RACE: Valvoline Runoffs: Prendevilles finish 1-2 in FC

Andrew Prendeville took the lead from his older brother, Doug, and ran away to win by over three seconds for the 2002 Formula Continental Sports Car Club of America National Championship. It was an exciting SCCA Valvoline Runoffs® battle, with...

Andrew Prendeville took the lead from his older brother, Doug, and ran away to win by over three seconds for the 2002 Formula Continental Sports Car Club of America National Championship. It was an exciting SCCA Valvoline Runoffs® battle, with Doug taking the lead away from his brother on a lap 4 restart, and then Andrew taking the place back for good four laps later with an outbraking pass in the esses.

The race got off to a clean start, Andrew leading away from the pole with class stalwart Dave Weitzenhof following close behind from the outside of the front row. Doug was third, having passed Brian Tomasi, Jerry Szykulski, and Tim Minor after they got the green flag. Minor was up to fourth, with Szykulski and Tomasi behind.

On the second lap, the pace car condensed the field so a wrecker could be dispatched to pull Charles Moran's car from the gravel trap at the Keyhole. It was a quick cleanup, so the field got to go racing again on lap 4.

On the restart, Doug Prendeville did another amazing start, braking two car lengths later than anyone else and passing both Weitzenhof and his brother easily. Justin Hodges also had a good restart from seventh place and was pressuring Weitzenhof for 3rd place. Hodges and Weitzenhof locked wheels and slid off the track at the exit of the esses, both of them out of the race.

The first four cars (Doug, Andrew, Minor, and Tomasi) were nose to tail, and they pulled away from the two-car battle between Mark Defer and Szykulski for fifth place. Another five seconds behind them, Kym Fontana, Steve Thompson and Eric Schwartz were contesting seventh.

On lap eight, Andrew repassed his brother and began pulling steadily away, running nearly a full second per lap faster. One lap later, Tomasi got around Minor for third place and set off to make up the two-second gap to Doug Prendeville.

Szykulski finally got past Defer for fifth and went chasing after Minor. The race among Fontana, Thompson and Schwartz came apart on lap 13, when Fontana got loose and spun in the Carousel turn and Schwartz peeled off into the pits with a poor running car. On the next lap, Szykulski got too close to Minor under braking for the esses and spun his car. He remained in fifth place, but lost about six seconds getting back underway and wasn't able to challenge again.

Andrew Prendeville held his comfortable lead to the end, as Doug was kept busy trying to keep the second position from a persistent charge by Tomasi. Minor finished fourth and Szykulski stayed in fifth, despite a car that was handling poorly after his earlier spin. Defer finished sixth ahead of Thompson, Fontana and Dan Bruggeman.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Doug Prendeville , Mark Defer , Dan Bruggeman , Brian Tomasi