RACE: National Runoffs: Thursday qualifying report

Final Day of Runoffs Qualifying Ends with Nine Grids Set for Friday TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 9, 2008) -- As the final day of qualifying at the 45th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs came to a close, several familiar names topped their ...

Final Day of Runoffs Qualifying Ends with Nine Grids Set for Friday

TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 9, 2008) -- As the final day of qualifying at the 45th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs came to a close, several familiar names topped their respective qualifying grids, nine of which will take the green flag on Friday.

The first race of the day on Friday will be the Touring 2 class with defending Champion Don Knowles, of Pittsboro, N.C., on the pole. Knowles' time from the first day of qualifying, a 1:44.857 (89.804 mph) in his Phoenix/Hoosier/Hawk/iRacing.com Pontiac Solstice GXP, held throughout the following two sessions and became a new Runoffs qualifying lap record. Knowles will be after his fifth Championship on Friday.

Mike Miserendino, of Los Angeles, Calif., will start his quest for a third-consecutive Spec Racer Ford National Championship from pole position. Like Knowles, Miserendino posted his fast lap of 1:47.754 (83.524 mph) on the first day of qualifying at the wheel of his MBI Racing Spec Racer Ford, a time no one could top in the following two qualifying sessions.

Four-time Formula Vee Champion Brad Stout, of Webster Groves, Mo., earned his seventh FV Runoffs pole driving a Vortech/Volkswagen. Stout's lap of 1:47.055 (84.069 mph) is a new Runoffs qualifying lap record at Heartland Park Topeka.

John Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., earned two pole positions. Black will start a Nissan 350Z from pole in both GT-2, which races on Friday, and GT-3, which races on Saturday. His lap of 1:36.514 (93.251 mph) set a new Runoffs qualifying lap record in GT-2. Black set his GT-3 pole time of 1:37.813 (92.012 mph) in Thursday's final qualifying session.

Starting from the pole in H Production, Tom Feller, of Atlanta, Ga., could be en route to his fifth-consecutive Goodyear/RedLine/DJRace/WMI/BrinksMach Triumph Spitfire. Feller turned his quickest lap, a 1:49.087 (82.503 mph) in the final HP qualifying session.

The final day of qualifying brought five new polesitters, including Joe McClughan, of New Braunfels, Texas, who will start the Showroom Stock C race from pole in his MAZDASPEED/Hoosier Tires/MRE MAZDA3s. McClughan knocked Joel Lipperini off the top spot with a lap of 1:55.649 (77.822 mph).

After tipping the scales a few pounds light on Wednesday, Mirl Swan, of Platte City, Mo., reclaimed the top spot on the Formula Atlantic grid. Swan entered a 1:24.392 (106.645 mph) in the Swan Racing/Hoosier Tire/Saferacer Swift 014/Toyota.

F Production will now be an all-Kansas front row as Runoffs rookie Rick Harris, of Derby, Kan., joined Eric Prill, of Topeka, Kan., on the front row of the grid. Chris Bovis, of Lawrence, Kan., is the only other Kansan to earn a pole position at this year's Runoffs, in GT-Lite.

Racing at the 45th SCCA National Championship Runoffs begins at 8:15 a.m. (CDT) on Friday. The nine races scheduled to compete include: Touring 2, Formula Mazda, E Production, Touring 3, Spec Racer Ford, Formula Vee, Spec Miata, Formula Continental and GT-2. Live timing and steaming audio from the track public address system will be available at www.scca.com/runoffs.

-credit: scca

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Series SCCA
Drivers Joel Lipperini , Brad Stout , John Black , Tom Feller , Don Knowles , Mirl Swan , Mike Miserendino