RACE: Valvoline Runoffs: Goodyear - Joe Huffaker feature

Huffaker depends on Goodyear tires in National title bid. LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 14-15, 2002)-- Joe Huffaker won two national championships at the 2001 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs, but he wants more this year. Huffaker won the F Production...

Huffaker depends on Goodyear tires in National title bid.

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 14-15, 2002)-- Joe Huffaker won two national championships at the 2001 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs, but he wants more this year. Huffaker won the F Production and GT5 races last season as a driver, becoming only the 10th person in Runoff history to win more than once in the same year.

This year, as a driver and car builder, Huffaker has six cars racing in five classes. Huffaker will drive his Mini Cooper in the GT5 class, defending his national title in that class. The Huffaker-prepared cars expected to compete here this week include the MG Midgets driven by Mike Pinney and Charles Guest in F Production, Dan Huntsman's G Production Midget, Rob Giorgi's Ford Mustang in the GT1 Class and the Mazda Miata driven by Pratt Cole in the E Production class.

Huffaker has won seven national titles and each came on Goodyear tires. He has pinned his hopes, and those of his customers, on Goodyear again this year.

"It's nice to be able to offer (his clients) good engineering, from the ground up, with Goodyear tires," Huffaker said.

Huffaker, who lives in Petaluma, Calif. with his wife Leslie and their three children, has tremendous experience in this event. His seven titles are third on the SCCA's all-time list. But winning two championships in one day was an experience he said he would not forget.

"It was awesome," the lanky driver said." The whole year (as a double champion) has been great. That's something that never goes away."

Huffaker's GT5 car races on Goodyear's D1505 tire. The veteran driver said he likes the new piece."They seem to be very stable and they don't overheat," he said.

Winning even one SCCA national title is a career goal for most amateur racers. Huffaker and his mates are shooting for five this week and he said the task is a daunting one.

"I hope that we win all of them, but it was a tough thing to win two last year," he admitted."It's the sort of thing, in one race weekend, that doesn't happen a lot."

Practice and qualifying continue for all classes through Thursday before the championship races begin Friday. Each race will be carried via tape-delay by SPEED Channel.

Huffaker has raced on fast, dependable Goodyear tires through his entire career. This weekend, along with his mates, he'll chase more championship dreams on the wings of Goodyear.

-goodyear racing-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Joe Huffaker , Pratt Cole , Rob Giorgi , Charles Guest