RACE: Valvoline Runoffs: Goodyear - Keith Lively feature

Goodyear Team has lively chance in Formula Atlantic LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 18, 2002)-- Keith Lively figures he has some ground to make up. About a car length, as it turns out. When the field takes the green flag for Lively and the...

Goodyear Team has lively chance in Formula Atlantic

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 18, 2002)-- Keith Lively figures he has some ground to make up. About a car length, as it turns out.

When the field takes the green flag for Lively and the other Formula Atlantic competitors in the 2002 SCCA Valvoline Runoffs at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course here, he will use fast, dependable Goodyear tires to bridge that gap.

Lively, a California businessman, very nearly won the Formula Atlantic national championship race in the 2001 Runoffs, losing to Larry Connor by just a few feet in a thrilling finish. Lively has set his sights on winning this year.

"You focus all year on this event," Lively said."For us, it was particularly frustrating last year because we started on pole and came in second by a tenth of a second. We'd like to think we have a chance this year. It's a race that's long in coming. You wait for a year and once you're here, you're here again for a protracted period of time."

The Runoffs is the SCCA's national championship event. The weekend includes championship races for 24 classes. Drivers earn berths in the Runoffs through regional competition during the season.

Practice and qualifying continue through Thursday, Sept. 19. The championship races will be held Friday through Sunday. Each race will be carried, via tape-delay, by SPEED Channel.

Lively, 51, lives in San Francisco with his wife, Louise. He has raced for 10 seasons and he is driving in his third Runoffs. He had raced on other tire brands in the past, but said he wanted the advantage of having the world's largest tiremaker on his side this time.

"The support we have received during the course of the year has been invaluable and much appreciated," Lively said." That's the major reason why we wanted Goodyear tires. If you have a technical question, you can ask someone and get an answer...That's terribly important to us. When you get into club racing, you're talking about small teams with limited resources. You don't have a lot of people. So, if you can get involved with someone-- a partner if you will-- who provides an additional resource that you don't have, that's very, very important and it was a big element in us wanting to run Goodyear tires."

The Formula Atlantic cars are winged, open-wheeled racers that resemble the cars that race in the Indianapolis 500. Their four-cylinder engines generate about 245 horsepower. Many of America's top drivers raced in Formula Atlantic cars early in their careers. The list of Runoffs champions in the class includes Bobby Rahal and Kevin Cogan.

The weather in central Ohio is unpredictable, but Lively said he may have an advantage over other drivers should it rain on race day."I like the Goodyear rain tires," he said after a recent test." It's the first time I've been on them. I thought they were very good and, if it rains, we'll be very comfortable."

Keith Lively and his team are chasing a national championship in this year's SCCA Runoffs and they depend on Goodyear tires to help get the job done.

-goodyear racing--

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Keith Lively , Kevin Cogan