FINAL EIGHT CHAMPIONS CROWNED; VALVOLINE RUNOFFS COME TO A CLOSE LEXINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 11, 1998)--The 1998 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, concluded as the final eight SCCA Club Racing National Champions were...
FINAL EIGHT CHAMPIONS CROWNED; VALVOLINE RUNOFFS COME TO A CLOSE
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 11, 1998)--The 1998 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, concluded as the final eight SCCA Club Racing National Champions were crowned at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
David Downey, of Blacklick, Ohio, proved that he was once again the class of the Sports 2000 field in a flag to flag victory John Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, his second consecutive S2 National Championship. Joe Huffaker Jr. scored a his third career F Production National Championship in his second podium of the weekend with a win over Jim Saurino, of Estes Park, Colo. Huffaker recovered from being spun out of the lead on lap three to charge from 10th to first. In the first year of Formula Mazda competition at the Valvoline Runoffs, Jeff Bucknum, of Lake Havasu, Ariz., defeated Tony Buffamonte, of Chicago, Ill., in a dominating performance where he started on the pole and led every lap. Dave Wietzenhof, of Bath, Ohio., claimed his seventh National Championship in Formula Continental over Mark Dismore, of Greenfield, Ind. Weitzenhof is now tied with Tom Foster for national championship wins in SCCA Club Racing history (third).
The afternoon races were dominated by first-time winners. In GT-1, Bill Gray, of Springdale, Ariz., beat Kerry Alexander, of Indianapolis, Ind., and claimed his first National Championship in a decisive victory. Ron Vince, of Glenview, Ill., also earned his first title over David Lapham, of Bronxville, N.Y., in Formula 500. In GT-3, Ken Murillo, of Santa Rosa, Calif., cruised to the win over Michael Cyphert, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Murrillo, who won the SCCA Pro Racing Super Vee Drivers' Championship in 1998, earned his first Valvoline Runoffs win. In the 23rd and final race of the weekend, B.J. Zacharias, of Hamilton, Ohio, proved to be too much to handle for Mark Rodrigues, of Van Nuys, Calif., as Zacharias drove to his first National Championship in Formula Atlantic.