VR-JPMD #12: Rain! Pole Positions; Notes from the Workers
Valvoline Runoffs '97
Copyright (c) 1997 John P. M. Dillon
The big news is RAIN! It started drizzling with two sessions to go and stopped around 9:00 PM, but we may get more tomorrow. It was windy all afternoon, so most qualifying positions did not improve.
Perhaps the surprise of the qualifying cycle was B. J. Zacharias in Spec Racer Ford: he nipped the pole away from Warren "Mr. Mid-Ohio" Stilwell by 22/1000 of a second.
Forrest Sanco (F500) came off at Turn 1 with mechanical problems on the first lap, put his car safe, got it going again, had more problems, went into pits, and never did get a qualifying time faster than 3:17.267. Despite his frustrating day, the driver came by later to thank the workers for their help. He's gridded 22nd for Saturday's race.
I'm still working with Ann in the media center, so I missed the Workers of the year presentations, but was told that Bill Lee was recognized for Emergency and Dennis Chalfont for Timing/Scoring. They each received a set of B.F. Goodrich T/A tires. The workers all honored Jeff Nadler with a moment of silence.
Correction re: Loehner's broken leg: amend it to a sprained knee according to Medical. He reportedly will be racing Saturday.
Ceci and Mark Smith and Barb and Chuck Knox were interviewed by SpeedVision. They're all SoPac flaggers, and all but Mark have never been to the Runoffs before.
The GP "illegal head," as presented, was found to be legal.
For certain reasons I will not be able to provide full qualifying results from yesterday, but I have posted them in AP format. I will supply AP style results from today's sessions shortly, and will post full results for those grids that are final on Richard Welty's web pages. Greg Rubenstein and Eric Prill are now my results source and they assure me they'll get me any results I need.
Eric Morehouse is 4th in SSB, behind Galati, Manning, and Roush, and ahead of Ocuto and Simonson, all of whom race regularly at Mid-Ohio, so the SoPac crowd is quite pleased with Eric. Similarly, Lee Fleming is 4th in SRF, behind Zacharias, Stilwell, and Van Camp, and ahead of Terry Coe. Other SoPac SRF drivers qualified well too, all in a clump: Scott Webb (7th), Barney Moen (8th), Mac Busby (9th) and Cameron Earnshaw (11th).
Final pole summary:
SSA, Jeff Altenburg FA, Steve Forrer T1, Bob Endicott EP, John Baucom GT2, Duane Davis CSR, Chuck Billington HP, Steve Hussey (Brian Linn is 3rd) GP, Dean Johnson DSR, Michael Rupert F500, Michael Brent FV, Jonathan Rufener SSC, Bill Bartlett FF, Jon Horgas SSB, Michael Galati AS, Ross Thompson GT5, Jim Rauck S2, David Downey FP, Joe Huffaker GT3, Michael Lewis FC, Justin Pritchard GT1, Mike Lewis GT4, Steve Cook SRF, B J Zacharias
Midnight, the food was particularly greasy tonight, the restaurant is closing, it's time to go. More soon.