By N. Schilke - Motorsport.com
Mid-Ohio - September 21, 2001 - Afternoon brought sunshine for the later races. Track dried out during the SCC race and weather was cooler but definitely dry.
SCC Race 6:
David Roush took the lead and never looked back. At turn 11 in the first lap, the track was blocked due to several cars going sideways and on and off. That left the main race was for third through fifth. John Fernandez picked off the competitors to move from eighth to second prior to the last laps. There was a lot of side-by-side racing throughout the race. Bob Beede nipped Ralph Porter for the third place podium finish. Roush won his first National Championship.
Top three SSC: Roush, Ohio Valley Region; Fernandez, Detroit Region; Beede, New England Region.
"First National race win in the Protege this year. Drove Miatas before. Everything worked great," said Roush. "We made a good tire choice and when I was able to extend the lead due to a melee on the first lap, I had no traffic and just had a lot of fun. I am honored to win an SCCA National Championship." Fernandez stated, "I started on dry tires so it was tricky for the first seven or eight laps. I had more power than Beede off the turns so was able to pass it." "Tire choice was a good one even though slippery in the beginning. Track started to dry out and had good side-by-side racing," said Beede.
FV Race 7:
Under the first sunny skies and dry track of the day, the vees took the green flag with the largest field of the day. Brad Stout did not waste any time taking the lead and having the train follow him. Stout had already won several events earlier this year including the June Sprints. Behind him were several vees trading position on and off. Stout took the checker for his second National Championship -- won in 1998.
Top three FV: Stout, St. Louis Region; Roger Siebenaler, Northern New Jersey Region; Stephen Oseth, Old Dominion Region.
"I had a good fast car. Took it easy the first five laps -- concentrated," said Stout. "The track came back to us from the rain earlier once it completely dried. Goodyear makes a great FV tire." When asked about the special award he received today, Stout said, "It is called the 'Triple Crown' given to the driver that wins the June Sprints, Divisional Championship and the National Championship. Actually, I guess I could have a four-crown since I also won the ProVee title this year." Trophy is presented by Chicago Region. Former 1999 and 2000 National Championship, Siebenaler said, "There were a lot of yellow flags at various points of the track which allowed me to keep Oseth behind but also prevented a good run on catching the leader. We never got to go wheel-to-wheel." "There really was only one good place from me to pass Roger but just couldn't get it done and made one final attempt on the last lap," said Oseth.
GT4 Race 8:
Sunshine and a very dry track greeted the competitors. Wilson Wright took the early lead with Scott Culbertson right behind him. Moving from fifth on the grid to fourth was Russ Theus with Jamie Houseman in third. The race for first changed when Culbertson passed on lap 3 for the lead and Houseman moved up into second with Steven Lisa in third and Theus in fourth. Houseman passed Culbertson for the lead and the two continued in their battle. Meanwhile Theus took third from Lisa until he lost his engine. Last two laps were Culbertson trying to overtake Houseman; however Houseman won his first National Championship.
Top three GT4: Houseman, Detroit Region; Culbertson, Oregon Region; Lisa, Arizona Region.
About the last several laps of the race, Houseman said, "Tried to make the car as wide as possible. Scott was faster on corners and I could usually get him on the straights. With (I think) three laps to go, I went too wide in the keyhole, Scott came right up beside me." "We set the car up for the final few laps and I was trying to catch back up to Jamie when the car came to me. Wanted to pass him in the carousel but never could quite make it," said Culbertson. Lisa said, "Had a conservative start but then caught back up and had a great battle with Theus for about ten laps. Finally passed him and then was able to maintain the position." All three drivers agreed that the racing was close and clean with great battles.