Atlanta, Ga. (Oct. 15-18, 2013)
Robby was greatly looking forward to getting to one of his favorite tracks, Road Atlanta for the week of Petit Lemans. Following Houston where there was no race Robby was sitting second in the points. Robby was competing for the second place prize of a free full season with Lucas Bize and Drake Kemper. Going into the weekend Robby knew he had to finish on the podium at least once to finish 3rd or better in the year end points. The Weekend didn’t start off well because it was apparent that his car was down on power. After testing the car was deemed to be about 1.5 seconds off of the pace, but our ace crew chief at Skip Barber was confident that he could get some power back in it.
Practice 1 was set to kick off Wednesday morning. Robby would have a busy day with two official practices and qualifying. After practice one it was apparent that Robby’s car was still down on power so he elected to switch to another car that he had never driven. Practice two went better, but Robby had to re-tune his setup for the new car so he didn’t have an opportunity to put in a fast lap leaving him 4th fastest after both practices.
Qualifying was set for the end of the day, and Robby didn’t really have any expectations not knowing what he had in his setup. Drafting would also be a factor because while you aren’t allowed to draft in MX-5 Cup, officials were only monitoring the front and back straights, leaving the rest of the track fair game for drafting. Right off the bat Robby put in two fairly good laps leaving him P2 early on, but later in the sessions those times wouldn’t stand dropping back to P4. “It was a bit of a frustrating qualifying for me,” Foley said. “I was struggling with traffic a bit, and I didn’t feel like I had the car under me,” explained Robby.
Robby was optimistic for Race 1 scheduled for first thing Thursday morning only to wake up to rain. “I love driving in the rain,” said Robby, “but with the championship on the line I would have much rather run in the dry. There are just too many variables that you don’t have control over,” Foley explained. None the less Robby would be starting 4th. At the start Robby held fourth position and pretty much ran there the whole race. Foley got stuck behind a train of 4 Playboy cars making it very difficult to try to catch Drake Kemper who was running in 3rd. In the end Robby finished in 4th place in race 1 which was frustrating, but the podium played in Robby’s favor. Lucas Bize, who was 4th in the standings finished 1st, Kenton Koch finished 2nd, and Drake Kemper 3rd. This essentially created a tie among the three fighting for second.
Race 2 was also set for early morning on Friday, but the start time wasn’t definite. Because of the rain the previous days the NASCAR K&N Series had no track time, so they were thinking about holding a half hour session before the MX-5 Cup race, but because the track was still damp they elected to not go out leaving the MX-5 Cup race to start normal time. Robby would once again start from 4th position, and quickly moved up to third where he would stay until there was a caution. Following the long yellow that resulted in the field being parked on the back straight Robby made a bold move to get around Lucas Bize for second. Robby had his sights set on leader Kenton Koch when Lucas re-passed him, taking a Playboy Cup car with him. In the ensuing laps Robby was passed by a few more Playboy Cup cars on the back straight making it hard to keep pace with Lucas, and as a result never had a chance to pass Lucas leaving him to finish P3. Robby was still happy with the 3rd place finish. “Me and Lucas were fighting hard for it,” said Robby. “It was a very clean race with just hard fought driving, one of the best races I’ve ever had,” explained Foley.
Most importantly on the strength of his third place finish Robby finished in the money for the year end championship in 3rd place earning him the funds to run a half season in the Pro Series next year, a goal Robby set out to achieve at the beginning of the year.
The weekend finished with the year end banquet emceed by the great Terry Earwood. It was a night of laughs and awards; a great way to cap off the year.
“This was a great year for me,” said Robby. “Looking back where I came from in 2010 not being able to walk, to now competing professionally in motorsports I almost can’t believe it. I wouldn’t have been able to get here without the help and support from foremost my parents, and also everyone who supports the series, Mazda, Skip Barber, SCCA Pro Racing, BF Goodrich, Hawk Brakes. I truly feel blessed for the opportunities I’ve had, and I look forward to what is to come,” Foley explained sincerely.
Once again Robby would like to personally thank everyone who made his first year in professional racing possible!