Three days of qualifying are complete at the Valvoline RunoffsÂ®. Each of the 613 entered competitors at this year's Sports Car Club of America National Championship racing extravaganza had three opportunities to get the top spot for their race. ...
Three days of qualifying are complete at the Valvoline Runoffs®. Each of the 613 entered competitors at this year's Sports Car Club of America National Championship racing extravaganza had three opportunities to get the top spot for their race. A twenty minute timed session is held each day, Tuesday through Thursday, for each of the 24 classes. The polesitter has the best chance to win the coveted championship gold medal due to the tough-to-pass nature of the Mid-Ohio circuit, so the qualifying battles were intense in most of the classes.
Class by class, here's how Thursday's final qualifying sessions went:
In SSB, the front row of David Roush and David Daughtery was set by their fast times on Tuesday as no one could knock them back today.
Ron Bartell and Bob Weber both moved up today in H production, moving yesterday's provisional polesitter, Dan Collishaw back to the second row.
In F Production, Wednesday was the fast day for most of the field, Steve Sargis holding onto the pole over Harold Flescher's top time from Tuesday.
The top three times from Tuesday's Spec Racer Ford session continued to hold today, Richard Spicer maintaining the top spot over John Black.
For Sports 2000, the first race of the weekend, John Fergus kept a strong hold on the pole position, extending his advantage over the rest of the field to nearly a full second over the 2.28-mile lap distance around Mid-Ohio. Most of the S2 field went faster today, but the front row didn't change. Mark Mercer III will start on the outside of Fergus.
Michael Ruepert scorched the Mid-Ohio Runoffs lap record in D Sports Racer today with a lap of 1:25.814 seconds, topping second fastest Al Beasley Jr. by over 1 seconds. Mark Jaremko, who had held fast time with his best Tuesday lap will now start third.
The top Showroom Stock C drivers could go no faster today, so John Fernandez' fast time from Wednesday will stand for the pole over Bill Hagerty's best lap from yesterday.
The Formula 500 Runoffs lap record fell yesterday to Elivian Goulart with his 1:31.867 clocking. That time held today for the pole and Fred Edwards' time from Tuesday kept him next on the grid list.
Two-time GT4 National Champion Wilson Wright set a fast time for the class in Tuesday's session, but he will start second in tomorrow's race after Scott Culbertson went faster today.
Joe Huffaker's fast little Mini Cooper (one of the old ones), set the pole lap for the GT5 race on Tuesday, and neither he nor those chasing him could improve their times today.
Brad Stout has been the fast guy all weekend in Formula Vee and his fast time from Wednesday got him the pole, even though he had enough speed on Tuesday to get it then. He is going for his third straight Championship win.
No change today in Formula Continental. The humid afternoon kept most drivers from improving on their times from earlier in the week. Andrew Prendeville holds the pole over class stalwart, Dave Weitzenhof.
The FC cars shared a session with the Formula Mazdas, and the results were the same in that class. Jamie Bach and Kevin Roberts kept the front row with their times from Tuesday.
John Heinricy set a new lap record in Touring 1 on Wednesday, and he went even faster today, setting a new standard at 1:37.292. Bob Schader got closer today but he still fell of a second short.
In T2, the class hit the hardest in yesterday's Tech inspections, Thomas Oates took the pole today with his Camaro, besting T C Kline's fast lap from Tuesday's session. Both drivers (and nine others) lost their times from yesterday due to technical infractions.
Mark Jaremko led the Formula Ford time sheets on Tuesday, and Justin Prichard went a bit faster on Wednesday. No one could top those times today, so they will lead the field away from the green flag on Saturday.
Matthew Roberts put Ford ahead of Chevy today in American Sedan. Richard Ciochon had his Camaro out front since Tuesday, but Roberts got his Mustang faster today and will race from the pole tomorrow.
E Production was another class that didn't see any change at the top. Craig Chima went fastest on Tuesday, Pratt Cole was fastest on Wednesday, and no one could beat either time today. Chima will start first.
Duane Davis and David Finch both went faster than the previous GT2 lap record on Tuesday. Finch topped the old record again on Wednesday and again today, but none of his laps were good enough to dislodge Davis' grip on the pole. Davis's record time was a 1:31.432.
The G Production class' fast times were all set on Wednesday. Kevin Allen won the pole and Kent Prather will start alongside him in his crowd favorite MGA.
Tim Cowens went faster each day in his GT1 Mustang. His Wednesday time was good enough, but Cliff Ebben's Corvette was nearly fast enough today. Cowens locked up the pole by over second with today's time.
Mike Biangardi and Larry Conner both set record times on Tuesday, and neither of them has gone faster since. No one else could touch those times either, so they claim the front row. Biangardi will try to thwart Conner's attempt for three straight Formula Atlantic National Championship medals for the pole.
Ben Beasley and Jacek Mucha continued their dominance of the C Sports Racer field, both topping the lap record today. Beasley's 1:24.048 got the pole. No other driver can get within three second of these two drivers, so expect them to runaway with this race.
The last group to finish their qualifying was GT3. They were really finished on Tuesday though. No one of the top four in the class could improve on the times they posted in their first round. Mike Pinegar will start up front with Pete Peterson sharing the row.