RACE: Valvoline Runoffs: Championship races Friday afternoon

By N Schilke - Motorsport.com Mid-Ohio - September 21, 2001 - Wet and wild is the best word to describe the T1 race. T1 Race 4: The fourth race of the day started after a heavy downpour. The field started on rains but had no chance to...

By N Schilke - Motorsport.com

Mid-Ohio - September 21, 2001 - Wet and wild is the best word to describe the T1 race.

T1 Race 4:
The fourth race of the day started after a heavy downpour. The field started on rains but had no chance to change the suspension. As the rain continued, cars slid everywhere and once out on the grass, they found it very difficult to get back on track. John Heinricy took the lead at the green and pulled away from the rest of the field. Freddy Baker took second by the end of the first lap and held it until he and Scotty White got side-by-side with White continuing and Baker off in the grass. Bobby Archer had problems from the start and kept fighting the handling of the car to remain on track. The race ended up being whoever was able to stay on track and out of contact with any competitor except for Heinricy who was able to put his car wherever he wanted.

Top three T1 were: Heinricy, Detroit Region; Henry Van Vurst, Central Florida Region; Bob Henderson, Central Florida Region.

Second time National Champion (first was in a GT1 in 1993) Heinricy, said "I had an awesome car. We just put this project together in August with the first race at Pocono." Heinricy was informed that he broke the track record twice during the three-day qualifying sessions and unofficial for the race today. "Goodyear has an awesome rain tire. The car was perfect and I had a good rhythm going," said Heinricy who lapped the entire field. "I waited for everyone up front to sort themselves out and at the time, was finding out where I could put the car," said Van Vurst who started 11th. Henderson said, "I was careful the first couple of laps (started 15th). Then I did the "Heinricy" line. The concrete was very smooth and slippery -- had better traction on the asphalt which was John's line."

FF Race 5:
Keith Nunes took the early lead on a wet track with the sun clearing through the clouds. Jason Byers was second with a four-way battle for third. Kyle Krisiloff came out the winner for the third position and continued his climb up to the front. Full-course yellow came out around the track due to a timing error. The restart had Krisiloff spraying the field from the wet track which kept him in the lead over Nunes. Nunes gave it a gallant try but to no avail. The best move came after the return to green when Tom Reinsel moved from fifth to third. On the final lap, Chris Winkler and Bill Kephart got together while challenging for fourth.

Top three FF: Krisiloff, Indy Region; Nunes, San Francisco Region; Reinsel, Atlanta Region.

Rookie driver and first time National Champion, Krisiloff stated, "We ran about 21 races this year. My goal was to have patience and stay all track. In pit lane, I saw others changing tires from full rain to intermediate. I thought 'Man, it's going to dry off and I am going to get hosed'. Turns out we may the right tire choice." Former National Champion in '98 and '99, Nunes announced his retirement from racing. "I was hoping that the intermediates were the way to go but that did not work out. I was hoping that I cold keep the lead but once Kyle went by, I had nothing to catch him with," said Nunes. Nunes also remarked on the amount of maturity that Krislioff showed in running a mistake free race under the conditions on the track and on the restart. "The key was staying patient and not to make any screwy moves on the start of the race. Took it slow and steady," said Reinsel who started 20th. He was surprised to find out that he was sitting in fifth during the full course yellow.

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