After a long and hard fought season, the 2019 NASA So-Cal Spec Miata championship came down to the twelfth and final race, at Buttonwillow Raceway, and with Hannah Grisham holding a slight lead over her closest rival and multi-time champion, Ryan Pond. Pond had to win to have a chance, and if he did, Grisham then had to finish at least third to secure the championship. The green flag flew and as the first lap settled in, Pond found himself in 1st and Grisham in 4th behind two cars in a dogfight for position.
As the cars in front of Grisham went at it Grisham was frustrated in watching beyond them as Pond was getting away. After a few laps, Grisham finally got by one and then quickly by the other of the two battling cars only to see Pond had built a 5 second gap over her. Rather than just cruising home to a championship, Grisham took her Morning Star Racing-prepared Mazda Miata on the attack, chipping away at Pond’s lead until, on lap 10, she found herself on Pond’s rear bumper.
From there Grisham attacked and Pond defended, with the drivers side-by-side on several occasions. Pond knew to only give Grisham the outside line and Grisham almost made an outside pass stick a couple times. The one time Grisham got inside on Pond they went side-by-side until slight contact backed Grisham off.
The epic battle between Grisham and Pond raged on but was also allowing the chasing cars to catch up with them, raising the threat of more cars getting into the fray. Grisham chose to stay on Pond’s bumper, push him and keep him honest, forcing him to drive fast as she followed him to the checkered flag, to second place in the race, and to securing the 2019 NASA So-Cal Mazda Miata championship for the Robert Davis Racing/Mothers Polishes, Waxes & Cleaners racing team.
2019 has been a great year for Hannah, having secured both the So-Cal Teen Mazda Challenge championship and now the NASA So-Cal Spec Miata championship. Hannah has earned a highly coveted return spot in this year’s Mazda Road to 24 Shootout, to be held in December. Hannah was one of four Shootout finalists last year, and has her sights set on winning it this year.
At the end of such a successful year, Hannah would like to thank all of those who have supported her so much and without which this would not have been possible: Morning Star Racing, Robert Davis Racing, Mothers Polishes, Waxes & Cleaners, Mazda, the Teen Mazda Challenge, NASA, RLV, and the Chiropractic Health Care Center of Glendora.
Hannah would also like to continue to call attention to the following charities and organizations she supports and asks you to do so as well: The City of Hope, Shift Up Now, and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Project Podium Grant.
Please follow Hannah, and wish her luck, as her 2019 season wraps up and her 2020 season gets under way!