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NITRO MOTORSPORTS TOYOTA GR CUP SERIES NORTH AMERICA SONOMA REVIEW

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It was a trip across the country for Nitro Motorsports as they brought their two-car effort to Sonoma Raceway in Napa, California for the opening rounds of the Toyota GR Cup North America series. Entering a pair of drivers in Tyler Wettengel and Jade Avedisian, the duo would look to take the fight to the field of nearly 30 competitors.

After a delay due to track repairs, Nitro Motorsports drivers hit the track Friday evening for a short 30-minute practice session before returning Saturday for an early morning qualifying session that set the grid for race one later that day. Tyler Wettengel clocked the fastest lap of the session for Nitro Motorsports and secured a tenth-place starting spot for race one while Jade Avedisian secured an outside row seven position for the first wheel-to-wheel action of both the weekend and the season.

The green flag would fly for race one just after noon local time, but it was short-lived for the #80 of Wettengel as contact forced him to retire before his season even began. Avedisian was the lone Nitro Motorsports driver left in the field of 29 and ran just outside the top-ten to finish 13th when the checkered flag flew.

Back to the track Sunday for a carbon copy schedule that included both qualifying and race two, it was another early start with qualifying at 8:15am. Wettengel, who was looking to rebound from the issues in race one, clocked the 16th fastest lap time of the session for a row eight starting spot in race two while Avedisian would line up directly behind him on the outside of row nine.

With the second wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend again taking the green just after noon local time, Jade Avedisian had made moves early on to advance and run in the 13th position as Tyler Wettengel fell down the running order to 22nd on track. Continuing to push forward, Jade was involved in an incident that destroyed her Nitro Motorsports #24 entry. After side-to-side contact, Jade was hard into the outside wall and out of the race with a heavy impact. Thankfully, Jade was able to walk away. Back to green flag racing, Wettengel ran in the 20th position but began to move forward in the last 15 minutes. Up to P17 with eight minutes remaining, Wettengel was looking for more as he was less than half a second behind the driver in front of him. Never giving up and continuing to make moves on track, Wettengel was able to secure a top-15 result finishing 15th and earning the Hard Charger award after starting 29th on the grid.

“We have some work to do and will get to work to make sure we are ready for Sebring,” explained Team Owner Nick Tucker. “The GR Cup is competitive this season, and you need to be on your game each session of every race weekend.”

Next up for the Nitro Motorsports program and the rest of the Toyota GR Cup North America series will be a trip to the bumpy Sebring International Raceway over the May 3-5 weekend.

For more information on Nitro Motorsports, please visit them online or contact Nick Tucker via email HERE or visit them online at www.RaceNitro.com.

Photo Credit: RTD Media

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