Ken Stout Racing PR
At the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) National Championships it was the perfect ending to the perfect week for KSR and driver Robert Stout! The Lucas Oil backed Pro-Challenge Charger was prepared for full power with E3 Spark Plugs and max grip courtesy of a new set of Kumho Ecsta V710 Tires. The 25 car group lined up and 45 minutes after the drop of the green flag it was Robert Stout that crossed the finish line first in the Performance Touring A Class!
“What an awesome day this is! Lucas Oil has supported us since day one and now I can finally return their support with a NASA National Championship. All of our supporters have been great to us, TRAXXAS, Kumho Tires, E3 Spark Plugs and so many more, it’s really nice to do this for them. Especially my dad, he has been relentless for 5 years, he’s given me the best equipment possible and works on this thing like a machine. I have to thank Pete Cozzolino and Bill Vester from Cozzolino Motorsports. Those guys have also done whatever it takes to get this car ready to race, they are awesome!! Another surprise was our new Crew Chief Eric Arms who replaced Todd Bellew just three days before the event. Eric works for Eric Myers Koni Challenge team, he dropped everything to fly out and help us. The weather was in triple digits all week but on Sunday the clouds rolled in and temps dropped into the 70’s, along with a 20 MPH wind forcing Eric to make some quick changes to the setup of the car. He is an incredibly talented man, and we are grateful to have him on board. This car took the track 10 times between Wednesday and Sunday and it never skipped a beat. Wow what a week!" said the Champ.
Stout knew he’d have to use patience and driving skill as his competitors had more horsepower. The 997 Porsche on the outside pole had been fast all week and good friend of the team Jeff Diffenderfer was moved to the class with his turbo charged MX5. Stout said “At the start they all drove around me and even though I knew it was going to happen I still can’t get used to it. It’s a helpless feeling but it also motivates me to punish them when I can”. By the end of the 3500 foot straight-away Stout had fallen from 1st to 4th and immediately went to work. He drove the 3rd place competitor in so deep he washed up high as Stout drove under him and by the exit of turn one he had moved back into 3rd.
Leyvas and his 997 Porsche had the lead as a full course caution came out. On the restart Diffenderfer in 2nd passed Leyvas’s 997 for the lead, Stout followed him but again was passed down the straight-away with the 997’s big power. Stout closed the gap on Leyvas in turn one and was all but pushing him in turn two. In turn three Leyvas wiggled and Stout drove under him. Stout said, “I was so close to him that I wasn’t sure if he got loose on his own or if I had pushed him, either way was fine as I got the spot. That car looks sweet, I would have loved to put a donut mark on it and I think he knew that”. Another full course caution came out and bunched up the group.
It was then that Robert remembered he could use his “Go Fast Tab” put in the car by Crew Chief Eric Arms. Stout said “I looked down at that thing and started to laugh, I needed some power to hang with Diffy down the straight-away so I pulled the tab”. The restart saw Stout hang on to 2nd and by the entry to turn 4 he was all over Diffenderfer. Jeff missed a gear at the worse possible time while Stout took advantage of it and made the pass. Stout said “I wasn’t sure what happened but he just didn’t move. We were right behind some slower cars and I needed to get around a couple of them before the next turn so I’d have a chance to gap Diffy. He’s a good friend and we have raced together in his car for Endoro’s so I knew he’d be tough”. Stout made the pass on two of the slower cars before the next turn and then two more following that as Diffenderfer got held up. From that point on Stout checked out. With a clear track in front of him he consistently ran lap times that were two seconds faster than anyone else in the class as he brought home his first NASA National Championship!
Team owner Ken Stout said “What a come back this team has made! From a nasty wreck 3 weeks ago to a parting of the ways with our crew chief at the last minute, we never lost faith in our ability. Robert has shown great maturity in this car. He has learned to use patience, skill and all of his experience from his karting days to make clean passes and bring the car home. We are always out gunned in power but our engine is always solid thanks to Lucas Oil. If driven right with the mad grip supplied by Kumho Tires, Robert is always a threat! He is a hell of a driver and every time we give him a car that he likes he goes right to the front."
The 2009 season will now go into the history books for NASA and KSR. Robert Stout has earned 15 wins, 16 Poles and 19 Top 5’s out of the 19 events he started this season including two Shifter Kart races. For his efforts he locked up the NASA Mid-West and Great Lakes regional Championships and the NASA National Championship, what a year!!
The team has one event left this year with NASA and with all the Championships locked up it will be nothing but fun!