National Auto Sport Association

NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires Garnering Strong Competitors

NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires Garnering Strong Competitors

Top amateur racers ready to converge on Buttonwillow

NAPA, Calif., (Oct. 7, 2016) - The third annual NASA Western States Championships presented by Toyo Tires is receiving entries from across the country that will assure strong competition October14-16 at Buttonwillow Raceway.

NASA Western States Championships event director Ryan Flaherty will be using two different track configurations over the three-day event. The Buttonwillow track layout options, known as CCW (counter clockwise), will be a great test of speed and handling over the Championship weekend.

"On Friday we are using configuration No. 1 CCW," Flaherty said. "Configuration No. 1 is 3-miles, which includes the Star Mazda Turn and the Bus Stop. These two sections are challenging and require a precise touch along with a good handling race car. On Saturday and Sunday we will use configuration No. 25 that measures 2.92-miles, which removes the technical Bus Stop and provides another passing opportunity and higher speeds. Using the combination of tracks is a perfect blend of technique and speed, providing a unique opportunity for NASA racers to demonstrate their skills."

Justin Casey (No. 51 Mazda Miata) is heading to Buttonwillow with two goals, win the Spec Miata race overall, which will make him the NASA Western States Champion on Sunday as well as win the Teen Mazda Challenge (TMC) championship that will be decided Friday and Saturday.

"I have raced at Buttonwillow Raceway Park many times, the first time being several years ago when I was racing with the Northern California Karters," Casey said. "My biggest competition will be, that is if Mark Drennan is not racing, Matt Cresci. Matt is a good friend of mine and he always performs really well under high-stress situations, so I am looking for him to give me a good run. My goals are the same as everyone else who is entered, to win this race. Simple."

Casey is also in the hunt for the Teen Mazda Challenge Championship.

"The Teen Mazda Challenge is a series within NASA that consists of drivers who are between the ages of 13 and 22 that race within the Spec Miata Class. The drivers race against the entire Spec Miata field, follow the same rules that NASA has created, and usually each region will have four-to-six race weekends per season. TMC competitors are scored based on their position compared to the rest of the TMC drivers. So for example if someone finished second overall within the Spec Miata field, but first overall amongst TMC drivers then that driver will be awarded first place points for the TMC championship. The overall concept of the Teen Mazda Challenge is to allow younger drivers to begin racing cars at a younger age in order to allow more time to improve their race craft. We are racing to be eligible to be invited to the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. If the driver is invited and wins the shootout, then they win a $100,000 scholarship to compete in The Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup for one year. So overall, this series provides an extraordinary opportunity from Mazda for younger drivers to further develop their racing career."

Manny Coats is a previous Honda Challenge Champion, winning at Mid-Ohio in 2008 and 2011. He is bringing his No. 72 Acura Integra to Buttonwillow to go for a third Championship title.

"I have a lot of laps around Buttonwillow in both configurations and it is my favorite track in our region," Coats said. "Buttonwillow has a great mix of technical turns, with some of them blind. I had a great battle with Carlos (Valenzuela) last year at the Championships before I had a mechanical failure that took me out of the race. I know he is bringing an even better car this year, so I expect he may be the guy to beat. There's also last year's H4 Champion, Steve Peterson, with a newer, faster power plant than he had at last year's Championships."

Buttonwillow Raceway track configurations, 

For additional information, please contact NASA Championships Media Director, Kyle Chura at or (248) 821-0468.  More detail can be found at or

To qualify for the NASA National Championships presented by Toyo Tires, NASA competitors must compete in and score points in five regional races around the country.

Established in 1966, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. represents the innovation, quality, performance, and excellent service that Toyo Tires has delivered worldwide for more than 70 years.

About Toyo Tires
Toyo offers a complete selection of premium replacement tires for nearly every make and model including light trucks, SUVs, high performance cars, and luxury vehicles, as well as commercial trucks. Many of these tires are built here in the United States at our state-of-the-art factory in Bartow County, Georgia.

About NASA
The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was formed in 1991 with the premise of delivering high-quality motorsports events to enthusiasts at major racing venues throughout the nation. NASA has created programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full performance capabilities of their cars in a controlled professionally managed environment. NASA offers many different programs that will allow you to enjoy motorsports on a number of different levels, including our High Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Rally Sport, Time Trial, NASA-X and Competition Racing programs.
NASA Membership
NASA members are entitled to enter and participate in any NASA event across the country, and membership includes an array of benefits, including vendor discounts and a subscription to the organizations online newsletter the NASA Speed News. Members will also receive a colorful membership hard card that will identify them as part of the organization and a welcome packet that includes more information on the many benefits and programs available to NASA members. While participating at events, all NASA members are covered by an extensive insurance policy, which includes General Liability, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Excess Medical coverage. Best of all, membership is only $45. Refer to for member information.

NASA Thanks Our Partners
NASA would like to thank its National sponsors for their continued support:  Toyo Tires, Mazda, Hawk Performance, Winding Road Racing, Millers Oils, and GoPro.  We also want to thank MAZDASPEED, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Nissan, and Ford Motor Company for supporting our members.  We greatly appreciate those companies that offer our racers contingency support, including Toyo Tires, AIM Sports, AST Suspension, BFGoodrich, Ford Racing, Maxxis Tires, Traqmate, Hawk Performance, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Hoosier Racing Tire, Injector Pulse, MAZDASPEED, Nissan, Frozen Rotors, Rossini Race Engines, Spec Clutches, Sampson Racing Communications, Winding Road Racing, and Yokohama.  NASA competitors can also get discounts from Millers Oils, Mazda, Honda Performance Development, FR.Sport, Jongbloed Racing Wheels, Promotive, Racing Fire Systems, Ford Performance Racing School, Tire Stickers, Fuel Safe, Avis, Konig, Winding Road Racing.
NASA at a Glance
* NASA was founded in 1991 on the premise of providing motorsport competition programs that allow owners of both racecars and high-performance street-driven vehicles to enjoy the full-performance capabilities of their cars in a safe and controlled environment.
* NASA has over 14,000 members in 15 regions.
* Key events include the Eastern States Championships at Watkins Glen International Sept. 23-25;  NASA Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, Oct. 13-16, 2016 and the season culminating NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill, Dec. 3-4 presented by Hawk Performance.
* The NASA National Championships will run 31 race classes and nine Time-Trial classes during the event.
* NASA runs over 150 events each year encompassing over 250 races, including the association's Rally Sport and Time-Trial program.
* Manufacturer partners include MAZDASPEED, Honda Performance Development (HPD), Nissan and Ford Racing.
* NASA Management: Jerry Kunzman, Executive Director; Ryan Flaherty, National Chairman; Jeremy Croiset, Director of Business Development; Dave Ho, Business Operations Manager.
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Instagram:     nasaproracing

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