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Chio Wins a Nail Biter at the USTCC Season Finale

By Reza Arsham

Patrick Chio madr it two wins out of two at the final weekend of the 2017 United States Touring Car Championship at Thunderhill Raceway Park to leapfrog his way from fourth to second in the Drivers’ Championship. After a strong start, Gary Sheehan pulled away from the Touring Car field in his GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels/Total Lubricants Hyundai Genesis. With two laps remaining, and a comfortable lead, a power steering failure would force Sheehan to slow down to ensure a finish but Chio in his Speed SF/iLap Timer/AutoLogic NIssan 350Z still had enough left in the car to push hard at the end and dramatically catch Sheehan right at the end. Although it wasn’t as close as Chio’s win last year at the season finale, Chio managed to repeat his double win from last year’s season finale at the same circuit once again. Michael Shawhan finished third in the BTM Motorwerks BMW 330i.

In the Sportsman class, it was once again a very close fight with Ben Ho’s Aodhan Wheels Honda Civic just edging out Thomas Pitre’s Darwin Machine Acura Integra. The two were side by side and rubbed doors as they came into the last corner. Ho had to make his car unusually wide coming on to the finish line to capture the win. Tom Milburn finished third in the Bay Area Drafting Acura RSX,

Ali Arsham won the GT class in the GoGoGear.com/Konig Wheels/Total Lubricants Hyundai Genesis with Karl Chicca’s Hawk/CCI/Sparta BMW M3 finishing second and Daniel Rose finished third in the Rose Construction BMW M3.

With two wins from Chio in the Touring Car class and two wins for George Kibilov/Mel Meladze in the Super Touring class, Team Speed SF was able to clinch the Cobra Electronics Top Team Championship over Team GoGoGear.com by 50 points in their first year in the competition.

Special Awards

Advanced Clutch Technology
Tom Milburn drove hard to his fourth podium of the year to win the Advanced Clutch Technology award good for $500.
AutoMeter Products
Gary Sheehan pulled away from the TC field only to have a mechanical failure drop him to second but he won an AutoMeter battery charger and an AutoMeter professional tire gauge.
Classic Motorbooks
Michael McColligan was looking very strong until the transmission gave out on the Mazda ending his hopes for a win.  He won a set of collector books from Classic Motorbooks
Flowmaster Mufflers
Rotary engines can be very loud but with $500 from Flowmaster Mufflers, Michael McColligan can now have a quieter car that makes more power.
BAF Racing
Michael Shawhan didn’t have the race pace to win but he battled hard and with a smart strategy he ended up on the podium. He earned $300 from BAF Racing for his efforts.
Cobra Electronics
Speed SF teammates Patrick Chio and George KIbilov/Mel Meladze both won their respective class and scored a perfect 200 points in the Cobra Team Championship. The pair won a radar detector from Cobra Electronics.
CRC
Michael Ostby drove a smart race and clinched the TC championship and won an assortment of CRC products.
CSF Radiators
Ben Ho finished the season with his third consecutive victory in SP and won the CSF Radiators award in the process.
Disc Brake Australia USA
Cedric Walker finished his sixth consecutive start of the season and won the DBA USA award along with a set of DBA high performance rotors that can help him in the future.
Molecule
Mel Meladze lead his first USTCC start from start to finish and made sure to clinch the Super Touring drivers’ championship for his teammate and make it 4 wins on the weekend for team Speed SF. He won the Molecule Sports award with a complete Molecule cleaning kit.
Mothers
Andrew Gardner fought hard to finish fourth in Sportsman in his recently purchased Ford Mustang. He won the Mothers Polish award with a big bucket full of car cleaning products.
PermaCool
Gary Sheehan was cool under pressure when his power steering failed. He pressed on and brought the car home in second place.  He collected the $200 Perma Cool Products award.
Plastex
Cedric Walker won the Plastex Top Rookie award with his fifth place finish and was the top rookie of the race. He won a Plastex plastic repair master kit.
Race Ramps
Daniel Rose managed to get third place in GT while developing a new car for endurance racing all within a few days. For his efforts, he took home $300 from Race Ramps.
Ram Mount
Patrick Chio managed to win again at the season finale despite losing places at the start. He ended up with the RAM Mounts award.
Rostra Precision
Larry Bani narrowly missed out on winning the ST championship but won the Rostra Precision Control award. He won a Rostra remote video display and camera set up.
Sampson Communications
Cedric Walker was once again quick and consistent and showed off his talents. Look out 2018! He won the Sampson Radio Communications award.
Scan Gauge
Michael Shawhan used strategy to his advantage and ended up on the podium. He won the Scan Gauge award.
Sound Stream
Thomas Pitre clinched the Sportsman championship with a sensible drive to second place and won the Sound Stream award with a new navigation/DVD unit.
Specialty Products Company
Mel Meladze won his first USTCC start from start to finish and he won the Specialty Products Company award.
Stack
Tom Milburn returned strong after a car fire meant he missed a few races. He took home the Stack Limited award with a professional tire pressure gauge.
Swift Springs
Larry Bani needed to be just a bit quicker to win. He took home the Swift Springs award collecting some new springs to help him go even faster.
Thule
Thule is well known for vehicle racks but are now making superb pieces of luggage. Andrew Gardner was breaking in his newly purchased Mustang and took home a beautiful piece of Thule luggage.
TYLT
TYLT makes terrific products that busy people on the move need such as phone chargers and battery packs. Winning a backpack full of their products was Ben Ho who worked extremely hard and managed to win a very difficult race.
Wine Country Motorsports Award
Patrick Chio won yet again at Thunderhill and won the Wine Country Motor Sports $150 award.
WASPcam Action Cams
Win a USTCC race and you win a new WASPcam action camera that shoots in crystal clear 4K quality. The drivers that won the WASPcam action cameras were Ali Arsham, Patrick Chio, Ben Ho, and Mel Meladze.
Optima Batteries GT
The Optima Batteries podium in the GT class featured Ali Arsham, first place, Karl Chicca second place and Daniel Rose third place.
Optima Batteries Touring Car
The Optima Batteries podium in the Touring Car class featured Patrick Chio, first place, Gary Sheehan, second place, and Michael Shawhan, third place.
Optima Batteries Super Touring Car
The Optima Batteries podium in the Touring Car class was Mel Meladze, first place and Larry Bani, second place.

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