CENTENNIAL, Colo. (October 13, 2001) - With the cancellation of Round Nine at Daytona International Speedway in September, Keith Scharf, of St. Louis, Mo., clinched the championship and earned his first SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer title. The ...
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (October 13, 2001) - With the cancellation of Round Nine at Daytona International Speedway in September, Keith Scharf, of St. Louis, Mo., clinched the championship and earned his first SCCA Pro Racing Pro Spec Racer title. The series shifts to Lime Rock Park this weekend for the season finale. Scharf, pilot of the No. 82 Tech Hyper-V Spec Racer, maintains a 25-point lead (120 to 95) over four-time and defending series Champion Warren Stilwell, of Hartville, Ohio, with only 20 points maximum available per event.
"It is truly a great honor and accomplishment to finally win the Pro Spec Racer Championship," said Scharf. "We have always been a strong contender for the title, but this is the season where everything fell into place for our team."
Stilwell, driver of the No. 28 Stilwell Racing Spec Racer, is the only driver to win multiple titles in the series and has written the record books in every statistical category.
Scharf has been in Stilwell's shadow, often times directly in his rearview, since the series inception eight years ago. He stands second to Stilwell in career wins, top-three, top-five and top-10 finishes, number of pole positions and fastest race laps.
However, 2001 proved to be the year for Scharf to bring it all together. Once again driving for prominent Pro Spec Racer team owner Tom Hunt, Scharf got off to a modest start and, early-on, it looked like the favorite Stilwell would rout the opposition in search of his fifth title.
Stilwell got out of the gates quick, recording two wins in the first four races. But the turning point for Stilwell came in Round Five at Chicago Motor Speedway. At the time, Scharf (48 points) trailed 1996 Champion James Goughary Jr. and Stilwell by seven, as the two led 56 and 55, respectively. Goughary Jr. and Stilwell make the costly decision to sit out the only oval event of the year and Scharf capitalized in a major way, recording his first win of the year and catapulted over Goughary Jr and Stilwell to a 12-point lead.
Never looking back from the win in Chicago, Scharf went on to record top-two finishes in the three events that followed, extending his point lead every race.