RACE: National Runoffs: Tucker, Level 5 race report

Tucker Claims Second Consecutive SCCA National Championship; Third Consecutive Title for Ferrari and Level 5 Motorsports ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- With less than one week before the American Le Mans LMPC Championship is decided at Road Atlanta in...

Tucker Claims Second Consecutive SCCA National Championship; Third Consecutive Title for Ferrari and Level 5 Motorsports

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- With less than one week before the American Le Mans LMPC Championship is decided at Road Atlanta in the famed Petit Le Mans, points leader Scott Tucker defended his 2009 SCCA National Championship with a remarkable win in the SCCA National Runoffs at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc.

The Level 5 Motorsports owner / driver started from the pole and claimed his second consecutive Touring 1 class title and third consecutive win for Ferrari in the event. Tucker's incredible run in today's championship race also included yet another track record as he eclipsed his own mark -- set in qualifying Wednesday -- by nearly 2/10ths of a second in challenging race conditions. Against a field of the nation's top racers, Tucker once again proved to be the best of the best.

"It was really a great week all the way around," said Tucker. "I'm really proud of this win and proud to put Ferrari on top of the podium again."

The event was red flagged for an incident at the green flag when 11- time SCCA champion John Heinricy's Corvette broke a driveshaft and could not get up to speed, triggering a multi-car accident behind him that collected four cars before a single lap could be completed. Tucker's Level Motorsports 5 No. 55 Ferrari Challenge 430 was safely in front of the field as problems unfolded behind him. "You sure don't want to see that kind of trouble so early in a championship event," Tucker said. "Some good cars were taken out early and you hate to see that."

After an hour-long red-flag period for major repairs to the track's frontstretch retaining walls, the race resumed with Tucker again leading the field to the green-flag restart on a cold, slick track. The scheduled 40-minute event was shortened to a 15-minute shootout for the championship.

Tucker waged a furious battle with John Buttermore in a Dodge Viper, swapping the lead over the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course. But the Ferrari driver was able to put the Viper behind him and hold the lead for the last few laps. Last September, Tucker made history at Road America by setting the fastest race lap, qualifying on the pole, leading all but two laps and, ultimately, earning his first national championship.

Level 5 Motorsprots Microsoft Office 2010 LMPC team will be looking to help Tucker claim a Championship in that series' inaugural season. Having been atop the point standings since his victory in the season- opening 12 Hours of Sebring, Tucker is tied with Green Earth Team Gunnar's Gunnar Jeannette going into the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

"It has been a great season for the whole Level 5 Motorsports organization, no question about it," Tucker said. "We're incredibly focused on winning and have been able to earn some big wins this year. We've got one more race to go and everything is on the line. This is all you can ask for as a driver."

Television coverage for the 10-hour endurance classic gets underway at 11 a.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 2 on SPEED.

-source: level 5 motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers John Heinricy , Gunnar Jeannette , John Buttermore , Scott Tucker
Teams HART