Brody Goble Dominates at The Ridge for Second Year in a Row, Leads from Start to Finish
June 11, 2023
David Hampton Victor in Close GT Race, Rudy Revak Wins SGT
SHELTON, Wash. (June 11, 2023) – Brody Goble went back-to-back at Ridge Motorsports Park, once again leading the Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series race from start to finish in dominating fashion. Goble, who made his Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli Western Championship debut at The Ridge in 2022, was uncontested in the 41-lap caution-free race, earning his third-career win in the series and first of 2023.
Notes of Interest
Goble made his Trans Am debut at The Ridge in 2022, where he also won the pole and race.
Goble has three-career Western Championship wins and six Motul Pole Awards in just seven starts.
Second-place Ricky Leigh and third-place Dave Kunicki finished within 0.6 seconds of each other.
This weekend’s race had the most GT entries (five) in Western Championship history.
GT class winner David Hampton earned the first victory of his Trans Am career.
GT drivers Larry Luck and Martin Sarukhanyan scored podiums in their first-career Trans Am starts.
Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series:
Goble set the fastest qualifying time in his No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex Performance Mustang for the second time this year, breaking the track record time he set at The Ridge in 2022. Once the green flag waved, Goble checked out from the rest of the field, creating a 2.5-second gap over second place on the first lap. With clean air in front of him, his advantage only grew throughout the event and Goble crossed the finish line to take the victory by a 73-second margin.
Behind Goble, Laguna Seca winner and fourth-place starter Greg Tolson in the No. 38 GT Auto Lounge Camaro had early trouble when Michael Fine in the No. 66 Architectural Glass Systems Inc. Camaro made side-by-side contact with him on lap 3, causing significant enough crash damage to force Tolson’s retirement from the race. Michael LaPaglia, who started second, held his position throughout the event and appeared en route to a podium finish until lap 38, when his No. 31 Papini’s Garage/F.A.S.T. Auto Mustang ran out of fuel with just three laps remaining, giving Fine the second position as LaPaglia headed to pit road for gas. LaPaglia was able to get back on track and recover a fifth-place finish.
The best battle of the entire day was between Ricky Leigh (No. 09 1909 Gastropub Temecula, CA Camaro) and Dave Kunicki (No. 67 Blue Max Canada Camaro). While much of the field was spread out for the duration of the race, Kunicki was never far from Leigh’s tail. By mid-race, there was just a 0.198-second gap between them, and the two remained glued to each other until the checkered flag waved, crossing the finish line third and fourth.
Following the race, Fine was issued a 40-second penalty for avoidable contact with Tolson, dropping him down to the fourth position. This moved Leigh and Kunicki up to the second and third positions to round out the podium.
“This is a little bit of a home track for us, we’re about three hours north of here,” said Goble. “We didn’t go out in the rain on Friday or on Saturday morning, so we kept a limited amount of laps on this car. It was fast all weekend long. I want to thank the Brown Bros. Racing team; this was a team effort. We didn’t step a foot wrong all weekend and the car was awesome. It was a really pleasurable car to drive all weekend long, so I was able to keep banging down good laps during the race and keep our head down and try not to drive it off or do anything dumb. Thank you to my team for the opportunity and thank you to all the Trans Am staff this weekend for being here with us in the Northwest. It was a fun race.”
Big Machine Vodka SPIKED Coolers TA2 Series Top Five:
1. Brody Goble, No. 69 Brown Bros. Ford/Cortex Performance Ford Mustang
2. Ricky Leigh, No. 09 1909 Gastropub Temecula, CA Chevrolet Camaro
3. Dave Kunicki, No. 67 Blue Max Canada Chevrolet Camaro
4. Michael Fine, No. 66 Architectural Glass Systems Inc. Chevrolet Camaro
5. Michael LaPaglia, No. 31 Papini’s Garage/F.A.S.T. Auto Ford Mustang
Rudy Revak in the No. 60 Xyngular Ford Mustang had a solid weekend at Ridge Motorsports Park. The only SGT competitor, he started sixth overall and remained in that position for most of the day until he dropped off on the final lap, running out of fuel. He was still able to salvage an eighth-place finish overall and took the win for the SGT class.
“Well, I’m from Texas and our gas prices are only $2.70, and it’s five bucks here, so I guess they skimped on fuel,” Revak joked on the podium. “Kidding, I just ran out of gas at the top of the hill with half a lap to go. My highlight was just being here for the weekend. The Trans Am people did a great job and they were so accommodating for me, even though I had some challenges.”
1. Rudy Revak, No. 60 Xyngular Ford Mustang
David Hampton in the No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS led the GT class for the duration of the event to earn the first victory of his Trans Am career. Behind him, however, was a race of attrition, which led to two drivers making their first-career starts to score podium finishes.
Fifth-place qualifier and GT winner in the season’s opening three races, JC Meynet (No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Corvette), faced trouble early, pulling off course on lap 2 for an overheating issue. His teammate, Kevin Michaels in the No. 98 Killer Shrimp Restaurant Corvette, started second and was engaged in a tight battle with Martin Sarukhanyan in the No. 13 Cobalt Brakes Mazda Miata before mechanical issues also plagued him, relegating Michaels to fourth in class. Sarukhanyan also faced a mechanical issue that forced him down pit road on lap 13, but he was able to remain in the race, ultimately finishing third. Larry Luck in the No. 16 Luck Services BMW M3 had luck on his side, as his competitors’ troubles allowed him to take over the second position. He remained close behind Hampton for the duration of the race, but just couldn’t close the door before laps wound down.
“I can’t tell you how great it is to work with these guys,” said Hampton. “I have a wonderful crew and they just worked so hard to force you to go faster. They keep tweaking the car and it gets better and better, and pretty soon we’re going pretty quick. It was just a heck of a lot of fun today. I want to thank God for that one. I was holding on for dear life there, I thought we were going to run out of fuel. I thought, ‘Please, keep going.’ We got ‘er done today and it was awesome.”
1. David Hampton, No. 14 AR Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 CS
2. Larry Luck, No. 16 Luck Services BMW M3
3. Martin Sarukhanyan, No. 13 Cobalt Brakes Mazda Miata
4. Kevin Michaels, No. 98 Killer Shrimp Restaurant Chevrolet Corvette
5: JC Meynet, No. 28 Killer Shrimp Racing Chevrolet Corvette
Full official race results can be found here.
The Western Championship returns to the track next month at Portland International Raceway on July 21-23.