RACE: National Runoffs: Tuesday qualifying report

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2004) -- Nearly 700 of the best Sports Car Club of America Club Racing drivers took advantage of perfect weather all day Tuesday, breaking 20 track records as qualifying commenced for the 41st SCCA National Championship...

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 21, 2004) -- Nearly 700 of the best Sports Car Club of America Club Racing drivers took advantage of perfect weather all day Tuesday, breaking 20 track records as qualifying commenced for the 41st SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Tuesday was the first of three days drivers have to set a fast time that will set the grid for this weekend's 24 SCCA Runoffs races. Track records fell due in part to cool, sunny conditions early, which warmed to over 80 degrees in the afternoon. Additionally, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course management ground track surface transitions between the 2003 event and this year, smoothing many of the undulations that had developed in the last several years.

- John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., was fastest in both Touring 1 and American Sedan, taking the provisional pole position for each class. Only seven drivers have previously won two or more pole positions in one year. Heinricy is also attempting to become just the sixth driver to win four-consecutive National Championships in a class, in Touring 1.

- Douglas Marsh, of Eastlake, Ohio, led the Formula 500 class in qualifying. Marsh is trying to become the first-ever two-time pole winner in F500. Marsh broke his own track record today by nearly a half of a second.

- Robert Stallings, of Dallas, Texas, turned the fastest lap ever by an SCCA Club Racing car when he wheeled his Swift .014 to a lap of 1:19.027 (102.861 mph) around the 2.258-mile circuit. Stallings is the provisional polesitter in the Formula Atlantic class.

- Many point to Dave Weitzenhof, of Bath, Ohio, as the favorite in Formula Continental as he continues to search for his eighth National Championship. However, it was Brian Tomasi, of Elgin, Ill., who captured the provisional pole on Tuesday with a record lap. Weitzenhof was second fastest, 0.728-second behind.

- Justin Pritchard, of Granville, Ohio, goes for his record third-straight Formula Ford National Championship, and looks good to win his third-consecutive pole position after leading qualifying on Tuesday.

- Steve Sargis, of Frankfort, Ill., shattered his own F Production qualifying track record by 1.298 seconds. Of the 20 new records in 24 classes, Sargis' run was the largest improvement. Driving a Triumph Spitfire, the four-time National Champion is after his seventh pole position, which would tie him for seventh in the 41-year event history.

- Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., is the only five-time National Champion in G Production, including the last two-consecutive years. However, Prather has but one pole in the class, coming in 1992. Prather leads the pole chase in his MGA thus far, with a record-breaking lap Tuesday afternoon.

- Joe Huffaker, of Petaluma, Calif., has admitted that this is likely his last National Championship run in his famous GT-5 BLMI Mini Cooper. Huffaker started his week in grand fashion, and looks good to claim his 12th-career pole position (second all-time) after setting the fast time Tuesday.

- Roger Schorer, of Zanesville, Ohio, earned the provisional pole position in Showroom Stock C today in his Honda Civic Si. Schorer's feat is notable as it would mark the first-ever pole position for Hankook Tires, which made its debut in 2003.

- Don Knowles, of Chapel Hill, N.C., has been "retired" from racing for some time, but returned to the sport this year. The two-time Showroom Stock B polesitter and Champion (1978-1979) looks to pick up right where he left off, pacing the Touring 2 field in his Cadillac CTS-V.

- A total of 681 drivers turned official times today. That is shy of the record 696 from 2003, but the total is expected to eclipse 700 and set a record later this week. A number of drivers arrive later in the week due to other business and personal commitments.

Qualifying for the 2004 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kohler resumes Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. (EDT). To follow all of the Live Timing & Scoring Presented by Yokohama, and view today's results, visit www.scca.com.

-scca-

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Series SCCA
Drivers John Heinricy , Kent Prather , Joe Huffaker , Brian Tomasi , Justin Pritchard , Steve Sargis , Douglas Marsh , Don Knowles