AFTER 7 YEARS AND 20 RACES AT VIR, NLS RACING FINALLY GETS THE WIN AT THE RVA GRAPHICS & WRAPS
"OAK TREE 12-HOUR"
NLS Racing #977 VIR-South Race Report
This race marks our 20th attempt at VIR over the course of 7+ years. We’ve finished in every position but 1st it seems like. Maybe this was finally our shot after coming off a strong showing finishing in 2nd place at the 2022 Championship Race at Road Atlanta just 4 weeks ago. Little to no changes other than standard race prep, we were ready to rock.
We started the race mid pack and wasted no time going to the front. The car was running great. We pitted a little early to capitalize on a code 35, but this boxed us in on our strategy. We now had to run a full 2 hours every stint to avoid an extra pitstop. Luckily this didn’t really hurt us, as most of our competitors had to pit under green just as we did. So, it all worked out.
No real drama until the final round of pitstops. A code 35 came out 5 mins before we were ready to pit. So we stayed out just long enough to get to our 2 hour window. We pitted and got about a minute or two of the code 35 before it went back to green. Now we just needed no more cautions for the next 15-20 minutes so everyone else would have to pit under green. The luck went our way on this one as RVA had to complete their final stop. We managed to leapfrog them during the pit cycle and came out in front of them with about a 10 second lead. RVA kept the pressure on us, hoping we’d make a mistake, but we never faltered. Taking the checkered flag w/ just a 5 second lead. If the race had gone on 1-2 laps longer, it may have been a different story. We began fuel starving halfway thru the last lap, and almost didn't make it back to the pits for impound.
The racing gods finally smiled upon us, breaking our VIR curse and even set the FTD!( EC excluded). What an awesome race! Great times all around, hanging w/ our buds Alan and Nathan in the Flat on one Side 240sx, Tyler and Adam w/ TATR Racing, and Bill Powell and the Stug crew. We had a good time helping these guys out with their pitstops.
Thanks everyone else for all the kind words and congratulations.
We’re a totally family run operation, we had some of the kids and even one of the moms arming the fire bottle. Thanks to all the family for the support, the wives for the taco bar, Scott Autrey for all you do, Ryan Brown, Ava Danley, and Virginia Beisler for handling the fire bottle and fuel. Our normal lineup of drivers did great with the addition of Kevin Hanrahan and a second timer in our 240, Ryan Ackerman.
Thanks again to Ryan w/ 360 Communications and Cliff’s new business Next Level Service.
And finally, a big thanks to ChampCar for the best racing anywhere!