RACE: Runoffs 97-JPMD #14: Camping Correction; SSA, T1, EP Driver Quotes


VR-JPMD #14: SSA, T1, EP Driver Quotes

Valvoline Runoffs '97

Copyright (c) 1997 John P. M. Dillon

Dennis Dean indicated that no one was escorted off the property for camping at the track. Thanks, Dennis, for the correction.


Jeff Altenburg won in SSA ahead of Mark Youngquist and Bob Allison.

Race 1.  SSA
1st:  Jeff Altenburg
2nd:  Mark Youngquist
3rd:  Bob Allison

Driver Interviews:

Bob Allison, 3rd. Made move up from 5th. Got by Terry under braking in Turn 7. These two guys (pointing to Youngquist and Altenburg) just ran away.

Mark Youngquist, 2nd. The cars were pretty equal on straight away speeds, I could draft him down back straight. I was a little faster through T.1, so could close up on his bumper in the keyhole, but this is not a front wheel drive track. THis was a great race, it's rare to find yourself laughing in the car while your competitor is ahead. Nothing more I could have done to get by him. I passed him once, he got by again, and I couldn't get around. He went wide through Madness once, I could have laid the bumper on him a little harder and made him spin, but its not my style.

Jeff Altenburg , Came out of carrousel, missed third gear, I knew Mark was going to get by me. Then we got through chicane side by side, but hard to pass on the outside. ALso won at Solo Nationals, wasn't thinking too much about that here, had too much other stuff to focus on, another race tomorrow.

Jeff:  That's one of the best races I've ever had.  He could draft up
on me on the straight.  It's a tribute to Kumho Tires.

Jeff also won Professional Neon Cup championship this year.

Bob: Race for 3rd. Nose dented when Terry tried to go in deep, I went underneath him and clipped his right rear slightly. The fans were screaming, I was screaming in the car too!

Jeff: Chances in SSC? Car seems to be real flat, we've checked all the electrical, replaced half the components. Last night we thought it was plugged catalytic converter, swapped it out. It'll be tough to win, but we might have a shot at podium.

Leading is more difficult than following, training from winning in '89 did help keeping cool while having Terry on my butt the whole time.

Altenburg: It was a fantastic thing, but I'm disappointed that I couldn't take a victory lap.


T1: Bob Endicott started on the pole, dropped to eighth on the first lap, then clawed his way back to third at the checker after some exciting racing. Car 2 spun on the second lap, fell to last, worked his way all the way back to sixth at the checker. The winner was Lasco #44, followed by Doug Gamble.

Winner:  Phil Lasco
2nd:     Doug Gamble
3rd:     Bob Endicott

Need to ask Endicott: What happened at the start, from first to eighth?

Car 2 spun on lap 2, all the way to last place, clawed all the way to sixth.

Doug Gamble: Truth is the car started to go away just a little bit, knew I didn't have enough for this guy (Lasco) I don't know what happened to the Camaro [lost his steering]. Got settled in and started working my way up.

Phil: Took lead on lap 2. Mustang Cobra really hooked up. New set of BFG tires were same from first to last lap. I had the perfect setup to win. Getting early lead didn't hurt any. Car was outstanding. Could get in car right now and do the same thing over again. Cool weather helped me get maximum horsepower. Proabably most exciting race ever happened to me, only second year running Nationals. Didn't check mirrors much, except front straight when I also checked gauges. The car's a real handful to drive, so you can't really relax, you're working the car constantly.

Doug & Phil: Track conditions best I've seen all week.

Doug: The rain absolutely helped, cleaned it up.

P: Began racing here in a go-kart in 1970. To come back here now is just amazing, hard to believe. Kids will be really surprised, they're in school now, couldn't come.

P: Didn't gain a lot knowledge racing here earlier in season since they were rainy events, didn't apply to this week.

Doug: Really takes a long time to learn this track. My first time here, and holy-moly, you really have to work. It's a real finesse course.

P: It's an "All 'round gotta have it all together" course.

P: Don't know what happened to Endicott, he was behind me, I was tied up in trying to get by Oakes.

DG: Bob got a little help in spinning, a real slow spin, he spun right in front of everyone. Real lucky that everyone got around him. I thought it was a very clean race.

P: Brian Kelm (?) is teammate, helps set up the car. Knows a lot about how to drive, set up the car. Made my first year a very advanced year.

Question to Doug: How did you get the car here? You drive it everywhere else you race!

D: T.C. Kline loaned me space in his transporter, since he had to bring it back empty from L.A. after their last race up at Laguna Seca. But I don't know how the car will get back to San Diego! He had to leave his cars behind on display, but he lives out here in Columbus.

D: Thanks to the whole SCCA body, it's a great group.

P: I'll second that. I couldn't believe how well organized everything is.

D: It's good people.


EP 1st: Pratt Cole 2nd: Bob Boig 3rd: Sam Halkias

Miatas finished 1-2 in EP this year. Oil was at T.1 right into right hand line going into the chicane at start of race.

Halkias: Saw Pratt gettin' away, decided I'd better get going, got a good shot in Turn 1.

Boig: Had a little excavating. It happens, you gotta live with it.

Halkias: Didn't expect them to start race, oil everywhere.

Pratt: Trided to stay under the oil. I couldn't get underneath Baucom, knew he was gonna go backwards. Surprised they threw green, saw two yellow flags, thought it meant pace car coming out. I don't think I could've won the race without that oil.

Halkias: Bobby made a good pass on straight, he snookered me, I got a little squirrelly.

Boig: You were a LOT squirrelly.

Halkias: Towards the end it was really bad, oil everywhere.

Cole: Very happy to know I had 6 or 7 seconds, I really backed off.

Boig:  same position, I backed off.  Second place is much better than
the grass.  I'd already been in the grass.

Halkias: Pratt really deserved this one. Luck had to come his way, and skill was a factor too.

Greg: We had new cars brought into class this year, not competitive, but what about the future?

Halkias: We welcome more cars, bring 'em on.

Pratt Cole: Thank Sam for saying the Miatas are very well prepared; We might have an abnormal number in top 3 or five, it's important to point that there are very most recently built cars, built to letter of rules. Very expensive to prepare, there's only 3 running.

Sam: How you prepare it.

Boig: Miatas are some of the latest cars, doesn't have the best power/weight ratio, but well prepared makes the difference.

Sam: Nice to have a nice clean race, bring 'em on, let's get more cars in EP.

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Brian Kelm , Jeff Altenburg , Sam Halkias , Pratt Cole , T.C. Kline , Bob Endicott