Pikes Peak Spec Racer Ford Pro report

STRICKLER SCORES WIN AT PIKES PEAK, REGAINS LEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Sept. 26) – John Strickler, in the No. 22 King Coil SRF, held on to score his second win of the season in the 38-lap, 50.92-mile Spec Racer Ford Pro Series race...

STRICKLER SCORES WIN AT PIKES PEAK, REGAINS LEAD IN CHAMPIONSHIP

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (Sept. 26) – John Strickler, in the No. 22 King Coil SRF, held on to score his second win of the season in the 38-lap, 50.92-mile Spec Racer Ford Pro Series race by 0.545-second over Johnny Santo Spirito, in the No. 19 Spirito Racing SRF.

Strickler, of Kansas City, Kan., started the 41:17.095 race third behind Santo Spirito and pole-sitter Warren Stilwell, in the No. 28 Stilwell Racing SRF, but quickly moved into second as he passed Stilwell going into the first turn. Strickler then stalked Santo Spirito for 18 laps before he found an opening going into Turn 10, taking over a lead he would never relinquish.

"The car was really dialed in today," said Strickler. "Johnny (Santo Spirito) was doing a great job of driving a defensive line with no mistakes and it was nearly impossible to pass, but he got a little loose going onto the front straight and it was just enough to get by."

Santo Spirito, of Denver, Colo., put in his best performance of the season in front of the hometown crowd. After leading the first half of the race, he battled hard with Strickler for the remaining 20 laps while recording the fastest race lap for the second time this season.

"I had to miss a race which took me out of the championship, so I came into this race very relaxed," said Santo Spirito. "This was a great race with good, clean driving. It’s fun to race wheel to wheel all day long–it’s a testament to the professionalism of the drivers."

Chasing Strickler and Santo Spirito throughout the race was Stilwell, who drove the wheels off an ill-handling car for 20 laps, and fell off the pace two-thirds of the way through the race.

"I really had to be gentle with the car today," said Stilwell. "I couldn’t hold the same line as John going onto the straight -- at that point I was running a solo race."

Chris Funk, in the No. 61 Applebee’s International SRF, finished fourth, followed by John Black, in the No. 17 Ascent Racing SRF. Funk and Black endured an intense charge through the field after starting 10th and ninth, respectively.

After six races, Strickler has regained the lead in the Drivers Championship over Stilwell (96 to 93) with only the Homestead finale remaining.

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- Results from Saturday's 38-lap, 50.92-mile Spec Racer Ford Pro Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway, with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out. 1. (3), John Strickler, Kansas City, Kansas, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 2. (2), Johnny Santo Spirito, Denver, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 3. (1), Warren Stilwell, Hartville, Ohio, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 4. (10), Chris Funk, Kansas City, Mo., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 5. (9), John Black, Taylor City, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 6. (6), Johnny R. Meriggi, The Woodlands, Texas, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 7. (19), Joe Bunton, Ft. Collins, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 8. (8), Keith Scharf, Kirkwood, Mo., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 9. (4), Neil Tilbor, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 10. (5), Denny Stripling, Dallas, Texas, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 11. (12), Carl Harris, Houston, Texas, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 12. (7), Steve Stansfield, Ft. Collins, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 13. (23), Steve Rehkemper, Chicago, Ill., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 14. (22), Peter Frank, Longmont, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 38. 15. (13), Wells Dickson, Des Moines, Iowa, Spec Racer Ford, 38. 16. (11), Kelly Toombs, Prairie Village, KA, Spec Racer Ford, 37. 17. (16), Richard Doty, Haddon Heights, N.J., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 18. (15), Nicole LaRue, Erie, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 19. (26), John Bowden, Lawrence, KA, Spec Racer Ford, 37. 20. (21), Kim Knapp, Avon, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 21. (14), Rod Beckman, Lincoln, Neb., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 22. (24), Niki Ruman, Washington, DC, Spec Racer Ford, 37. 23. (20), Mark Kenworthy, Duvall, Wash., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 24. (18), Kasey Kielhorn, Westminster, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 25. (25), Darren Pritt, Seattle, Wash., Spec Racer Ford, 37. 26. (27), Thomas Hunt, Buffalo, N.Y., Spec Racer Ford, 36. 27. (28), Robert Funk, Denver, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 36. 28. (17), John Brumder, Boulder, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 23, Mech. 29. (30), David M. Rhyme, Denver, Colo., Spec Racer Ford, 0, DNS. 30. (29), Scott Webb, Pasadena, Calif., Spec Racer Ford, 0, DNS.

Time of Race: 41 minutes, 17.095 seconds. Average Speed: 74.002 miles-per-hour Margin of Victory: .54500 seconds Lap Leaders: Laps 1- 18, Johnny Santo Spirito; Laps 19- 38, John Strickler Fastest Race Lap: Johnny Santo Spirito, 1:04.427 (74.875 mph)

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Series SCCA
Drivers Kim Knapp , John Black , Carl Harr , John Strickler , Scott Webb , Kelly Toombs , Johnny R