Napa’s Rob Krider raced himself back to the top of the podium with a dominating victory during a Honda Challenge race last weekend at Buttonwillow Raceway.
After qualifying on the front row, Krider drove a mistake-free race in the team’s No. 38 Acura Integra and led the event from green flag to checkered flag.
“It’s really good to be back in the winner circle,” he admitted.
It was the first win of the 2018 season for Double Nickel Nine Motorsports, after Krider had missed the podium by a mere few thousandths of a second during the first race weekend at Willow Springs International Raceway in Southern California.
Wins are important, as the team needs championship points to qualify for the national championships in Austin, Texas in September. The team signed Krider for a third season to try to win its third consecutive National Auto Sport Association championship. Fortunately for team DNN Motorsports, the racing calendar was on their side. They always seem to do well at Buttonwillow Raceway, where Krider holds track records in the Honda Challenge. True to form, he was back in the swing of things, handily winning the event.
Napa City Councilman Jim Krider was on hand to help his son over the radio during the race.
“It was a great race to watch,” said Jim. “He was really consistent lap after lap. He set the fastest lap in the race and then ran the same lap time over and over again within just a few hundredths of a second difference. He was a machine. That’s incredible consistency for numerous laps around a technical course, and it made all the difference. He ran away with the race.”
“Rob makes it look easy,” said DNN Motorsports team driver Keith Kramer, who finished third in the No. 88 Acura Integra. “Once the green flag dropped, he was gone. There was nobody who was going to catch him.”
Rob Krider said the race may have looked easy, but that there is nothing easy about road racing.
“The crew worked really hard this weekend and we wouldn’t have won without their blood, sweat and tears invested in those cars,” he said. “Trust me when I say the driver is not that important in a race – it’s the car preparation that wins races. The crew deserves the credit.”
Crew members Bryce Lindlahr, James Byrum, Roy Lindlahr and Travis Kramer made sure both of the team’s cars were perfect for the event. With a new engine hand built by Rich Olivier from TEM Machine Shop in Napa, the No. 38 car was lightning fast.
It was so fast, the crew may have been a little too confident for Krider’s comfort level.
“After we qualified on the front row, I walked out of the motorhome before the race and the crew were standing in a circle already celebrating a victory that hadn’t happened yet. This made me nervous,” said Krider. “I’m not a superstitious dude, but there was still a lot of racing to be done and anything can happen in road racing. But the crew was really casual and said, ‘Eh, you got this.’ I wasn’t so sure.”
In the end, the crew was right, and Krider finished way out in front and brought home another trophy for the team’s collection. The team’s second car brought home third place, as well, giving the crew even more to celebrate.
Team Double Nickel Nine is sponsored by TEM Machine Shop, Chandler Autosport, Synchrotech Transmissions, Performance In-Frame Tuning, Eibach springs, Hasport motor mounts, Autopower, Napa Valley Muffler, B&G Tires, HA Motorsports, Tactical Ops Brewing, Olson Auto Body, Bay Ex, Economy Stock Feed, J&B Farms, I/O Port Racing Supplies, Smart Racing Products, ProSpeed RS 683 brake fluid, Carbotech performance brakes, Insane Shafts, Cadet Blues the novel, Phase2Motortrend, Hardrace, Unorthadox Racing, Toyo Tires, Mountain Top Racing, Sampson Racing Communications, and C. J. Fix Co. Bookkeeping.
The team is already back at the shop preparing the cars for the next round of Honda Challenge road racing, and Krider’s mind is on Texas.
“I want us to run strong at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin,” he said. “There is no time to get too confident. Just time for hard work.”
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