texas AI & CMC Director

713-758-5249 days

713-252-3465 cell


Adam Ginsberg

NASA Texas AI & CMC Asst. Director

972-621-5702 days

214-505-2921 cell


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I was sorry to hear Chris lost his trans.... Sounds like you guys had another good weekend of competition. Another impressive write up..... interested in giving a work shop to our guys in the Mid West ? JK.


We had a real Barn Burner at Mid Ohio this past weekend, 42 car Big Bore field !! Tons of action and great racing.


Keep up the great work.


E Fisher

Panoz GTS # 71

Panoz Race Series

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Yeah, Chris was pretty bummed. It gave up the ghost just as he finally passed me ( ) in T9, causing him to loose concentration and go off in T10. No other damage to the car, fortunately.


Hallett was an absolute blast. Sounds like Mid-O was great as well - 42 cars!!! Wish we could have been there.


As for the race writeup work shop, I'd be happy to send you the Word doc we use ( Todd is the original author ). It's a great format - just add your own pics and race information.

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Elliot - maybe we can "pass the hat" and fly Adam out to spectate and do a writeup like that for nice! Hey - I've got about 5 frequet flyer tickets at the moment - I'll give one up.


Nice job, Adam.

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