RACE: Runoffs 97-JPMD #25: GT5, S2, FP Raw Race Notes

Another beautiful day here. GT3 on course now, it's Mike Lewis and Wolfgang Maike running 1-2. RACE 16 - GT5 SportsCar picks: Jamie Housman, Honda CRX Andre Zawislak, Nissan Sentra Jack Beck, Alfa...

Another beautiful day here. GT3 on course now, it's Mike Lewis and Wolfgang Maike running 1-2.

RACE 16 - GT5

SportsCar picks: Jamie Housman, Honda CRX Andre Zawislak, Nissan Sentra Jack Beck, Alfa Romeo GT13

Grid Top 3: Jim Rauck, Dan Minkler, Jack Baumgardner

LAP 1: Jim Rauck brings the field down for the start and leads into the first turn. Jamie Houseman gets a good jump and moves quickly into second. Daniel Minkler slips into third. LAP 2: Houseman gets by Rauck at the end of the straight to take the lead. LAP 3: Houseman immediately starts to stretch out his lead over Rauck. Andre Zawislak moves up into third. LAP 4: Zawislak makes a move into second at the entrance to the keyhole and takes it away from Rauck. Rauck tries to get it back at the end of the straight, but loses it a little and drops a couple of positions. LAP 5: Kirk Olson has been moving steadily up and takes over second place. Joe Huffaker is putting on a charge also and is now up to fourth. LAP 9: Houseman has a fairly comfortable lead over second place Olson. A big battle rages for third a couple of seconds back from Olson, where Zawislak, Huffaker, Rauck and Jack Baumgardner are nose to tail. LAP 10: Huffaker makes a bold move at the end of the straight diving inside of Zawislak to take third. Huffaker moves away from Zawislak and leaves the rest of the group to battle for fourth. LAP 12: Zawislak catches Huffaker and takes back third at the end of the straight. The battle for third is a four way dice again. LAP 13: Baumgardner goes to the inside at turn 1 and takes fourth away from Rauck. Huffaker is pressuring Zawislak through the esses. LAP 14: Baumgardner moves to the inside at turn 1 again and gets alongside Huffaker. Baumgardner makes the pass stick and starts to pull away. Baumgardner reels in Zawislak through the esses and is ready to move on third place. Zawislak and Baumgardner encounter some slower traffic in the carousel and Baumgardner tries to drive around them, but loses grip and drops a position as Huffaker comes by him at the exit. LAP 15: Zawislak seems to be having difficulty with the handling through the tight corners, sliding a lot through the esses in particular. LAP 16: Zawislak has some trouble through turn 1 and both Huffaker and Baumgardner jump at the chance. Huffaker gets alongside going into the keyhole and takes away third place. Zawislak comes back at Huffaker on the straight and takes third back. Rauck is closely trailing the battle for third, but is starting to show some smoke from the car. LAP 17: Huffaker picks up on Zawislak through the esses where Zawislak continues to have handling problems. Huffaker gets alongside Zawislak going into turn 11 and contacts Zawislak. Both go off into the grass and Baumgardner goes by into third. Huffaker pulls into the pits and parks the car. LAP 18: Rauck closes on Baumgardner and makes a pass on him into third. Olson is closing on Houseman, but may not have enough time. LAP 19: Houseman still enjoys an eight car length advantage over Olson. Jamie Houseman takes the National Championship. Kirk Olson takes second and Jim Rauck holds on for third. Jack Baumgardner was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and David Hunstad was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #16 GT5

Jamie Houseman, 1st: "It's my 2nd championship in a row. I did what I intended to do. I could have easily gone the other way, but I had no intention of going on the grass." "Every lap in Turn 9 I'd look in the mirror and see a banner that was just the color of Kirk's car, it gave me a fright." "I was up and down all week, qualifying bad, 5th on the last run and I had to struggle to get there. We're on our 3rd motor. I hadn't done enough testing around the year." "Thanks to the engine builder Preben Kristensen. Houseman Autosport is major sponsor, we build racing gears. "I've got a good gearbox! This engine is a spare engine from last year, it worked flawlessly." How'd you get in the front? "I drove there. I knew I had to get by the rear-wheel-drive Mini of Baumgardner pretty quick. I was planning to do it, but it doesn't always work out that way."

Kirk Olson, 2nd: "I tried to drive as hard as I could. The car developed a bit of a miss at the end. It was a great drive though, really a lot of fun." "I'd like to thanke Performance Machine Works, the Sizzler (NOT the Steak House), Fisher Honda."

Jim Rauck, 3rd: " A lot of guys were driving at the limit. When you drive like that, you start making little mistakes. You just gotta turn that off and drive your own race." "Lots of pushy bumpy shovy - a little contact here and there. I went off once. All I could think of was 'where's 2nd gear?' and hope the guys behind breathe the throttle just a little 'cause I knew I'd shoot across track." "I had a big oil leak - thought the car was on fire. The crew said no, no, keep going. At the end there was no oil left on the dipstick!" "This was the first National the car has ever run." " I'd like to thank Nissan Motorsports, Red Line Oil, Koni Shocks, True Choice, they really brought this car to life. All of a sudden we found a second here, two seconds there. I gotta thank my wife, she's probably given me a thousand hours of comp time (we run a business together, it's been a big six month effort. She said go work on the car.)" "These guys don't give an inch, you have to race hard the whole way."

Raw Notes: GT5 1st: Jamie Houseman 2nd: Kirk Olson 3rd: Jim Rauck

JR was involved in good battles whole race.

JR: Lotta guys driving at the limit. When you drive like that, you start making little mistakes. Just gotta turn that off drive your own race. Lot of pushy bumpy shovy little contact here and there. I went off once, all I could think of "where's 2nd gear? Hope the guys behind breathe the throttle just a little 'cause I knew I'd shoot across track."

JR: Had a big oil leak thought the car was on fire, the crew said no, no, keep going. At the end there was no oil left on the dipstick! First National the car has ever run.

Kirk:  Tried to drive as hard as we could, car developed a bit of a
miss at the end.  Great drive though, really a lot of fun.

JH: 2nd championship in a row. I did what I intended to do. Could have easily gone the other way, but I had no intention of going on the grass. Every lap in T9 I'd look in mirror and see a banner that just the color of Kirk's car, it gave me a fright. Up and down week, qualifying bad, 5th on the last run and had to struggle to get there, we're on our 3rd motor. Hadn't done enough testing around the year. Thank the engine builder Preben Kristensen. Houseman Autosport is major sponsor, we build racing gears. I've got a good gearbox! This engine is spare engoine for last year, it worked flawlessly.

How'd you get in the front? JH: "I drove there. Knew I had to get by the rear-wheel-drive Mini of Bob Gardner, pretty quick." Planning to do it, but it doesn't always work out that way.

KO: Performance Machine Works, the Sizzler (NOT the Steak House), Fisher Honda.

JR: Nissan Moto, Red Line Oil, Koni Shocks, True Choice, they really brought this car to life, all of a sudden we found a second here, two seconds there. Gotta thank my wife, she's probably given me a thousand hours of comp time (we run a business together, it's been a big six month effort, she said go work on the car.) These guys don't give an inch, you have to race hard the whole way.

RACE 17 - Sports 2000

SportsCar picks: David Downey, Lola T89/90 Alex Smith, Pratt Miller RM Andrea Kasiewicz Hughes, JE 262

Grid Top 3: David Downey, Andrea Kasiewicz, Alex Smith

LAP 1: Andrea Kasiewicz gets a run at the start, but David Downey holds the lead into the first turn. Downey starts to pull out a lead and Kasiewicz also stretches out an advantage over Alex Smith in third. LAP 3: Kasiewicz closes back up on Downey, making up some distance under braking. LAP 4: Downey leads Kasiewicz by four car lengths. Smith is a couple of seconds back with a gap of four seconds back to J. Duke Johnson in fourth. The rest of the field is starting to spread out as well. LAP 7: Downey continues to lead with Kasiewicz keeping up the pressure less than a second behind. LAP 9: Downey can't seem to get away from Kasiewicz who continues to chase him. The leaders have opened up a ten second advantage over third place Smith. The gap from there to fourth place Johnson is another four seconds and Jason Engel holds down a lonely fifth another ten seconds behind. LAP 13: Downey is finally able to open up a slight lead as Kasiewicz drops two seconds back. LAP 14: Christopher Watson goes off at turn 1 and loses his rear bodywork. The bodywork is sitting right on the line in the middle of turn 1. A number of cars have to dodge the debris. The corner crew is able to clear it before the leaders come by. LAP 19: Downey is coming up on some slower traffic, but he has a comfortable four second lead over Kasiewicz.

David Downey takes the National Championship followed by Andrea Kasiewicz in second and Alexander Smith in third.

David Downey was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Jason Engel was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #17 S2000

David Downey, 1st: "I feel as good as I've been for a long, long time." "The car was as neutral as could be front and rear." "This particular track encourages driver's patience. If you push too hard, especially from Turns 6 through 11 you'll use up a lot of tires and equipment." "I was very pleased with the car." "I'd like to thanke ProMotions (Randy Hartman). Red Line Oil, Champion Spark Plugs, Penske shocks, Elite Motors (Steve Knapp), Lola chassis." "I like the wet, I would've preferred a wet track. Two Nationals in this year were in the wet. We had a wet summer out here. It may seem strange that I won in the dry, but I can do it either way." "I'll probably be back to defend my title. It's only a 45 minute drive! Mid-Ohio is my home track." "Thanks to Mid-Ohio race course, they put on a hell of a show. You can see this program keeps improving. They keep putting the money back in the track; every time you drive in you see more, better, newer."

Andrea Kasiewicz, 2nd: "Dave's car was hooked up, he was really flying through the back straight and the esses. We were fighting a push all week." "Early on we had a shock problem. The air nozzle on the hose was bent, so it damaged the air valve on the shock. First we had oversteer, then it went to understeer. We never did get it dialed out, not even in this morning's practice. It was not so much a turn-in problem as a power understeer problem." "I'd like to thank Steve Johnson as crew chief / engineer, Johnson Engineering, Quicksilver engines, Penske shocks." "I didn't want it to rain, Dave's even tougher then. It's harder to pass. Better to have it a nice day for the spectators." "I managed to put in three races during the year, which is tough since I share the car with my dad. He races Nationals too."

Alexander Smith, 3rd: "The back straight was the fastest part of the track." "We had a great car today, I just had to drive well, position myself to move up. I wanted to drive smart, be here at the end." "I'd like to thank Chris Schneider for helping to prep the car. Quicksilver engines. Red Line Oil, Penske shocks." "I'd also like to thank Andrea and David for being great competition. I was glad I could step up to the plate and compete with and against them. Congratulations to both of them, I'm proud to be here."

S2000 1st: David Downey =AEMDNM=AFcar was hooked up, he was really flying through the back straight and the esses. We were fighting a push all week.

DD: I feel as good as I've been for a long, long time. The car was as neutral as could be front and rear. This particular track encourages driver's patience. If you push too hard, especially from Turns 6 through 11 you'll use up a lot of tires and equipment. I was very pleased with the car.

AK: Early on we had a shock problem. The air nozzle on the hose was bent, so it damaged the air valve on the shock. First we had oversteer, then it went to understeer, never did get it dialed out, not even in this morning's practice. Not so much a turn-in problem as a power understeer problem.

AS: Prep: Chris Schneider. Quicksilver engines. Red Line Oil, Penske shocks.

AK: Steve Johnson is crew chief / engineer, Johnson Engineering, Quicksilver engines, Penske shocks.

DD: ProMotions (Randy Hartman). Red Line Oil, Champion plugs, Penske shocks, Elite Motors (Steve Knapp), Lola chassis.

DD: I like the wet, I would've preferred a wet track. Two Nationals in this year were in the wet. We had a wet summer out here. May seem strange that I won in the dry, but I can do it either way.

AK: I didn't want it to rain, Dave's even tougher then. it's harder to pass, better to have it a nice day for the spectators.

AK:  Managed to put in three races, which is tough since I share the
car with my dad.  He races Nationals too.
DD:  I'll probably be back to defend my title.  It's only a 45 minute
drive!  MO is my home track.

AS: Thank Andrea and David for being great competition, glad I could step up to the plate and compete with and against them. Congratulations to both of them, I'm proud to be here.

DD: Thanks to MO race course, they put on a hell of a show. You can see this program keeps improving. They keep putting the money back in the track; every time you drive in you see more, better, newer.

RACE 18 - F Production

SportsCar picks: Craig Chima, MG Midget Rick Haynes, MG Midget Joe Huffaker, MG Midget

Grid Top 3: Joe Huffaker, Craig Chima, Harold Flescher

LAP 1: Joe Huffaker leads into the first turn and immediately starts to pull out an advantage over Craig Chima in second. LAP 2: Chima tries to make a move on the inside into turn 1, but tucks back in behind Huffaker. Rick Haynes is pressuring Harold Flescher for third. LAP 3: Chima tries again going into turn 1 and gets alongside, but backs off and follows Huffaker through the corner. Chima tries again on the inside at the end of the straight and makes the pass stick this time. Chima starts to show some smoke through the esses. LAP 4: Huffaker tries to make the same inside move on Chima at the end of the straight, but Chima closes the door on him. LAP 5: Three seconds back from the leaders, Flescher and Haynes continue their battle. A big gap back to Jim Saurino in fifth. Saurino slow dramatically through turn nine. LAP 6: Flescher and Haynes are closing on the leaders. The smoke from Chima's car seems to be increasing at certain locations on the track, but he still holds the lead over Huffaker. Huffaker tries to get underneath Chima going into the carousel and forces Chima wide. LAP 7: Huffaker gets by Chima as they start the lap and both Flescher and Haynes get by Chima as well. LAP 8: Some smoke coming from Haynes car now as well, possibly tire rub at the rear. Chima seems to be falling off the pace a little more. LAP 9: Chima overtakes Flescher going into turn 1 to take third. LAP 10: The top four are well away from the rest of the field. Huffaker has about 3 seconds over Haynes with Chima right behind. Chima tries to put a pass on Haynes at the end of the straight and takes over second. LAP 11: Chima is starting to make up ground on Huffaker. Fifth place Bill Niemeyer goes off at turn 1 and parks it in the gravel pit, leaving fifth to Bobby Wolf. LAP 13: Huffaker still leads, but Chima has closed to within a second and Haynes is just another second back in third. Chima is still showing a lot of smoke through some of the corners. LAP 14: The lead battle is coming up on some slower traffic. Haynes spins coming out of turn 1, but quickly gets it going again. Chima loses it at turn 2 and parks the car. Huffaker has the lead all to himself now. LAP 15: Huffaker now has a ten second advantage over Flescher in second. Haynes follows in third at a distance. LAP 19: Huffaker goes into his last lap with a huge lead over Flescher. Haynes is another ten seconds back in third. It's then over thirty seconds back to Johnson in fourth and another 15 seconds to the battle for fifth between Mark Irwin and Bobby Wolf, almost a full lap down.

Joe Huffaker takes the National Championship with Harold Flescher second and Rick Haynes third.

Joe Huffaker was selected for the Stack, Inc. "Drive of the Race" award and Gary Johnson was selected for the "Outstanding Drive" award, also sponsored by Stack, Inc.

Top Three Driver Quotes Race #18 FP

Raw Notes

FP 1st: Joe Huffaker 2nd: Harold Flescher 3rd: Rick Haynes

RH: The car just wouldn't go any faster. Just didn't bring a good enough car. You saw a good race today, that may be ending thanks to SCCA,, Nick Craw at the top, all the way down, trying to get rid of production classes. Remember interview with Nick Craw several years ago where he said Production cars are irrelevant. There are other circumstances with comp board, they constantly lie to us with what they tell us at the Runoffs. Peter Quenet and Brian Holtz are going around talking about roll bar stuff and yet there are no rules in place for '98. I think they'd like to see the classes diminish so they combine us into one or two classes like Production 1, Production 2. Think they're trying to get rid of us. Comp Brd took ruling for EP about disk brakes and spread it across all production classes. More importantly, they're sneaky about it. We leave here thinking they realized the membership is against something, next thing we know across the winter it's being submitted to the board. Sequential gearboxes, disk brakes, roll bar issue, and it goes on.

HF: It may be the directors instead of the comp board.

Let's get back to the racing!

HF: How'd I get to second? Ricky spun, Craig crashed, it was good planning on my part! I've been racing since 1962. I did hillclimbs and gymkhanas in 1961.

JH: Regained lead on lap 6. I had a big moment, my foot caught in the pedals, rest of it I had pretty good focus, the race was on. Crew chief Frank probably best MG Midget guy in the land.

RH: Tires were fantastic all year; Goodyear is one of the best supporters of racing, we'd never say bad things about them!

RH: Joe went inside of Craig, then Craig went wide and let me by on the inside.

HF: 4th year in a row I've been in second place.

JH: Car sounded a little flat at the end. It's a different exhaust system, if I get off the throttle a little it sounds different. I don't think that car will be back. If I have to redo the car with the new roll bar rules it would destroy the integrity of the car.

HF: I've got probably the strongest roll bar at MO, yet they want me to add an extra bar next year.

RH: We three may have resources to build new cars, but the guys at the end of the field may just go somewhere else like Vintage. Make the directors show you statistics on why the changes are needed. They can't.

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Duke Johnson , Jamie Houseman , Joe Huffaker , Bill Niemeyer , Mark Irwin , Steve Knapp , Craig Chima , Alexander Smith , Jim Rauck , Steve Johnson , John Gary