Madison, IL - Round six of the SSC Pro Shifter Series was held at Gateway International Raceway on September 2 and saw yet another new winner in the series with Erik Winberg crossing the line first in his Franklin Motorsports PCR entry followed by...
Madison, IL - Round six of the SSC Pro Shifter Series was held at Gateway International Raceway on September 2 and saw yet another new winner in the series with Erik Winberg crossing the line first in his Franklin Motorsports PCR entry followed by Marc Miller, Clayton Prater, Todd Jurs and Lance Lane rounding out the top five.
Winberg qualified fifth and ran with the front pack until moving to the point with seven laps remaining.
"At the start of the race I wanted to stay close to the lead pack," said Winberg. "When Miller went by I tucked in behind him and worked with him to go to the front."
Series points leader, Marc Miller, took the lead on lap five after falling to the back of the field on the opening lap following a poor start. With Winberg glued to his back bumper, the two made a move past polesitter, Todd Jurs, Clayton Prater and Lance Lane down the long front straight. The lead pack also consisted of Tim Koutny, Tris Gour, Ross Kasner, Chris Wright and Ken Ivaska and Greg Yocum.
Miller continued to lead until lap 17 when he took a higher line through the banked turn leading onto the straight and Winberg slipped by. Miller tucked back in behind Winberg and the two stayed completely connected the remainder of the race with Jurs and Prater swapping positions closely behind. This lead pack of four had pulled away from the rest of the field and coming off the final corner it was Winberg crossing the line first ahead of Miller, Prater and Jurs.
"Marc had put his hand over his rad with about 7 laps to go, so I figured he may have a problem keeping heat into his motor so I went by when I had the chance," Winberg explained. "I knew Miller working with me in the draft but knowing it isn't a good idea to lead the last lap, I went high a couple of times to see if anyone would go by. Marc stayed tucked up behind me the whole time and knowing the effects of the draft here at Gateway, I figured when I crossed the finish line I would be fourth. I was really surprised to feel Marc bump-drafting me off the last corner and all the way across the finish line!"
Miller extended his points lead over Clayton Prater crossing the line in second just ahead of a charging Prater and Todd Jurs.
"While I was leading I looked behind me and saw Prater, then looked to my left coming through the carousel and saw Tim Koutny out of the race," said Miller. "I knew coming in I needed to finish ahead of both Koutny and Prater so when Erik went by I felt my best strategy was to help him win it. I just knew that if I would have pulled out of the draft off the last turn the two of us would have been swallowed up by the draft and that won't help me win this championship."
This was Winberg's first victory and podium of the year and has vaulted him into third place in the points battle.
"I have to thank my tuner, Tim Strobl, for the last minute set-up change," added Winberg. "We have been hard on tires this year, but we finally have it figured out and the new changes made a big difference. I would also like to thank Doug and Greg at Franklin Motorsports, PCR chassis, Northstar Racing Engines and of course Marc Miller for helping me stay out front those last few laps."
The SSC Pro Shifter Series competitors next travel to Indianapolis Raceway Park on September 22-23 to compete on the challenging 2.5 mile road-course for Round #7 of the eight race series. The racing action will again come down to attrition and the ability to pick the right timing in the draft as IRP uses all of the NHRA drag strip as the front straight. For more information, check out www.championshipenduro.com.
<pre> OFFICIAL RESULTS:
POS: DRIVER: CHASSIS/ENGINE/ENGINE BUILDER/TIRES: QUAL: TIME: 1 Erik Winberg P.C.R. / Honda / Northstar / MG 5 1:07.687 2 Marc Miller TonyKart / TM Moto 125 / PSL / MG 4 1:06.626 3 Clayton Prater Trackmagic / Honda / Bellew / MG 2 1:06.295 4 Todd Jurs Birel / Honda / Barros / MG 1 1:05.618 5 Lance Lane Trackmagic / Honda / CKT / MG 6 1:07.870 6 Ross Kasner Paul Tracy / Honda / CKT / MG 7 1:07.999 7 Ken Ivaska Paul Tracy / Honda / CKT / MG 10 1:08.726 8 Tris Gour Trackmagic / Honda / SwedeTech / MG 8 1:08.078 9 Chris Wright Trackmagic / Honda / Bellew / MG 9 1:08.455 10 Greg Yocum Biesse / Honda / N/A / MG 11 1:09.230 11 Tim Koutny Fox / Honda / Rocket / MG 3 1:06.492
POINT STANDINGS AFTER ROUND #7 (top 5 only): Marc Miller 974 Clayton Prater 897 Erik Winberg 864 Tim Koutny 849 (tie) Lance Lane 849 (tie)