RACE: National Runoffs: Saturday races report
Eight More Champions Crowned At Second Day of SCCA Runoffs TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 14, 2006) -- Eight more Champions were crowned Saturday at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kansas -- As Big As You Think at Heartland Park Topeka.
Eight More Champions Crowned At Second Day of SCCA Runoffs
TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 14, 2006) -- Eight more Champions were crowned Saturday at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kansas -- As Big As You Think at Heartland Park Topeka. The day saw five drivers score their maiden titles, including Kansas resident Jesse Prather in F Production
Race One: Formula Ford
Thomas Schweitz, of Winchester, Va., crossed the finish line 7.348-seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, to win his fourth National Championship. James Hakewill, of San Jose, Calif., and John Robinson, of St. Cloud, Fla., completed the podium.
Starting on pole, Schwietz's No. 72 Piper came under attack right away from the No. 88 ARC International Van Dieman RF00 of Hakewill, who pulled alongside Schweitz into Turn One and moved into the lead, while Schweitz fell back to third.
The tide turned on lap two, when a full course yellow came out, bunching up the pack. Schweitz jumped into the lead on the lap five restart. Hakewill tried to repeat the same Turn One move from earlier in the race, but Schweitz wasn't about to let history repeat itself, and held the position. As a result of Hakewill's attempted pass, Hakewill dropped to third, giving second to the No. 19 Swift DB6 of Robinson.
After setting fast lap of the race with a 1:44.624, Robinson began to stalk the back of Schweitz. His opportunity came on Lap 10, when he squeezed his way into the lead in Turn Two. The lead was brief, as Schweitz retook his postion through Turn One on the following lap and never looked back.
Race Two: GT-3
Polesitter Collin Jackson, of Langley, British Columbia, drove flag-to-flag to capture his second GT-3 National Championship. John Saurino, of Tulsa, Okla., and Dave Humphrey, of Langley, British Columbia, completed the top three.
It was a near perfect Kansas morning for a leisurely drive around the 2.5-mile Heartland Park Topeka circuit and that is just what the race winner Jackson made it look like in his No. 54 Specialty Nissan 240SX. From the pole, Jackson grabbed the early lead in Turn One and was never challenged throughout the race, winning by 16.676-seconds at an average speed of 82.723-mph.
Race Three: Formula 500
Bryan Golay, of Avon, Ohio, charged through the field from eighth to take his first F500 title at the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs David Cox, of Fisher, Ill., and Clint McMahan, of Covington, Ga., completed the podium.
The Formula 500 race started with a bang, literally, when a Turn Five incident on lap two sent then leader, No. 56 Brian Novak, of Dearborn, Mich., and polesitter, No. 92 Jason Knuteson, of Danville, Ind., into the grass. Coming out of the chaos on top was the No. 34 Dolphin-Motorsports.com Invader QC1 of Clint McMahan.
McMahan would lead for three laps before Golay's No. 4 QRE Invader appeared in his mirrors. Golay made his move for the lead in Turn Six and immediately began to pull away. Suddenly, as Golay crossed the line to lead lap seven, he began to slow and McMahan regained the lead without hesitation.
Golay fell all the way back to fifth before he began to pick up speed and positions on his way back to the top. By lap 12, Golay was up to the second spot and looking to pass McMahan. One a lap later, in the Chicane, Golay retook the lead from McMahan and sailed to checkered flag by 8.017-seconds.
Race Four: Touring 2
Chuck Hemmingson, of West Des Moines, Iowa, captures his second SCCA Touring 2 National Championship in as many years at the SCCA National Championship. Kristian Skavnes, of Sparta, N.J., held of a hard charging Will Turner, of Amesbury, Mass., for second and third, respectively.
Piloting the No. 75 SCCAForums.com/Kumho/Carbotech/Hp2 Pontiac Formula from the outside of row one, Dave Schotz, of Phoenix, Ariz., took the early lead heading into Turn One, but swung too wide coming out of Turn Four and relinquished the lead to Hemmingson. Hemmingson did not waste anytime putting some distance between his No. 95 Subaru WRX Sti and the rest of the field, ultimately winning by 3.520-seconds (at an average speed of 76.953 mph) over the No. 69 Subaru/Goodyear/Valvoline Subaru WRX Sti of Skavnes.
Race Five: F Production
Jesse Prather, of Topeka, Kan., was the hometown hero today at Heartland Park Topeka, winning a hard fought F Production battle at the 2006 SCCA National Championship. Steve Sargis, of Frankfort, Ill., finished second and Harold Flescher, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., finished third.
From the drop of the green flag, Prather in his No. 34 Prather Racing Mazda Miata, was all over the back of the polesitter, No. 57 John Saurino in an MG Midget. A well-planned pass from Prather would not be necessary, as Saurino pulled his car off-course at the Chicane with a broken axel, the result of a quick off in the opening lap.
Now in the lead, Prather had his hands full with the No. 18 Goodyear Tires/Redline Triumph Spitfire of Steve Sargis and the No. 7 Fight-MS/Hoosier Lotus Super 7 of Eric Prill. The three cars were a virtual train for seven laps, with Sargis and Prather exchanging textbook passes for the lead on laps six and eight. Try as he might, looking inside and outside, Sargis couldn't put it past Prather, who would take the checkered flag, winning his first SCCA National Championship.
Race Six: A Sedan
Michael Lavigne, of Hooksett, N.H., won his first SCCA A Sedan National Championship in convincing fashion at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.Three-time defending A Sedan National Champion John Heinricy, of Royal Oak, Mich., finished second, while Bill Schepergerdes, of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., finished third.
From the outside of row two driving the No. 78 Sensible Auto/Hoosier Ford Mustang, Kyle Watkins, of Broomfield, Colo., tried a bonsai move to the outside of Turn One for the lead, but could not make it stick. Watkins locked up the tires sustaining a flat right front tire, giving the lead to the No. 7 Hoosier/Russell Auto Center Ford Mustang of polesitter Tom Sloe, of Newbury, Ohio.
Sloe quickly put some distance between himself and then second-place Lavigne, leading by more than five seconds by lap three. However, smoke began to emanate from the rear of Sloe's machine on lap four. By lap eight of the 18-lap race, the smoke continued to get worse and Lavigne passed Sloe for the lead -- a lead he would never relinquish. Lavigne captured his first SCCA National Championship by dominating 20.631-seconds at an average speed of 77.501 mph.
Race Seven: Spec Racer Ford
Mike Miserendino, of Los Angeles, mastered a field of 48 cars to the win Spec Racer Ford at the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Jon Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., and Todd Harris, of Portland, Ore., completed the podium.
No. 11 Miserendino seized the lead early, beating the polesitter, No. 17 Black, to Turn One on the start. Black stayed within Miserendino's draft and by lap four the pair had opened a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. Black then made a move for the lead on lap six, passing Miserendino in Turn Two.
Black would stay ahead of Miserendino until the closing laps when the two commenced a fierce late-race battle. The action began with a lap 16 pass by Miserendino for the lead in Turn One. Black fired back on the final lap, running side-by-side with Miserendino through Turns One and Two. Despite the valiant effort from 2003 SRF National Champion Black, Miserendino had the speed coming out of the Carousel and held his lead to the checkered flag.
Race Eight: Touring 1
Lance Knupp, of Fenton, Mich., made a late-race pass on Triple-Crown hopeful Cindi Lux, of Aloha, Ore., on the penultimate lap to capture his first SCCA Touring 1 National Championship. Lux and Jeffery Robbins, of Northville, Mich., finished second and third, respectively.
When the green flag dropped, it looked like Scotty B. White was destined to win his first National Championship when he opened up a more than eight second lead by lap nine in his No. 3 Kumho/SRT/Forgeline/Corsa/Momo/Mint Dodge SRT 10 Viper Coupe. However, White's fortune would quickly change, as he pulled into the pits on lap 10 for a flat left rear tire. White's misfortune, turned out to be good fortune for Lux, as she inherited nearly a four and a half second lead over new second-place driver Knupp.
For the next seven laps, Knupp continued to chip away at Lux's lead in his No. 37 Hoosier/Hawk/Moton/IEC/Phoenix. On lap 17, Lux tried to keep her No. 78 Kumho/SRT/Forgeline/Corsa/Momo Dodge SRT10 Viper Coupe in front of Knupp, but slid wide coming out of Turn 14 and Knupp took the lead for good.
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