Strickler dominates Pro Spec Racer event at Mid America Motorplex. PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (July 13, 2002) - John Strickler, of Olathe, Kan., won the SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer event today at Mid America Motorplex, after grabbing the lead on...
Strickler dominates Pro Spec Racer event at Mid America Motorplex.
PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (July 13, 2002) - John Strickler, of Olathe, Kan., won the SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer event today at Mid America Motorplex, after grabbing the lead on the first lap and pulling away from the field. Neil Tilbor, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and Warren Stillwell, of Hartville, Ohio completed the top three.
From his second-starting spot, Strickler moved past pole-sitter Chris Funk, of Independence, Mo., at turn one on the opening lap and pulled away, as drivers battled behind him, and captured his fifth career Pro Spec Racer win by 6.058-seconds, averaging 76.517 mph.
"My car was absolutely perfect today," said Strickler, the 1998 series champion. "Those guys were pounding on each other behind me, so I was able to pull out a lead and never looked back."
Driving the No. 8 Taiyo Edge® R/C spec racer, Tilbor started in 10th position and was able to quickly make up at the drop of the green, ultimately receiving the KML Greased Lightning Award for improving the most positions in the race.
"I was able to take advantage of Keith [Scharf] missing a gear and Chris [Funk] spinning to move into second spot," said Tilbor. "I then had a great battle with Warren [Stillwell], giving me everything I could handle but racing me clean."
Tilbor would battle with the hard-charging Stillwell for the final five laps, including a last gasp attempt at the final corner by Stillwell, to finish second.
Stillwell, tied for the series point lead coming into this event, started fifth but lost several positions early in the race, dropping back to seventh. From there, Stillwell was able to slowly regain those positions throughout the 22-lap event, eventually finishing third, after a fierce battle with Tilbor.
"Things settled down for me after I lost those spots," said Stillwell. "The field didn't string out, so I was able to slowly work my way back to the front.
"Neil and I had a great battle at the end of the race. I couldn't make any moves stick, and after spinning out at our last race, I wanted to make sure we brought the car home."
Funk, the pole sitter for the event, battled early with Cliff White, of Huntsville, Ala., but would spin out on lap 16, while trying to catch Strickler. White would also have his problems, making contact with a back-marker near the end of the event, and pulling off course to finish 17th.
In the Taiyo Edge® R/C Team Championship, the Greatful Edge team of Stillwell, Tilbor and Johnny Meriggi, of Dallas, Texas, all finished in the top six positions, to increase their points lead over second-place Robinson Motorsports.
The SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer series will run the second event of the weekend doubleheader tomorrow at 3:05 p.m (CDT).
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