Dorsey Schroeder won the battle, but Tom Kendall and Chevrolet won the season long wars. Dorsey, driving the Raybestos Ford Mustang in the FORD/Raybestos Trans-AM at Sears Point (only fitting that the Raybestos Ford win the Ford/Raybestos sponsored race) lead every lap as he cruised easily to win.
Although he could have wrapped things up in qualifying, Tom Kendall won the Drivers Championship easily by finishing 6th. Ron Fellows forced Kendall to atleast start the race by taking the five bonus points for being the fastest qualifier. But, by picking up three points for second fastest time Tom didn't need much in the race to win the Championship.
Chevrolet only needed a third place, or better, finish to clinch the Manufacturers Championship. It sounded simple based upon the recent outings by Ron Fellows and Jamie Galles in the Buzz McCall Camaros, but as the race unfolded it was anything but.
Two Tom Gloy cars filled the fromt row as fifth qualifier Boris Said lead teammate Dorsey Schroeder to the green. Dorsey sailed into turn one ahead of Said's Sure Fine Mustang and never looked back. Kendall moved into third and the trio of Fords looked strong at the start.
Gloy gambled somewhat and used soft compound tires on the fronts and it looked early like Schroeder and Said had things undercontrol. But they weren't. Dorsey was able to pace himself, keeping just ahead of the train of Said, Kendall, Fellows, Simo (in the third Gloy car, and Galles. Said mean while was thrashing aroung and using some crazy entry points to keep Kendall then Fellows at bay. The fact that Boris was able to keep all contenders behind him virtually assured Schroeder a victory. That was one story of the race. The second was that Kendall was assured the championship by lap five due to the number of cars that either didn't start of failed to complete even one lap. With that in the bag the Roush team didn't seem overly concerned when Tommy's All Sport Mustang started moving backwards into the field. They went to the back-up ignition system while circulating slowly under the caution caused by Dale Phelon's crash. The car ran better as the race progressed and Kendall would later rise as high as third again.
The third story involved the Manufacturers Championship. Could Ford sweep the top three positions? That possibility changes several times during the race for a variety of reasons. AT the start Dorsey, Said, and Kendall looked strong, but Kendall faded allowing Fellows to take a solid third with Galles in fifth, what with Kendall's car failing badly only Brian Simo's Valvoline Mustang looked worthy of contending.
Galles soon took care of Simo as he punted the Mustang off course in the last turn. That won Jamie his first of two stop-and-go penalties. His second infraction wasn't deserved, but..... That left Said with only Fellows' AER Camaro to deal with, and that he did.
At this point in the race the most exciting action was watching Kendall rocket back through the field and watching Rob Rizzo try to pass Price Cobb's Highway master Camaro for 9th place. It took many many laps but Rizzo's Red Carpet Lease Mustang finally prevailed.
Later in the race Boris Said had no tires left and was really slowing down Fellows. So much so that Schroeder, even at his conservative pace was easily pulling away. It is hard to say how hard Fellows was trying since all he really needed was third for Chevrolet. Now when Kendall joined the party it looked like Chevrolet was in trouble.
But Kendall got into the back of Fellows as the trio of Said, Fellows and he all braked wildly into turn 11. That put Kendall off and Ford now held firm grip on the top three positions. All they needed, right? Wrong! Remember those earlier two stop-and-go penalties Galles got, well dispite how innocent the contact had been you just knew that Kendall would soon be awarded his own stop-and-go. The precedent had been set.
With Kendall out of the picture Paul Gentalozzi became the standard bearer for the bow-tie group as he and Brian Till had both been gaining steadiy on the ill-handling Mustang of Said. With only two laps left Boris answered the question, would anyone ever pass him for second, as his car mysteriously quit.
Dorsey Schroeder took the checker easily as Gentalozzi's Rocketsports Camaro sealed the Manufacturers title for Chevrolet. There was only one leader and one yellow and the field was strung out but it was a very interesting race. My hat is off to Boris Said who appeared to drive the ultimate team race. His ability to keep the rest of the contenders at bay throughout the entire race gave his teammate an easy victory.
Robert Rizzo won the Raybestos Rising Star of the Year and Price Cobb won the Nimrod Press Rookie of the Year award . Brian Simo finished 7th and on the lead lap to win $7000 for the Alltel Long Distance award for completing the most laps.