Sunday, Sep 24
Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for, where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email  


Despite a late-race caution erasing his comfortable lead, defending Formula Enterprises Champion Scott Rettich, of Columbus, Ohio, cruised to victory at the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, earning the SCCA Club Racing Super Sweep in the process. Robin Shute, of Newark, Calif., and Reece Everard, of Lake Orion, Mich., completed the FE podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Rettich, the Tire Rack Pole winner and three-time FE Champion was the favorite to win Saturday’s FE race. The driver of the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/PDI Comms Systems SCCA Formula Enterprises/Ford didn’t disappoint the oddsmakers, leading the 20-lap race from start to finish.
“I was certainly feeling the pressure,” Rettich said. “I knew there was a lot of strong locals. I didn’t get an opportunity to make the long trek out here and do any test days in advance, so I knew I’d have to make the most of the limited seat time to get the car setup. Luckily, all the sessions went pretty well, so we were able to go into the race with a good setup and I got my line all dialed in and everything.”
Rettich led the 11-car FE field to the green flag and through Turn One without issue. By lap four, he had already built a 4.455-second lead to second-place. That gap held around four seconds until a late-race full-course caution was issued for a Formula Mazda car stuck off course in Turn Two. The FM class was run in conjunction with FE.
“I certainly had some pressure from behind and I had to do my best to get through traffic without taking any unnecessary risks,” recalled Rettich. “I was certainly being held up in traffic. Everyone was being fair, but they weren’t pointing me by.”
Luckily for Rettich, several FM cars served as buffers between him and second-place Everard on the lap 18 restart. It may not have mattered either way, however, as Rettich again pulled away from the pack, crossing the finish line with a 2.863-second lead.
The win not only earned Rettich his fourth FE crown, but also his fourth SCCA Club Racing Super Sweep, awarded to drivers who win a Majors Conference Championship, one of 10 key Majors races, win the National point standings and the Runoffs in a single class.
Though he dropped a position on the start, it didn’t take long for Shute to have his No. 49 Motorsport Formula Enterprises back in the hunt.
“Starting from second is worse than third for sure,” Shute said. “I knew Brandon [Aleckson] was going to be a bit of a hero going into Turn Two, that was a bit expected. I waited for that to happen, but Reece was also right behind him and did a really good job. But I knew the race was long and I was confident I had the legs on him.
“I accepted my fate, kept it clean, didn’t hit anyone, let it happen and tried to get by Reece. He was running really well. I kind of had to get my brain in gear and do my best to overtake him. He was weak going into Turn Five. My first go I out-braked him into it, but he did a real good job of railing around the outside. We had a really good battle. He gave me just enough room; nothing more, nothing less, as he should. Then about two laps later I tried it again and was slightly better mid-corner and could pull alongside him and we had a cute drag race up Six.”
Shute was into second, scoring the Go Pro Hero Move of the Race Award in the process, but Rettich appeared long gone. A late-race yellow might have provided the rookie with a chance to challenge Rettich for the lead, but FM traffic between the two prevented such an opportunity. Instead, Shute needed to focus on keeping Everard behind him in the final two laps, which he did by 0.394-second at the line.
Everard, in the No. 61 SCCA Formula Enterprises, had a great start, moving from fourth to second, but was immediately under pressure from Shute. On lap three, Shute was around for second and although Everard was able to hang with him, FM traffic eventually widened the gap between the two.
“I managed to get ahead of him (Shute) at the start,” Everard said. “He made a couple attempts to pass me going into Turn Five and Six. I managed to hold him off for a couple laps, but eventually I couldn’t hang on anymore and he managed to get past me. Coming into lapped traffic is when we started to fall back and it was just about catching up after that.”
The late yellow looked like it might give Everard the chance he need to get back around Shute, but FM traffic hindered Everard’s chances and he crossed the line behind Shute in third.
“It was close,” recalled Everard. “It was hard with the Mazdas between us on the restart. I knew I’d have to make a pretty bold move to get around them all going into Turn Two. I managed to, but we all kept our gaps and were running consistent times. It was just a drag race from there.”
John Yeatman, of Newcastle, Calif., finished fourth. Justin Huffman, of Herndon, Va., completed the top five.
Keith McDonald, of Ranson, W. Va., was awarded the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing three positions during the 20-lap race, from 11th on the grid to eighth at the finish.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on
 Mike Anderson, of Anza, California, brought home his first SCCA National Championship Runoffs® title Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after three runner-up finishes in four prior attempts. Houstonians Alan McCallum and Stuart Rettie finished second and third, respectively.
Anderson started the race on the Tire Rack pole, in his No. 42 HASA/Whiteflyer Formula Mazda, and was able to take home the win in the 20-lap race that averaged 83.084 mph at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course, which was slowed by one full-course caution. But, the way in which he took the win was more complicated than that.
Following the full-course yellow, which started on lap 16 and lasted for two laps, the race was on for the win between Anderson and McCallum. Following the lap-18 restart, McCallum bided his time and got around Anderson on the next circuit. After McCallum took the white flag, it was Anderson’s turn to jump to the lead under braking for Turn Two also earning him the GoPro Hero Move of the Race.
“I knew I was going to have my hands full, from the start, with Darryl [Wills] and Alan [McCallum] behind me,” Anderson said. “After that yellow flag came out, I knew we were going to have our work cut out for us. The restart was going to make our break our race. Alan did a great job of capitalizing on every opportunity he had to get by me.
“We were side-by-side, splitting traffic. It was an amazing race. I had a good run coming off the last corner and when I saw the white flag, I knew that the race would be decided in Turn Two. He [McCallum] did everything he could do to keep me behind him, but we were able to make it happen. In four previous attempts, I have been a runner-up three times. So, it is just amazing to win this.”
Until the yellow flag, McCallum, in his No. 19 Alan McCallum Racing Formula Mazda, was constantly hounding Anderson threatening to pounce at any mistake. What was initially the fight for second became the battle for the lead after then-leader and defending Champion Darryl Wills was black-flagged for being over the sound limit. It wasn’t until lap 19 that McCallum was able to jump into the lead, taking advantage of Wills being called to the pits.
“When the full course yellow came out, I was behind Mike [Anderson],” McCallum said. “I took some time to gather my thoughts and calm down a little bit to prepare for a battle. Mike got a little sideways through Turn Five, going up the hill, and I was able to get around him.
“Then, coming down the front straight, we got the white flag. Mike had a good draft on me and was able to get through the corner a little better than I did. In the braking zone for Turn Two, I tried to go as deep as I could but just couldn’t hold onto the position.”
Rettie, in his No. 21 Hillenburg Motorsports/Speed Connection Formula Mazda, took home his first Runoffs podium finish in his fourth attempt.
“I was rear-ended right at the start, which put me off a little bit,” Rettie said. “For most of the race I rode around in fifth or sixth. Luckily, for me the full course yellow came out, giving me a chance to close in on everyone. I counted about four or five cars ahead of me and was just able to make the last-lap pass stick at the top of the Corkscrew, for third.”
Finishing fourth was William Weaver, of Fresno, California, driving the No. 67 James Parker Insurance Associates Formula Mazda.
In the No. 2 Thanks Goodyear/Mazda Formula Mazda, Mel Kemper, of Toledo, Washington, completed the top five positions.
Brad Drew, of Trabuco Canyon, California, started the race in 14th and was able to finish seventh, at the controls of his No. 78 Life+Gear Lighting Formula Mazda. That performance earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger award.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on
Collin Jackson, of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, extended his perfect record in SCCA National Championship competition, winning the GT-3 Runoffs® race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. John Black, of Olympic Valley, California, and John Goddard, of Lafayette, California, completed the podium.
Driving the No. 53 Nissan 240-SX, Jackson started from the Tire Rack Pole Position and got away cleanly at the start. Black’s No. 17 Murillo Racing Nissan 350Z was never far behind, though, as the duo built a near 40-second gap over third place.
Try as Black might, he never attempted to pass for the lead, and Jackson recorded a 0.938-second victory, averaging 82.777 mph. It was Jackson’s third SCCA National Championship in three tries, joining his 2003 title from Mid-Ohio and his 2006 title from Heartland Park Topeka.
“Today’s run was good,” Jackson said. “It was tighter than I thought it was going to be, but that’s good. I love racing. That’s why I came down here; to have a good race and I did. John [Black] gave me a couple of moments to cool my tires and that was critical. I was able to pick it up a bit when he got close. I had something left in the tank.
“I’m so glad (SCCA) brought the Runoffs back out here. We put in so much effort to go east. People were like ‘hey, we’re in the Midwest, what are you complaining about?’ and we were like ‘It’s a five-day drive, man!’ When you work for a living, 21 days off is a huge commitment. So it’s great to have the race here. I ran many years here in the old SCCA NASPORT semi-pro series and we had some barnburners in the old days. This place just has really great memories for me.”
Jackson also turned the race’s fastest lap, with a 1:36.002 (83.923 mph).
Black, who has three gold medals of his own, earned his fifth-career silver medal after starting on the outside of the front row.
“I thought I’d have a little more car to battle with Collin, but I had a problem in that the dash and data system we lost on Thursday and we never got it fixed again,” Black said. “I was out there trying to just feel where to make my shifts. I think I was doing a pretty good job at it, but I think a lot of them were a little too early or a little too late.
“The tires were pretty consistent the whole time. I think we were just trying to manage how badly we were sliding around at the end. I made three mistakes that allowed him to cool his tires a little bit more than me because I had to chase him down. In the end, there was just nothing left.”
Goddard started fifth, but moved around John Olsen on lap six to take third. After being dogged by Mike Henderson for several laps, he was able to pull away to a comfortable cushion over fourth place for his second podium finish in his first Runoffs appearance since 1993.
“Mike Henderson was pushing me pretty hard for three or four laps, and I made a pretty big mistake,” Goddard said. “I hit the inside curb at Turn Six and bent the left front wheel pretty bad. When I saw it, I was pretty surprised we finished. I settled down there a little bit and put in two or three good laps. He kind of faded back and then Olsen and Henderson and [Gary] Bockman were battling pretty hard back there. That was like Christmas for me.”
Dave Humphrey, of Langley, B.C., Canada, finished fourth in his No. 73 BM&M Screen Solutions Nissan 240-SX, earning the GoPro Hero Move of the Race for his passes for fifth in Turn 11 and fourth in the Corkscrew.
Olsen, of Monterey, California, finished fifth in his No. 61 Range Realty/Tarpy’s/int.Corp Mgt. Nissan 240SX.
Scott Graham, of Irvine, California, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing four positions in his No. 6 SCOS Orthopedics Mazda RX-7.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on

The #8 Toyota TS 040 Hybrid, driven by Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi, sealed a last-minute pole with Buemi setting a final lap time that ensured he just beat the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid. The Swiss ace’s final lap ensured an average time of 1m26.886s, which was 0.043s better than the Porsche.

Mark Webber looked to have confirmed pole for Porsche but, when the Australian pitted with a few minutes of the 25 minute session remaining, Buemi had his opportunity to send the local fans in to raptures.

It is the 10th pole position for Toyota since the inception of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the fourth time this season that the manufacturer has topped the qualifying times.

Porsche will start second and third, as the #14 Porsche Team's 919 Hybrid heads the second row, just ahead of local favourite Kazuki Nakajima, who along with team mates Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin had to settle for fourth fastest.

The Audi Sport Team Joest pair of Audi R18 e-tron quattros start the race from the third row of the grid, with the #2 crewed car of Treluyer, Lotterer and Fassler ahead of their #1 sister machine.

The LM1-L class will see the #12 Rebellion Racing R-One Toyota start the 6 Hours from pole position despite a brief technical problem that stopped them briefly on the track, triggering a short red flag period.

G-Drive led the way in the LMP2 class with its third pole of the 2014 season*. Olivier Pla and his team mate Roman Rusinov again set the fastest time and, together with Julien Canal, they ensured the best possible platform was achieved for the race tomorrow.

An impressive second place in LMP2 was the OAK Racing Morgan-Judd, with Alex Brundle and Gustavo Yacaman confirming the class front row position. Local heroine, Keiko Ihara, is also part of the driving squad for the French team and is confident for a strong race on home ground.  However, following post qualifying scrutineering the No.35 was found to have an excessive diameter engine air restrictor (Stewards Decision No.12) and had its times cancelled.  It will be allowed to start the race but from the back of the grid and must take a stop and go penalty during the race.  

Watch the final race of the season for the Continental Tire SportsCar on FOX Sports 1 Sunday, Oct. 12 at Noon ET. Road Atlanta hosts the finale with championships on the line in both the GS and ST classes. With only a few points separating the leaders of both classes, see who emerges with the championship trophies.

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Matt Reynolds, of Boerne, Texas, earned his first SCCA National Championship Saturday, winning E Production at the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Jim Daniels, of Germantown, Tennessee, and Aaron Downey, of Rossmoor, California, completed a Mazda podium sweep.
One year after having a Championship taken away due to on-track contact, Reynolds’ run was clean and dominant, leading all but one of the 20 laps around the 2.238-mile circuit. The 27-year-old started his No. 71 Reynolds Brother’s Racing/Jesse Prather Motorsports/Vintage Connection Mazda Miata from the Tire Rack Pole Position, but saw second-starting Daniels muscle past and into the lead at Turn Three. Daniels led the first circuit, but then ran wide at Turn Six, allowing Reynolds to slip past.
From there, Reynolds sped away to a 20.276-second victory.
“Last year was last year. That has been our mindset since then,” Reynolds said. “Immediately after we got back from the Runoffs last year, we looked forward to this year. I’m really excited to be here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It’s a track that I’ve been to quite a bit. I was excited to come back to race my cars on it and see what they could do. It’s gratifying and it feels great to get it.
“Jim [Daniels] got the lead and we kept racing. He got loose in six, did the gentleman thing and just kind of tucked in behind and let me go. It was a long race. The first couple of laps…they’re important, but they’re not everything.”
Daniels, who was the provisional polesitter with his No. 76 Mazda Miata after Wednesday’s second of three sessions, matched his career-best finish at the Runoffs of second.
“Our car was vandalized Tuesday night,” Daniels said. “Anything you could turn with your hands was changed overnight. I only had two 20-minute sessions to get everything back right to turn good lap times. We missed the setup, but Matt was spot on.
“At the end of the day, the car got free. It hadn’t been loose all week. You have to hit the setup right in these single-race events and I didn’t. But I had a wonderful week. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the event. At [Turn] Six, I hit my marks like I needed to and you have to trust that your car is going to do what you expect it to, but I had a big wiggle. I gathered it up and Matt went to the inside and I let him go. From there, I set a pace and just clicked off laps to get to the finish.”
Downey started fifth in his No. 5 Mazda RX-3, but moved to the lead battle immediately in the race’s opening laps behind the Miatas.
“I was actually surprised with how good the car was in the beginning,” Downey said. “In fact, after three laps, the car was getting better. But then, for some reason, I lost second gear, so going into those turns, I needed to slow it down more and pop it into first gear. When you do that, you just heat up those rear tires and it just went south from there. My dad kept telling me ‘Bruce [Qvale] is 10, six, four seconds behind you.’ I go ‘how many more laps do we have?’ I think I beat him by a few car lengths at the finish.
“Being on the podium here at Mazda Raceway, with what it means to Mazda and all of us that race Mazdas, is the highlight of my racing career.”
In the closing laps, Bruce Qvale, of Palm Beach, Florida, was gaining on Downey’s stricken machine with his No. 43 Huffaker Engineering Jensen-Healey, but came up 0.604-second short of the podium.
Jon Brakke, of Fargo, North Dakota, completed the top five in his No. 89 Margaret Peterson Bars Mazda Miata.
Reynolds became 2014’s first Super Sweep award winner, for a SafeRacer SCCA Club Racing driver that wins the nation-wide point championship, a U.S. Majors Tour Conference Championship, one of 10 key events in the Majors calendar and the National Championship Runoffs. Reynolds is also qualified to participate in Mazda’s MX-5 Cup shootout, which will award one driver with a scholarship to compete in the 2015 SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
Reynolds earned the GoPro Hero Move of the Race for his dominating performance. Michal Karpinski, of Hayward, California, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing from 26th to 17th in his No. 188 Rotary Evolution/Wacky Wankel Race Mazda RX-7.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on
Chaos reigned at the beginning of the race, and David Daughtery, of Fortville, Ind., came out victorious through a side-by-side battle to capture his eighth SCCA National Championship in Touring 3 on Friday at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Tom Wickersham, of San Ramon, Calif., and Marc Feinstein, of Cambridge, Mass., joined Daughtery on the podium.
The excitement in Touring 3 began just after the green flag, when second-starting Scotty White’s No. 0 BFGoodrich Tires/Got CDL?/Knight Transport/Hawk Ford Mustang and Rob Hines’ No. 4 Nissan/Hoosier/Carbotech/Red Line Nissan 350Z came together, collecting Jason Ott’s No. 09 BimmerHaus/Hoosier/Alpine Motorsports BMW Z4 and ending both White and Ott’s days. The incident brought out a full course caution, and also left damage on the No. 9 Honda Racing HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Honda S2000 of Kevin Boehm and dropped Hines to the rear of the field for the restart.
The shuffle moved the seventh-starting No. 01 Maine Straight/Competition Autowerks Ford Mustang of Wickersham up to third, just behind Daughtery’s Tire Rack pole position-winning No. 8 Nissan/Hoosier/Carbotech/Enkei Nissan 370Z and Marc Feinstein’s No. 93 German Perf Service/Hoosier/AWE Audi S4 on the restart.
Wickersham moved to second on the lap six restart going into the Corkscrew and by lap 14 had gotten to the rear of Daughtery’s Nissan. The pair went side-by-side for all of lap 15 and the start of 16, with Wickersham moving into the lead.
That lead didn’t last, however, as Wickersham ran wide in Turn Six. In front, Daughtery opened up a gap, and drove to his eighth National Championship.
It was the first Championship for Daughtery since 2002 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, who covered the 20-lap race in an average speed of 71.139 mph. Daughtery eventually won by 6.272 seconds over Wickersham, and turned the fastest lap of the race in 1:40.745 (79.972 mph) to establish a new track record. Only Jerry Hansen, Duane Davis, John Heinricy, and Joe Huffaker hold more titles.
“I’m feeling great,” Daughtery said. “We were so close last year, we just had a little failure. This year we’ve recouped and we’re here for our eighth championship.
“I’ve never raced with Tom before, but we ran the corners clean, side-by-side. We were sideways coming off of 11. We never bumped each other or hit each other. I just managed to spook him in one turn and that’s all it took. I think I had enough to make one more good run at him, but he gave me a gift and I’ll take it.”
Wickersham recovered from his off-course excursion to move back around Feinstein and finish as the runner-up.
“It was pretty tiresome and stressful,” Wickersham said of his battle. “I was waiting for him to make a mistake and give it to me, but in the end I made a mistake.
“I was going into Turn Six and David had a run I didn’t want to chop him and I drove myself off in Turn Six.”
For Feinstein, the podium finish was almost unthinkable going into the race. Feinstein’s Audi was built from a new street car using only street-legal parts, but the day almost ended when he was caught up slightly in the first lap incident. The damage didn’t seem to slow him much, however, and he held on for his highest career finish.
“My plan going into the race was to be conservative at the start, conservative through the race so I had a car at the end,” Feinstein said. “I had a conservative start and everything was good going through Turn Two. Going through Three, everything was flying everywhere and I didn’t have anyplace to go, so I ended up catching the back of Kevin Boehm’s Honda S2000. Luckily it wasn’t too much damage, but I wasn’t really sure because I don’t have radio communication with my crew so I was guessing.
“I didn’t think a podium was realistic. I was just hoping to learn the track and be mid-pack. I was surprised by the pace of the car and I was happy that it was a great car.”
Sage Marie drove his No. 64 Honda Racing HPD/BFGoodrich Tires Acura TL from eight to finish fourth and win the Sunoco Hard Charger Award. Boehm recovered enough from the first lap incident, despite damage on the front and the rear of the car, to finish fifth.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on
 Andrie Hartanto, of Concord, Calif., was the class of the Street Touring Under division in the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Hartanto cruised to the STU title over Rylan Hazelton, of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Anthony Simmers, of Boulder, Colo. 

Starting from the Tire Rack Pole, Hartanto held the STU lead through the first lap before a full-course caution was issued for an accident in the Touring 3 class, which was run in conjunction with STU.
On the restart, Hazelton nearly took over the lead with a daring move in Turn 2, but it cost him dearly, as he fell back into the clutches of third-placed Carl Young. The battle between Hazelton and Young for second enabled Hartanto to slowly pull away from the rest of the STU field. He cruised to the checkered flag untouched and crossed the finish line with a 5.373-second margin of victory, averaging 73.349 mph.
“It feels incredible,” Hartanto said. “I had high hopes. We did a lot of preparations and tried everything. The team really pulled through. We had a lot of accidents throughout the year and they always pulled through. The race itself was amazing. We were on the back step for the first two days chasing Rylan for the pole position. We had to ask our friends to come with alignment equipment on the second day to make sure we could catch him. We laid down a pretty good lap and got the pole and that set the tone. I’m really happy.”
Hazelton’s brave move for the race lead in his No. 49 Driving Ambition/HPD/Comptech Honda S2000 earned him the Go Pro Hero Move of the Race Award, though it nearly cost him a runner-up finish. After battling with Young for several laps, Hazelton took a firm hold on second place, but was unable to reel in Hartanto.
“It was an opportunity that I saw and I decided to go for it,” Hazelton said of his move for the lead. “I’m a little happy I didn’t end up in the sand trap. I only lost one position and unfortunately, by the time I got back around Andrie had checked out enough that I didn’t have enough to give him and I had gotten my tires pretty hot by that point.
“It’s very nice to be on the podium, but obviously we were shooting for the win at my home track. This is our second Runoffs. A podium is nice, but we wanted the top step.”
Starting fifth, Simmers was pleasantly surprised to take his No. 45 Volkswagen GTI to the podium considering the consternation he and his crew had endured in the days leading up to the race.
“It was a very long day,” Simmers said. “We had some error codes after the second qualifying and have been chasing gremlins on the car. We were up all night and all day until about an hour before the race trying to get the car ready. We went to a couple Volkswagen dealerships for parts. At any rate, we ended up driving with error codes and down on power so we were fortunate to keep close to the leaders. We were reeling in fourth and he went off in Turn 11 and that gave us third place with two to go.
“There have been so many people that have helped us. I can’t even explain how little of a budget we’re on. We have no radio communication, no telemetry, I just drive by the seat of my pants.”
Simmers drive from fifth to third also earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award.
Local driver, Young, of Salinas, Calif., crossed the finish line in fourth. Bruce Trenery, of Berkely, Calif., finished fifth.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on
Chris Farrell, of Salt Lake City, Utah, proved to be the class of the Prototype 1 field at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as he took a flag-to-flag win. Lee Alexander, of Las Vegas, Nevada, finished second, ahead of Jim Devenport, of Modesto, California.
Farrell, in his No. 58 C&M Manufacturing/GDR Engines/Hoosier/Geartro Stohr WF1 Suzuki, put on a dominating performance. Not only did he lead the race from the Tire Rack pole, but Farrell finished with a four-second lead in a race that included one restart at the midway point. The lap-10 restart came after the course was put under a full-course yellow for three laps, which slowed the average race pace to 82.649 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit.
The full-course yellow was brought out after the No. 32 Rill Tech/Hoosier Speads RS11 Suzuki of Kirk Kindsfater pulled off course at the entrance to Turn Two after catching fire. While the full-course yellow was the last thing that Farrell wanted to see, he was able to make the best of the situation pulling off a masterful restart.
“I was most worried about the start,” Farrell said. “With Lee [Alexander] and Jim [Devenport] having larger engines, I knew that they were going to have the advantage when it came to torque. My car is light and nimble, but their cars are a little more powerful coming out of the turns. In a drag race, I would definitely end up third of the group. Throughout the race there was quite an ebb and flow between the different types of cars.
“When we got the double yellows, I had to figure out a creative way to restart. I was trying to be as devious as I could be. Everyone else’s tires seemed to be a little slick, so I think I had the advantage there. It feels really great to repeat as a National Champion. This win is really gratifying, especially since I was able to beat a couple really great drivers. Lee, Jim and I have raced together for years, and we always have a good time racing each other on track.”
Driving his No. 48 Factory48/APE Raceparts Stohr WF1 Suzuki, Lee Alexander scored his third consecutive Runoffs podium finish after finishing Friday’s race in second. He also captured the GoPro Hero Move of the Race by capturing the fast lap of the race with a time of 1:22.397.
“First off, I want to thank my crew for getting this car put together,” Alexander said. “We haven’t been in the car since April. It’s been sitting in the shop, and with these guys getting the car up to snuff it’s been great. Since I haven’t been here since 2010, I also had to work at getting up to speed.
“I think the race went really well. It took me a while to get past Jim [Devenport], since he’s so fast and this is just a tough place to pass. Once I got by him, I knew it was going to be a real challenge to catch Chis [Farrell]. So, I’m happy with second.”
In his first visit to the Runoffs, Devenport finished on the podium. He piloted his No. 23 Cranbrook Group Inc. Norma M20FC Honda, to a third place finish in the newly-formed class.
“This podium is a great representation of the new class structure,” Devenport said. “Chris [Farrell] runs the 1,000-pound Stohr with a 1,000cc engine, Lee [Alexander] runs the 1,125-pound Stohr with a 1,600cc engine and I run European prototype that weighs over 1,400 pounds with a Honda car engine, making about 270 horsepower. It’s like the story of the three bears.
“It was a good test and we were able to put on a show with some different types of cars. We just got this car in March, so we’ve been struggling to get up to speed. We ran an older Norma until this year and knew we couldn’t compete with that. If you told me back in March that we would be on the Runoffs podium, I would have taken it. I’m tickled with the experience. I’m 59, and this is my first Runoffs. It’s like a dream come true to get this far and get this thing done.
“We have two SCCA Hall of Famers from Modesto that have won numerous C Sports Racer National Championships. Our goal is to bring a prototype Championship back to Modesto, eventually.”
Christopher Ash, of Centennial, Colorado, recorded his career-best Runoffs finish after moving from Formula 1000. He crossed the under the checkered flag in the fourth position, at the controls of his No. 67 Scanworks Medical/Rilltech Racing Speads RS11 Suzuki.
Completing the top five positions was Dave Tweedlie, of Riverside, California. Driving his No. 65 Team Tweedlie Racing Stohr WF1 Suzuki, this was Tweedlie’s first time to compete in the National Championship event for SCCA Club Racing.
Taking the Sunoco Hard Charger award was John Shine, of Sonoma, California. During the 20-lap race, Shine started sixth and drove his No. 15 LisRobin Farm Stohr WF1 Suzuki to sixth.
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on
After a spirited battle with Max Mallinen and Chuck Horn, Jeremy Grenier, of Charles Town, W. Va., broke away from the pack in the closing laps of the Formula F National Championship race to win his first SCCA National Championship Runoffs title. Horn, of Los Gatos, Calif., and Ethan Shippert, of Petaluma, Calif., completed the podium.

Starting second in the No. 21 Ski Motorsports/Hoosier/ELR/KDD Citation Formula F Honda, Grenier, was immediately on the attack, passing the TireRack pole winner Tim Kautz for the lead in Turn Two. The move earned Grenier the GoPro Hero Move of the Race Award. Kautz, the back-to-back defending Formula F Champion was then removed from the equation when he got together with Thomas Merrill in Turn Six. The incident brought out the race’s first of three full-course caution periods.
Grenier could not rest easy, however, as 16-year-old Mallinen nailed the restart and took over the lead in Turn Two. Mallinen led Grenier and Horn until the next full-course caution a few laps later.
History repeated itself again on the ensuing restart, this time with Grenier reclaiming the lead and Horn following him around Mallinen. This green flag period was short lived and almost immediately returned to yellow for two cars getting together in Turn 11.
On the restart, Mallinen was able to get around Horn for second and set his sights back on Grenier. Mallinen chased Grenier hard through slower traffic and may have been pushing too hard when he spun on his own at the top of the Corkscrew with two laps to go. This handed the runner-up spot to Horn, but the gap to Grenier was too large to overcome in the remaining two laps.
Grenier crossed the finish line 5.121 seconds ahead of Horn to claim his first SCCA National Championship Runoffs win, averaging 74.823 mph.
“Max got me on the next restart,” Grenier recalled. “I had the speed on him in the infield stuff, but he was fast on the straight. For the last restart, I think I went around the outside of him, I slid out and got a nice run to Three. After that I was able to get a big enough gap so he couldn’t catch up to me on the straightaway.
“When I went through the Corkscrew and Max didn’t come out the other side, I thought ‘okay, I can slow down just a little bit.’
Horn, too, faced no further challenge for second in the final laps and was ecstatic to finish second in his very first Runoffs.
“I think I caught some lapped traffic at one point and that put me back,” Horn said. “I never really made that up. There was a few corners where it seemed like I’d gain a little bit and others where I’d lose a little bit. At that point I was able to relax a little bit, which is good because this is my first Runoffs.
Mallinen attempted to hold on to a podium after his spin, but ended his race in the Turn 10 gravel with damage. This gave third-place to Ethan Shippert, who finally earned his first Runoffs podium in his sixth start.
“I feel fortunate,” Shippert said. “I got a little gift there on the last lap, but I’ve had a couple races taken away from me that way, so I guess it comes around. It was a great race and really action packed. I couldn’t run with the lead group of guys, but I could hold my own in fourth. I watched them run away, but I seemed to be able to pull away from the next group. “
GT-1 Tire Rack Pole winner Michael Lewis, of Poway, Calif., finished fourth in the No. 12 RedLine Oil/Cyclo Vestal 09F Honda. Alex Kirby, of Signal Hill, Calif., completed the top five in the No. 81 Fast Forward Racing Components Piper DL7 Honda.
Stan Townes, of Santa Clara, Calif., climbed from 25th to 14th and earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
Runoffs rookie Mallinen, of Liberty Lake, Wash., set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:32.820 (86.800 mph).
The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on

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