Mid America: Race two report

Funk holds off Stilllwell for Pro Spec Racer victory at Mid America. PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (July 14, 2002) - Chris Funk, of Independence, Mo., held off a hard-charging Warren Stillwell, of Hartville, Ohio, to take his fourth career SCCA Pro ...

Funk holds off Stilllwell for Pro Spec Racer victory at Mid America.

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (July 14, 2002) - Chris Funk, of Independence, Mo., held off a hard-charging Warren Stillwell, of Hartville, Ohio, to take his fourth career SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer victory, at Mid America Motorplex. Stillwell and Johnny Meriggi, of Dallas, Texas, completed the top three.

Driving the No. 0 Pearl Street Brewery spec racer, second-starting Funk moved past pole-sitter Stillwell, as they moved through turn one. He opened up a lead on the field only to have it disappear due to a late race caution, allowing Stillwell to make a final charge that came up short, with Funk taking a 0.386-second margin of victory, averaging 71.750 mph.

"It was a little maddening to see Warren [Stillwell] getting bigger in my mirrors lap after lap," said Funk. "I knew it was all going to come down to the final corner and me getting through there cleanly, which I did."

Starting from the pole, Stillwell dropped back to sixth on the first set of turns, and spent the first half of the race slowly working back through the field. After the yellow flagged bunched up the pack, Stillwell was able to move into second spot and set his sights on Funk.

"I missed a shift going into turn one on the start and fell back to sixth," said Stillwell. "I was pushing hard at the end trying to get around Chris [Funk], but came up about two laps short on getting it done."

The final two laps of the event saw Stillwell quickly cut Funk's lead from just over two seconds to just over two car lengths, as they came out of the final turn. Funk kicked up the dust coming out of turn fifteen, but it was not enough for Stillwell to get by him, coming up a car length short as the checkered dropped.

Meriggi, driving the No. 77 Great Expectations Dating Service spec racer, started in third position but went wide at turn three on the third lap and dropped back to fourth, just ahead of Stillwell. After losing fourth to Stillwell, Meriggi spent the final laps of the race battling with John Strickler, of Olathe, Kan., eventually coming out on top in their head-to-head battle.

"It was a tough race," said Meriggi. "I am very happy to take a third place today behind two talented drivers like Warren [Stillwell] and Chris [Funk]."

Strickler, winner of Round Five on Saturday, and Mark Eaton, of Melbourne, Fla. completed the top five, with Eaton taking the KML Greased Lightning award for improving eight positions from his original starting spot.

In the Taiyo Edge® R/C Team Championship, the Greatful Edge team of Stillwell, Meriggi and Neil Tilbor, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., edged out Robinson Motorsports, consisting of Eaton, Cliff White, of Huntsville, Ala., and Mick Robinson, of Melbourne, Fla., by one point today. The victory allowed Greatful Edge to remaining in the point lead for the season long team championship.

The SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer series takes a little time off, with their next event October 12-13 at Lime Rock Park, Conn.

-scca pro racing-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Johnny Meriggi , Cliff White , John Strickler , Mark Eaton