NT1 Double Podium Finish at US Winternats 2008

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Race report by Paul Lemieux
The team flew to Fort Myers on Saturday and we all got together on Saturday night to talk things over before practice started the following day. The team for this race consisted of Barry Baker (California), Bobby Flack (Michigan), Ralph Burch (Texas), Chris Mithinie (Texas), and Paul Lemieux (Wisconsin).

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A-Final
Saturday
Since I raced the final it is hard to give a report on it but I will do my best.
From pole position Paolo Morganti got out front and stretched out his lead to a couple of seconds by the first pitstop. Second position at that point was DJ Apolaro. DJ started 3rd and got by me right away at the start, I dropped back to 4th at the first pit and Ralph moved up to 3rd. As I was entering the first pitstop DJ was exiting the pit stall and just as he got put down I tapped the rear of his car and this caused him to get his body tucked in the pit lane, and to make it worse his car stalled, his pit crew got him re-started but he lost almost 1 lap. This was my fault. DJ was very fast and this definitely cost him some positions. Now the order was Paolo followed by Ralph and myself, and I had my hands full with Mike Swager. Mike and I swapped positions a couple of times over the next few minutes. At around the 10min mark there was a 3-way battle for the lead between Paolo, Ralph and Mike, and I was 4th a few seconds back. Over the next few minutes the battle got sorted out with Ralph taking over the lead, Paolo in second and Mike dropping out of the race while running third. Paolo was having trouble in the pits and this allowed me to take over second position from him. I was about 6sec back from Ralph at that time. Things were now spread out a bit with Ralph and I running 1&2 but Paolo was not content with 3rd and made a hard charge and was reeling me in. Now with the race winding down the order was still Ralph followed by myself and Paolo running third. Paolo caught me with around 15min to go, he got into the back of me but waited for me to get back by him (very nice), but over the next few laps he made a nice pass on me to take back 2nd place. From there Ralph was on cruise control with a half lap lead over Paolo with 5min to go. Paolo pulled away from me by a few seconds.

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In the end it was Ralph Burch taking home the win by about a half a lap over Paolo, who had about a half lap over me in third. Ralph drove a great race and his pitman Drew Ellis also did a great job in the pitstops. I would like to thank my pitman Jason Engle for doing an awesome job and to Barry Baker for the tune job. Thanks to the whole Fort Myers crew for putting on another great event.

Final order:
1. Ralph Burch (XRAY NT1)
2. Paolo Morganti
3. Paul Lemieux (XRAY NT1)
4. Jilles Groskamp
5. Art Carbonell
6. Josh Cyrul
7. Bobby Flack (XRAY NT1)
8. DJ Apolaro
9. Barry Baker (XRAY NT1)
10. Michael Salven
11. Mike Swager
12. Chris Tosolini

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Ralph Burch Winning Set-up sheet.

Paul Lemieux Set-up sheet.

Source : XRAY

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