Day Two of Runoffs Racing Closes With Two More Super Sweep Awards ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- The 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs added nine more National Champions to the record books at Road America on Saturday and named two...
Day Two of Runoffs Racing Closes With Two More Super Sweep Awards
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- The 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs added nine more National Champions to the record books at Road America on Saturday and named two more SCCA Club Racing Super Sweep winners. One of the Super Sweep recipients was Wisconsin driver Michael Varacins, who finally claimed a Formula Vee title after finishing runner-up the last three years.
Race Nine: Boileau Wins Touring 3 National Championship
Bob Boileau, of Monument, Colo., took his first SCCA National Championship Runoffs win at Road America in Saturday's Touring 3 race. Bret Spaude, of Bushnell, Fla., and Aaron Stehly, of Richfield, Minn., completed the T3 podium.
The T3 race began on a damp track thanks to overnight rain. On the start, Boileau's No. 43 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Honda S2000 shuffled back through the field, with a conservative start strategy for the slick conditions on the driver's mind.
Resetting the fastest lap of the race as the 14-turn, four-mile track began to dry, Boileau charged through the field, challenging the No. 24 Autobarn Motorsports Volkswagen GTI of Richard Fisher, from Glencoe, Ill., for third by lap six.
After passing Spaude for second, Boileau took over the lead from Fandozzi on lap nine and never looked back, winning the 13-lap, 52-mile race by 2.117 seconds and setting the fastest lap of the race, a 2:36.994 (91.723 mph).
Fandozzi had a tremendous start in the No. 34 Hoosier/Moton/Insight Driven Chevrolet Cobalt SS, and was already around Boileau for the lead in Turn One. Seventh-starting Spaude followed Fandozzi through and into second. While Spaude fended off Fisher, Fandozzi was able to hold the race lead for first nine laps, but there was no stopping Boileau from charging through for the win. Fandozzi would have to settle for second.
Defending T3 National Champion Spaude brought his No. 12 TSRacing.com/Red Line Oil/Hoosier Chevrolet Cobalt SS home in third.
The No. 68 APR Motorsports/Westside VW/Kumho Tires Volkswagen GTI of Aaron Stehly, from Richfield, Minn., and the VW of Richard Fisher finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Fandozzi was later disqualified after his car failed technical inspection (engine component modification), moving each finisher up one position. The movement elevated R. Inness Eisele, of Marysville, Ohio, into fifth position in the No. 13 Honda Racing/BFGoodrich/Traqmate Honda S2000.
Tenth-place finisher Tony Wedderbum, of North Miami Beach, Fla., was named the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing seven positions during the race in his No. 16 WeatherTech.com Chevrolet Cobalt SS.
Race 10: Grahovec Captures Showroom Stock B Title in Damp Conditions At Road America
Toby Grahovec, of Chicago, Ill., captured his second-career Showroom Stock B title with a 1.357-second victory over Lee Niffennegger, from Delaware, Ohio, at the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Michael Scornavacchi, of Manheim, Pa., completed the podium.
Driving the No. 86 Classic BMW/Hoosier Tire BMW Z4, Grahovec was into the lead in Turn One. Grahovec managed to pull away from the field early on the damp track and held off a small challenge from Niffenegger late in the 13-lap race to take the win.
Grahovec's move at the start of the race earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger award for improving four positions.
Niffenegger, the SSB defending champion, qualified second in the No. 42 Honda Racing/HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda Civic Si and held that position throughout the entire race. As the track dried, Niffenegger closed on Grahovec, but didn't have a lane to make the pass.
After Grahovec and Niffenegger slipped by polesitter Scornavacchi and his No. 25 Hoosier/Carbotech/Phoenix BMW Z4, Scornavacchi settled in to the third position, where he would finish.
Chad Gilsinger, of Marysville, Ohio, finished fourth in the No. 07 HondaRacing/HPD/BFGoodrich Honda Civic Si. Jeff Jensen, of Monument, Colo., finished fifth in the Pikes Peak Acura/Hoosier/Honda Acura RSX-Type S.
Matthew Staal, of Torrance, Calif., turned the race's fastest lap on his way to a seventh-place finish. Staal ran a lap of 2:44.161 (87.564 mph) in the No. 53 Honda Racing/BFGoodrich Honda Civic Si.
Race 11: Marchand Wins Formula Mazda Championship, Super Sweep at Runoffs
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- Juan Marchand, of South Haven, Mich., captured his first SCCA National Championship Saturday, winning the Formula Mazda race and SCCA Club Racing Super Sweep title at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Bruce Lawrence, of Sanford, N.C., and Darryl Wills, of Deer Park, Texas, completed the top three.
Marchand started his No. 44 Gingerman Raceway/JuanMarchand.com Formula Mazda from the pole but quickly lost the lead to fourth-starting Mike Anderson, who got the holeshot on the field in his No. 42 HASA Pool Products entry from the outside of the second row. Marchand would re-pass Anderson for the lead at Turn Five, and sped away to a 4.097-second victory, averaging 103.134 mph.
With his win, along with his Divisional points title, two qualifying event wins and the nationwide points title, Marchand captured the inaugural Formula Mazda Super Sweep. Marchand also set the fastest lap of the race, at a 2:17.543 (104.695 mph).
Lawrence started his No. 53 the speed connection/Tre Amici Formula Mazda fifth, but moved to third right away, behind Marchand and Anderson. Lawrence moved to second on lap eight when Anderson's car got stuck in fourth gear. From there, he ran by himself to a runner-up finish.
Wills started second in the No. 02 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda but fell back at the start. From there, he gradually worked his way back up to take the final spot on the podium. It was Wills' career-best Runoffs finish.
Dale Vandenbush, of Green Bay, Wis., advanced from sixth to finish fourth in his No. 01 Formula Mazda. James Harrelson, of Owens Cross Roads, Ala., finished fifth in his No. 25 Formula Mazda after starting eighth.
Jim Anderson, of Fort Collins, Colo., was named the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing seven positions to finish eighth in his No. 45 SAINT Formula Mazda.
Race 12: Gorriaran Captures Flag-to-Flag Spec Miata Win At SCCA Runoffs
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) - Steven Gorriaran, of Providence, R.I., took advantage of his top qualifying position and a fierce battle in his mirrors to capture the Spec Miata crown on Saturday at the 46th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Jim Drago, of Memphis, Tenn., finished second while Mathew Pombo, of Atlanta, Ga., earned third place.
Gorriaran led the field to the green flag and through Turn One in the No. 44 SyncSave/Driven Perf/Gorilla Racing Mazda Miata with a train of Spec Miata machines behind him, including Drago, Pombo, Todd Lamb and Matthew Reynolds. Those five stayed in line through the 13-lap, 52-mile race's opening stage, gapping the rest of the field. After shaking Reynolds to make the lead pack a four-car challenge, Gorriaran was able to ease away for the win.
Drago, Pombo and Lamb battled through most of the race for second position. Lamb, of Atlanta, Ga., passed Drago in the No. 2 East Street Racing/Saferacer Mazda Miata for third on lap four and then pushed Pombo in the No. 01 Pombo Racing/Rossini Race Products Mazda Miata, pulling alongside him on lap five and moving into second when Pombo ran wide in Turn 14 on lap six.
Pombo gathered himself and rejoined the chase. Both Pombo and Drago drove past Lamb under braking in Turn Five on lap 11. From there, Drago was able to pull away from the battle between Lamb and Pombo, but didn't have enough time to chase down Gorriaran.
Drago would end the race as the runner-up.
Pombo had one last challenge from Lamb to secure his final spot on the podium. Pombo ducked inside Lamb going into Turn One on the final lap, only to give up the position again in Turn Five. Pombo claimed third place for the final time in Turn Eight, and would hold on despite numerous attempts by Lamb on a very physical last lap.
Drago also turned the fastest lap of the race on lap 11, running a lap of 2:44.487 (87.545 mph) around the 14-turn, four-mile circuit.
Lamb, driving the No. 84 OPM/Traqmate/SafeRacer/East Street Mazda Miata, would cross the finish line in fourth place.
Matthew Reynolds, of Boerne, Texas, finished fifth behind the wheel of the No. 74 Reynolds Brothers Racing Mazda Miata.
Tomas Kraft, of Des Moines, Iowa, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award in the No. 46 Kraft Imports/Maximum Promotions Mazda Miata after improving 17 positions to finish in 16th place.
Race 13: Miserendino Uses Final Lap to Claim Fourth-Consecutive SRF National Title
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- Mike Miserendino, of Los Angeles, Calif., waited until the final lap of the Spec Racer Ford National Championship Race at Road America to claim his fourth-consecutive SRF Title at the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Brian Schofield, Lakeland, Fla., finished second, followed by Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md.
Starting second in the No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer Ford, Miserendino tucked behind polesitter Schofield at the start of the 13-lap, 52-mile race and stayed there until the final tour of the four-mile, 14-turn road course. As the two commenced the final lap, Miserendino pulled out of his draft heading into Turn One. Unable to make the move stick, Miserendino tucked in behind Schofield's No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer Ford once again and the pair headed into Turn Five. Miserendino took another look on the inside under braking into Five, but ran out of room as Schofield took a defensive line. Fortunately for Miserendino, Schofield nearly ran out of road at the exit of Five, enabling the him to carry more speed into Turn Six and take the lead. Schofield took one more look in Turn 13 and the two made contact through the final corner, but it was Miserendino by 0.67-second at the line.
It was the third runner-up finish in-a-row for Schofield who turned the fastest lap of the race, a 2:38.812 (90.673 mph).
Starting fifth, two-time SRF National Champion Spicer had a great start in the No. 65 Jay Motorsports/Bucholz Spec Racer Ford, moving into third at Turn Five on the opening lap. After swaping positions with Nick Evans, of Powell, Ohio, Spicer re-claimed the final podium spot on lap eight and never looked back.
Scott Rettich, of Oxford, Ohio, started third, but finished fourth in the No. 97 PDI Communications/Hippi Racing Spec Racer Ford. Jean-Luc Liverato, of Alpharetta, Ga., finished fifth in the No. 8 8-Ball Racing/Expanded Techno Spec Racer Ford.
Fourteenth-place finisher Bruce Myers, of Greenland, N.H., captured the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 19 positions in the race
Race 14: Varacins Dominates In Formula Vee Championship Race
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- After finishing second the last three years, Michael Varacins, of Burlington, Wis., captured his maiden National Championship Saturday in dominating fashion at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Charles Hearn, of Houston, Texas, and Brian Jennerjahn, of Hartford City, Ind., completed the top three.
Driving the No. 65 Speed Sport Engineering/Hoosier/Veetech Speed Sport AM-5, Varacins started from the pole, got the holeshot on the start and drove away from the 41-car field in a way that rarely happens in the ultra-competitive Formula Vee class. He built a 30-second advantage over the battle for second place before a full-course caution on the final lap bunched the field.
Officially, Varacins won by 25.306 seconds under caution, still ranking as the second-largest margin of victory behind Dave Weitzenhof's 1972 win by 63.8 seconds. He averaged 86.993 mph.
Varacins also set the race's fastest lap by more than one second, with a 2:44.196 (87.700 mph). His win capped a dream season that concluded with the coveted SCCA Super Sweep, which rewards a driver winning the Runoffs, his Divisional point title, a key qualifying event and the nationwide point title all in the same class.
In typical Formula Vee fashion on the four-mile circuit, a dozen cars battled for the second spot, with the cars running three- and even four-wide at different times.
Hearn, who started 10th in his No. 2 Hearn Contractors/Noble Racing Vortech, came out on top of the battle for second to earn his first-career podium finish. He and Jennerjahn's No. 48 Jennerjahn Machine Inc. Vortech were in front of a lap-12 incident in Turn 12 that brought out the full-course caution that effectively ended the race, securing their positions on the podium.
Former Champion Roger Siebenaler, of Williston, Vt., finished fourth in his No. 72 Autowerks/Hoosier Mysterian. Another former Champion, Stevan Davis, of Danielsville, Ga., came from 16th on the grid to finish fifth in his No. 80 Goodyear/Butler/Wedge Racing Racer's Wedge SB-1.
Russell Fredericks, of Northport, N.Y., was awarded the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing from 41st on the grid to finish 19th in his No. 28 northshorevethospital.com Caracal D.
Race 15: Touring 1 Championship Goes to Tucker
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- Scott Tucker, of Overland Park, Kan., captured his first SCCA National Championship on Saturday, winning the Hawk Performance Touring 1 race at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Lance Knupp, of Fenton, Mich., and John Buttermore, of Pontiac, Mich., completed the podium at Road America.
Starting from the pole, Tucker led the T1 field through Turn One in his No. 55 Ferrari 430 Challenge, but lost his lead in Turn 12 to a hard charging Buttermore in the No. 52 Nearbrook Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Withstanding pressure from then-third place Knupp, Tucker kept with Buttermore and capitalized on a mistake by the Corvette driver in Turn Five to re-take the lead on lap four in Turn Six. From there, Tucker cruised to a 1.42-second victory in the 13-lap, 52-mile race, his first-ever Runoffs win. He set the fastest lap of the race in the process, turning a 2:22.000 (101.408 mph) around the 14-turn, 4-mile road course.
Shortly after Buttmore lost the lead to Tucker in Turn Five, his car wiggled under braking for Turn Eight, allowing Knupp in the No. 37 Hoosier/Carbor Tech/Moton/IEC Dodge Viper to grab the runner-up spot. Buttermore fell off the pace of the leaders from that point forward, but still crossed the finish line in third.
Jim Lynch, of Chesterfield, Mo., finished fourth in the No. 98 Adventure Shooting Sports Dodge Viper SRT-10. Lynch spent the second half of the race defending his fourth-place from the No. 64 Hoosier/Zip Corvette Chevrolet Corvette of Johnny Miller, from Gray, Tenn., who finished fifth.
John Stracensky, of Medina, Ohio, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race award for advancing five positions in the race to finish 11th in his No. 97 Hoosier/Mallett Cars/Stupid Fast Chevrolet Corvette C5.
Race 16: Coello Earns Fourth Formula Continental Title in Shortened Race
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) - Nicholas Coello, of East Troy, Wis., earned a time-shortened Formula Continental title in dominating fashion Saturday during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Coello took the checkered flag 9.54-seconds ahead of runner-up Justin Pritchard, of Granville, Ohio, and third place finisher Revere Greist, of Madison, Wis.
Coello earned his fourth National title from the pole in the No. 81 pouredfoundations.com/Hoosier Tire Van Diemen RF-01 after an early race battle with Greist. Driving the No. 58 Waypoint Health Innovations Van Diemen DP07, Greist made a pass on Coello through Turn Five on the first lap and held that lead across the start-finish line.
The battle was then interrupted when a seven-car accident through the Kink eliminated six cars from the race and brought out a black flag. One driver involved in the incident, Thomas Gaffney, of Birmingham, Mich., did require a transport via helicopter to Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., but was awake and alert when he left the track.
The black flag shortened the race from its regularly scheduled distance of 13-laps to a timed race, with just 20 minutes remaining when racing resumed.
Coello passed Greist on the restart and immediately began stretching out a lead and turning the fastest lap of the 11-lap race, in a time of 2:13.567 (107.811 mph).
Pritchard, driving the No. 88 Hossier/Elite/Raceday/K-Hill Van Diemen 99, started third, but restarted in fourth before passing Cole Morgan in the No. 3 WRD/QS/Goodyear/Morgan Homes Swift DB-6 on lap seven, and then Greist in Turn Five on the penultimate lap to claim the runner-up position.
Greist finished third, just ahead of Morgan, from Lighthouse Point, Fla. Joe Tovo, of Glen Ellyn, Ill., finished fifth in the No. 31 DNJ Logistics/My Amazing Family Van Diemen Zetec.
Rossella Manfrinato, of Alpharetta, Ga., earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award after climbing 14 positions in the No. 10 scribbos.com/PhillipCreightonMS/Goodyear Tatuus RC-97.
Race: 17 Bushey Scores GT-3 National Championship Win at Runoffs
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 26, 2009) -- Ric Bushey, of Virginia Beach, Va., captured his first-career SCCA National Championship Saturday, winning the Sunoco GT-3 Challenge at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Mike Henderson, of El Cajon, Calif., and John Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., completed the top three.
After qualifying his No. 30 Abacus Racing/Goodyear/Nissan 350Z on the pole, Bushey dropped behind the Mazdas of Henderson and Rob Warkocki at the beginning of the race. Henderson led initially in the No. 12 Mazda RX-7 before Warkocki took the point in Turn 12 on the opening lap with his No. 78 Empcor/Goodyear/Mazda/Red Line Mazda RX-7.
Warkocki led the opening two laps before Bushey made his way past entering the Carousel. From there, he gradually pulled away to take a 4.261-second victory in the 13-lap, 52-mile race, averaging 98.828 mph.
Henderson fell to third, but eventually worked back past Warkocki into second place. It was Henderson's first-career podium finish at the Runoffs.
Black started fourth in his No. 17 Nissan 350Z and battled for much of the race with Warkocki before he finally was able to sneak by under braking in Turn 12 on the penultimate lap. Black turned the fastest lap of the race, with a 2:23.797 (100.141 mph).
Warkocki, of Frankfort, Ill., finished fourth, ahead of Jimmy Burke, of Suwanee, Ga., in his No. 3 PFM Engineering/Goodyear/Moton Nissan 350Z.
Paul Young, of Commerce Township, Mich., advanced four positions in the race to earn the Sunoco Hard Charger in his No. 79 Young Racing/Hoosier Tire Ford Proble.
All 2009 SCCA National Championship races are broadcast live on www.speedcasttv.com/scca and will be available on demand shortly after the event concludes. Live timing, lap notes a full schedule, results and photos are available at www.scca.com/runoffs.