RACE: National Runoffs: Goodyear spotlight - Mike Miserendino

MISERENDINO AIMS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SCCA CHAMPIONSHIP TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 8, 2008) -- Mike Miserendino doesn't care if it rains. Why should he? Miserendino has Goodyear tires on his car. The 22-year-old...

MISERENDINO AIMS FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SCCA CHAMPIONSHIP

TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 8, 2008) -- Mike Miserendino doesn't care if it rains. Why should he? Miserendino has Goodyear tires on his car.

The 22-year-old Californian is a racecar driver and hopes to win his third straight Sports Car Club of America championship in the Spec Racer Ford class this weekend at the National Championship Runoffs at Heartland Park Topeka.

Goodyear is the exclusive tire supplier for the Spec Racer Ford class. The SRF class is among the largest in SCCA racing. The tightly enforced rules, plus Goodyear's manufacturing consistency, make the skill of the driver the key to winning SRF races.

The 22 year-old Miserendino has been the fastest driver in each of the first two SRF qualifying sessions this week. Qualifying continues Wednesday and Thursday. The national title races begin Friday.

The weather has been wet much of the week at HPT, but Miserendino is undaunted.

"Our Goodyear rain tire is fantastic," said Miserendino. "It's the best rain tire our class has ever had. Lots of grip, lots of stability, it gives you lots of confidence. That's something our cars have never had in the rain. It's a great rain tire."

Racing in the wet is among the most difficult chores a sports car driver faces. Miserendino said a driver's concentration is vital to driving in the rain. The rain and spray from other cars combine to blind and soak drivers in open-cockpit cars such as the SRF racers.

"You don't notice it," Miserendino said. "You're so focused on the task, concentrating on putting down good laps. Rain, heat, cold, wind, it doesn't make a difference. After the race? Most definitely. You're soaked and you're cold and you're freezing."

But if you're spraying champaign, as Runoffs winners do, things aren't too bad.

The Runoffs event is this nation's national championship for amateur sports car racers and if Miserendino wins his third straight title this weekend, he will be the only driver to win his class in the Runoffs at HPT. The Runoffs will relocate in 2009, making it probable that Miserendino would remain the only titlist in his class at the track.

Championships are hard to come by and consecutive titles, while not unheard of, are very difficult to achieve. Three straight Runoffs wins move a driver into a new level of accomplishment.

Miserendino said consistency has been his key to winning championships.

"What we try to do is find a balance with the car overall, rather than trying to find the absolute, maximum grip for one or two laps," he said. "We've worked on having the tires last and stay consistent from lap one to the end of the race. That's what's worked the best for us, being consistent; consistent laps times, consistent handling characteristics from the start of the race to the end of the race."

More information on Goodyear Racing is available at www.racegoodyear.com. More information on the National Championship Runoffs is available at www.scca.com.

-credit: goodyear racing

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Series SCCA
Drivers Mike Miserendino