Nissan Wins Record 86th National Championship Title at 2004 SCCA Runoffs; Mark Dennis, in Datsun 510, Leads A Strong Showing By Nissan Drivers LEXINGTON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 29, 2004--Nissan added one more championship title--its ...
Nissan Wins Record 86th National Championship Title at 2004 SCCA Runoffs; Mark Dennis, in Datsun 510, Leads A Strong Showing By Nissan Drivers
LEXINGTON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 29, 2004--Nissan added one more championship title--its 86th--at the 2004 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kohler, maintaining its position as the holder of more National Championship victories than any other manufacturer. Mark Dennis, driving his No. 80 Datsun 510 in the G Production class, took his first-ever Runoffs victory Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, joining a long list of prominent past Nissan champions.
Dennis, of Rochester, N.Y., surged to the early lead and never looked back, cruising to a 25-second victory with an average lap speed of 78.097 mph. Joining Dennis on the podium was fellow Nissan driver Bill Wessel, of Madison, Wis., whose Datsun SPL311 finished third.
Dennis and Wessel were part of a contingent of more than 50 Nissan drivers competing at the Runoffs, with nine drivers finishing in the top five in their respective classes.
Nissan Z(R)s, including the new 350Z which brought home a title in its first year of eligibility last year, took three of the top five positions in the GT-2 class. Defending champion Jim Goughary, of Houston, Texas, finished second. He moved into the early lead, only to battle throughout the race eventually coming up just 4.087 seconds short of a second consecutive victory.
Gerry Mason, of Fishers, Ind., placed fourth in a 300ZX and Terry Gilles, of Avon Lake, Ohio, also driving a 350Z, finished fifth.
Jimmy Burke, of Suwanee, Ga., drove to a podium finish in his 200SX, finishing second in the GT-5 class.
"This was a great weekend for Nissan Motorsports," said Ron Stukenberg, senior manager, Nissan Motorsports marketing and operations. "Nissan came in with 85 National Championships, the most of any manufacturer, all of the racers drove hard, competitive races and Mark Dennis added one more title to our total."
Nissan Motorsports was heavily represented at Mid-Ohio, providing technical assistance and parts support for all participating Nissan racers. Dennis took home $2,000 for his win, part of the more than $34,000 in contingency and bonus money paid to successful Nissan drivers in 2004. For his part, Goughary earned $1,000.
The race weekend receives full tape delayed television coverage on the SPEED network. Each race will have its own one-hour show. Dennis' G Production victory will be shown Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. The GT-2 National Championship final will broadcast on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 3.p.m. This is the fourth straight year the network will televise all of the races.