Joe Nonnamaker celebrates 50th year of racing by winning 8 hour Enduro OVERALL

At the 1st event of the season, Team Sahlen raced with the Summit Racing – American Endurance Racing series at Pittsburgh International Raceway.  At this event, Team Sahlen debuted our brand new race car – #41 “Chili” Porsche Boxster.  “Chili” will be utilized by the team in 2022 as practice car as well as a back up car in both the Summit Racing – American Endurance Racing Series and the Tire Rack – ChampCar Endurance Series.  During Friday’s mornings very chilly and snowy practice, “Chili” ran great and provided all of the drivers able to get that extra little bit of track time.  This event was the 1st event that Team Sahlen would be racing in the newly formed Class A in the series with #42 “Pepper”.  There were many things for the team to work through on the day, with the new configuration of the class having the team work through several set up alterations.  The afternoon dawned clearer skies just in time for the qualifying session at Pitt Race.  Both #42 “Pepper” and #43 “Salt” ran great, with both Caymans securing 2nd on the grid in their respective classes.

Saturday dawned with beautiful sunny blue skies, if albeit cold temperatures.  Both Team Sahlen racers took their time tip toeing around the circuit to build heat up into the tires.  As the race emerged into the 3rd hour, Team Sahlen found themselves in a battle for the OVERALL Victory.  Both “Salt” and “Pepper” took turns leading the race.  As the race entered the last 1/3rd of the 8 hour event, both Caymans suffered from flat tires.  Both cars were undamaged and made it back safely to the pits for retreading.  But the unscheduled stops in the pits were enough to take both Caymans out of reach of the Random Vandals BMW M4 GT4 at the checkered flag, falling just 50 seconds short of victory.  In the end, the day was successful outing, with #42 “Pepper” with Joe & Wayne Nonnamaker driving securing 2nd in Class A and 2nd Overall.  As well, the #43 “Salt” with Joe Sahlen & Will Nonnamaker placed 1st in Class 4 and 3rd Overall.

Will Nonnamaker shared his thoughts on the day – “What a crazy day.  There were all types of temperature conditions.  Joe Sahlen did a fantastic job laying down some very excellent laps.  The crew did a great job on the Pit Stops.  And these 2 factors allowed us to pull away from the competition in Class 4 and secure a very impressive 3rd Overall.”

For Sunday’s 8 Hour enduro, the day started with a wet track from overnight showers.  This led to the Team Sahlen racers being even more cautious, tip toeing around the circuit.  An early incident on track put the “#43 “Salt” behind the wall for the day.  This left the #42 “Pepper” to carry the mantle of honor for Team Sahlen during the event.  Taking the lead in the 1st hour of the race, “Pepper” did not look back all day, delivering a solid, consistent pace that was not able to be matched by the competition on this day.  The final stint of the race was driven by Joe Nonnamaker.  This victory was a special one, as Joe was celebrating his 50th year of racing.  And he was able to drive across the checkered flag in 1st place, having driven with his 2 sons – Wayne & Will Nonnamaker.

Joe Nonnamaker shared his thoughts after the race – “I never imagined 50 years ago when I started racing my Ford Pinto, that I would still be out here racing.  To secure the OVERALL victory with both Wayne & Will as my co-drivers was especially memorable.”

For the Weekend summary of both 8 Hour Enduros, Team Sahlen was able to capture more hardware. The #43 “Salt” secured 3rd for the weekend in Class 4. And the #42 “Pepper” capitalized on Sunday’s victory to catapult to 1st in Class A for the weekend. Additionally, for their strong and consistent drives during the weekend; Wayne & Will secured 1st and 2nd respectively in the series points for the event.

The next event for Team Sahlen will be the Sahlen’s Sports Car Springfest at the Glen with the Summit Racing – American Endurance Racing series.  The event will be May 6th-8th, with an 8 hour race on both Saturday and Sunday.  Drivers will again be Joe & Wayne Nonnamaker in the #42 “Pepper” Porsche Cayman and Joe Sahlen and Will Nonnamaker in the #43 “Salt” Porsche Cayman.

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