HAYWARD, California - Auston’s debut in the USAC Focus Midget series was delayed a week due to the infamous mid-western May weather around Indianapolis which washed out his scheduled inaugural race on May 14 at Anderson Speedway, Anderson, Indiana.
All was not lost however. Auston arrived in Indianapolis from California late on Monday May 12th and the weather allowed a full day of testing. Bob East just finished building the car, literally within hours of the start of testing and Auston had only one previous test day, over six months ago, consequently the need for the test day was paramount.
Under the direction of Bob East the test day began with a shakedown for the brand new car and a reorientation to the car and the banked oval for Auston and both progressed rapidly and without any problems. Once car and driver were declared ready the day moved to sessions of race distances, three 30 lap sessions and five 15 lap sessions were run without a problem for car or driver. At the end of the day both were declared ready for competition.
Wednesday morning there was hope that the rains would stay away, however, nature, as always, prevailed with showers dampening the affair and USAC officials calling the event due to rain. It was a long flight back to California but there was satisfaction in knowing everything was ready for the next and first event. Returning to Indiana a week later, Auston was ready for his first USAC Ford Focus Midget race at Mount Lawn Speedway, New Castle, Indiana on May 22, 2008.
In the heat race Auston started from the last position and steadily moved forward to second. He diced for the lead but did not take risks to ensure the car was in top shape for the feature race while building up his experience on the asphalt D shaped oval. The feature race had Auston starting from fourth.
The race was exciting and action packed for Auston, dicing for position the entire time. He was able to position himself to be able to make a move for the lead but was thwarted when the first of two cautions came out during the 30 lap race. Unfortunately, the second caution also came out just as Auston had positioned himself to make a pass for the lead. When the checkered came out, Auston had secured second place in his first first USAC Ford Focus Midget event and first asphalt oval event. The next race on the schedule is May 28 at Illiana Speedway, Schererville, Indiana.
Rather than returning to California between events, the 17 year old is staying in Indiana fulfilling his duties with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) as a spokesperson for the Center's national safety campaign, Take 25. The Take 25 campaign was launched in commemoration of National Missing Children's Day. It encourages parents, guardians and communities to take 25 minutes to talk to children about important safety issues. It includes 600 events throughout the month of May in 282 communities and all 50 states including the District of Columbia. It will continue through National Missing Children's Day on May 25.