Adam Sinclair

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 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 Examiner.com., 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 SpeedwayDigest.com.

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  

  

 
 Cliff Ira, of Kansas City, Missouri, nursed his a wounded car to a barn-burner of an SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Super Touring Lite win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in his first trip to the event. Brian Laughlin, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Spencer Trenery, of Berkeley, California completed the podium. 

Ira’s No. 36 Fira Motorsports Acura Integra GSR was billowing smoke as it crossed the finish line, averaging 78.189 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course.
 
Ira started the race as the Tire Rack Polesitter, but Trenery’s No. 8 Fantasy Junction/TOP1 Motors Acura Integra controlled the early pace of the 20-lap race as he built a gap of more than six seconds.
 
The eventual champion sat third after getting passed by Laughlin’s No. 27 Tulsa Radiology/Mazda/Hoosier/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata on lap five before beginning his march to the front. He got back around Laughlin on lap nine, then put his head down and ran fast laps to chase down Trenery. On lap 16, Ira was back in the lead.
 
With two laps remaining in the race, smoke began to pour from the rear of Ira’s Acura. However, the seemingly-inevitable mechanical failure forcing Ira’s early retirement from the race never happened, and he completed the final two laps of the race to capture the title in his maiden attempt.
 
“There was enough oil to make oil pressure,” Ira said. “That’s about all I need. I had my brother Greg on the radio, and he just told me to watch my gauges. He asked me if I was losing power, and I wasn’t, so I was just thinking well, if I could breathe, I can drive this thing because it was all in the cockpit. I just stayed in it, and it had pressure to the end.
 
“This was a year-and-a-half plan. This is a really close class. They created this STL class, and I’m an IT racer. The ability to take my car and go National racing, this was my opportunity. My brother Greg is an E Production racer, and I can go racing with him now. It started a year and a half ago to come to this Runoffs. This is one of my favorite places to visit and watch the Monterey Historics. This is truly a dream come true.
 
“We talk about luck, and sometimes the Runoffs is 90 percent luck. Luck was on my side, today. I thought my motor was going to let go, I didn’t know what was going on. I got lucky, and have to take my hat off to these guys. They drove a great race. I’m just stoked.”
 
While Trenery’s tires faded, Laughlin followed Ira’s lap 16 pass by making a move for second under braking entering the Corkscrew, earning him the GoPro Hero Move of the Race.
 
“Going into the Corkscrew, I thought it’s now or never. I’ve gotta go for it, I’ve got to try,’” Laughlin said. “I stuck it in there and it worked. The Acuras had a little more top end power on the straightaways, and we’d catch up in a few of the turns. To have a class like this right now, that is so equal, it’s pretty neat. The outcome of it is great. It was so close, nobody ran away from anyone else, and that’s all I wanted was a close, clean and fair race.
 
Still two seconds back, Laughlin’s only hope at a National Championship in the closing stages was a failure from Ira.
 
“Selfishly, Greg and I are still friends, but I was thinking come on baby, let go!” Laughlin exclaimed. “I thought I felt oil on the track, I wasn’t sure. But I thought don’t throw away right now where you are for something stupid, because I didn’t even know if I could catch him.”
 
Trenery experimented with softer tires that faded at the finish.
 
“There was a little bit of a ball up on the start that I was lucky enough not to get involved in,” Trenery said. “Following that, I knew I was going to be strong in the opening half of the race because it was cool out and we ran on the softest possible compound available. Right from the start, we had a good car.
 
“I passed Brian into Turn Four, and Cliff into Turn Eight, and put up a pretty good lead of almost five seconds in the first half of the race. Right about lap eight or lap nine, I felt the tires start to give way a little bit.”
 
Finishing just off the podium, in fourth, was multi-time National Champion Jim Drago, of Memphis, Tennessee, in his No. 2 East Street Racing/SafeRacer Mazda Miata.
 
Tim Auger, of Monterey, California, finished fifth in his No. 07 Augersmiles.com/Baja Cantina Acura Integra.
 
Colin Rosenberg, of Torrance, California, finished 11th in his No. 66 BFGoodrich Tires/HPD/Enkei/Cobalt Friction Honda Civic Si after starting 19th. That improvement 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 SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on SpeedcastTV.com.

The IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals kicked off on Friday with one round of Nitro Jam professional qualifying and one round of eliminations for most sportsman classes until Mother Nature took over on a soggy evening at Memphis International Raceway.



Elaine Larsen rocketed to the top of the Jet Dragster charts on Friday

Before the rains, however, Michigan native Shawn Bowen, in the "Violator" '77 Firebird was able to get in a great lap to top IHRA's AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car class, joining fellow No. 1 qualifiers John DeFlorian (Pro Stock), Randal Andras (Nitro Harley), Don Blackshear (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster).

In sportsman competition, racers got in two rounds of qualifying and the first round of eliminations for most classes as the IHRA prepares to crown its world champions during the Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL and the Summit SuperSeries presented by AMSOIL competitions. Both sportsman tournaments will continue on Saturday.

Bowen led Friday's action with a solid lap that placed him on top of the Funny Car charts by a narrow margin over Peter Gallen. Bowen put down a 5.822-second lap at 251.20 mph during the opening session of Nitro Jam qualifying, just beating out Gallen's 5.848 at 242.50 in the "Poverty Stricken" '77 Monza.



Cary Goforth (near) and John DeFlorian will battle for the Pro Stock championship this weekend at Memphis International Raceway

Mark Sanders, in the "Mr. Explosive" Mustang, was third with a 5.883 at 250.60, followed by Mike McIntire Jr. (5.886, 239.91) and Tim Boychuk (5.953, 234.25). Of the 11 drivers that made a hit on Friday, three drivers currently in the top five in points - Bruce Litton, John Hale and 2014 IHRA Funny Car World Champion Jason Rupert - currently sit outside of the field.

In Pro Stock John DeFlorian, driver of the AMSOIL-sponsored Black Diamond Motorsports 2012 Camaro, placed his machine in first on a tricky track with a 7.482-second lap at 142.42 mph. His teammate Kevin Bealko was second with an 8.295 at 118.16.

Cary Goforth, driver of the Goforth Racing entry, was Friday's other big storyline, flying from Richmond, Virginia - where he wrapped up the PDRA championship earlier in the day - to qualify for the IHRA Summit World Finals in his attempt to wrap up two separate championships in one weekend. Goforth currently has a 99-point lead over DeFlorian.



Shawn Bowen was top qualifier in Nitro Funny Car on Friday

In another class still to decide its champion, Randal Andras jumped to the top of the Nitro Harley qualifying charts on Friday with a solid 6.297 at 207.70. Jay Turner was second. Mike Scott, who currently trails Andras by just six points in the championship standings, qualified seventh while fellow championship contender Mark Cox qualified eighth.

Wrapping up the evening were Nitro Altered and Jet Dragster. Don Blackshear, driving the "Bullet Bob" '23 Roadster, was quickest in Nitro Altered with a 6.143 at 219.47, while Elaine Larsen, in the Miller Welding jet-powered dragster, topped the Jet Dragster category with a 5.840 at 273.00.

Racing will continue on Saturday with the continuation of sportsman eliminations beginning at 10 a.m. followed by one additional round of Nitro Jam qualifying at 3 p.m. Nitro Jam eliminations are set for 6 p.m.



FRIDAY RESULTS

Millington, Tenn. - Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway

Nitro Funny Car - 1. Shawn Bowen 5.822, 251.20; 2. Peter Gallen 5.848, 242.50; 3. Mark Sanders 5.883, 250.60; 4. Mike McIntire Jr. 5.886, 239.91; 5. Tim Boychuk 5.953, 234.25; 6. John Crimmins 6.034, 235.35; 7. Ronny Young 6.114, 237.63; 8. Greg Jacobsmeyer 6.307, 232.95; 9. Bruce Litton 8.043, 115.81; 10. Jason Rupert 9.870, 24.35; 11. John Hale 12.788, 62.31

Pro Stock - 1. John DeFlorian 7.482, 142.42; 2. Kevin Bealko 8.295, 118.16; 3. Cary Goforth 9.852, 91.30; 4. Brad Waddle 10.844, 81.20; 5. John Konigshofer 10.961, 101.17; 6. Scott Hintz 16.410, 59.83

Nitro Harley - 1. Randal Andras 6.297, 201.70; 2. Jay Turner 6.298, 251.16; 3. Larry Brancaccio 6.457, 220.26; 4. Mike Pelrine 6.543, 224.32; 5. Alvin Kobernusz 6.859, 180.69; 6. Julian Seaman 7.305, 173.01; 7. Mike Scott 8.585, 128.21; 8. Mark Cox 12.959, 69.55

Nitro Altered - 1. Don Blackshear 6.143, 219.47; 2. Ron Maroney 6.228, 221.92; 3. Mike Hilsabeck 6.564, 205.22; 4. Ron Hope 6.661, 209.43; 5. Kyle Hough 6.986, 186.92; 6. Shane Harter 8.378, 116.86

Jet Dragster - 1. Elaine Larsen 5.840, 273.00; 2. Kat Moller 5.868, 270.43; 3. Marisha Falk 5.927, 277.54; 4. Allison West 6.678, 197.62

Dylan Olsen, of Kelso, Washington, won his first SCCA National Championship Runoffs title in his first attempt, taking advantage when several American Sedan favorites who hit trouble during the 20-lap shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 

After defending American Sedan Champion John Heinricy, of Clarkston, Michigan, blew an engine early in the race, promoting Olsen to third, it appeared his No. 13 Shock Shop/Correct Car SUV/Nutter Ford Mustang would be fighting for second with Aaron Bailey, of Shasta Lake, California, for the duration of the race. After all, Tire Rack polesitter Andy McDermid had already amassed a lead of nearly 10 seconds.
 
“Aaron’s car had a better setup,” Olsen said. “He had better speed through the corner and was able to get away from me. I had a lot for him under braking. He knew it and he was doing basic maneuvers to stop me from passing him. I tried the best I could to avoid it, but there was nothing I could do about it.”
 
Olsen and Bailey were in for quite a surprise, however, when McDermid showed signs of trouble. A fractured brake rotor on his No. 24 WeatherTech/Felice Perf Eng/T&A Shocks Ford Mustang was slowing McDermid more and more as the race wore on. Running second, Bailey immediately tried to take advantage of McDermid’s ailing car and made a move in Turn Two. He slid wide, which allowed Olsen to sneak through into second.
 
“Both Aaron and I were trying to make up ground and get where we needed to be,” Olsen recalled. “It was probably four laps before the end when that incident happened. That left me to run down Andy. I noticed there was something wrong with Andy’s car. He was doing a very good job driving it, but it still gave me the opportunity to get by and that’s what I did.”
 
The white flag came out and Olsen knew it was go time. He looked inside of McDermid in Turn Two, held his line and pulled away with the lead. In his rookie Runoff appearance, the 23-year-old took the American Sedan victory by 2.029 seconds, averaging 78.842 mph.
 
Try as he might to hold onto second, McDermid could not stop a last corner attack from Bill Baten’s No. 8 Van Winkle Baten/Marks ADR/Hoosier Chevrolet Camaro. Baten stuck his car inside of McDermid and claimed the runner-up spot. The move earned Baten the Go Pro Hero Move of the Race. Baten’s run from sixth to second also earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
 
“I was trying to track down Dylan first off for position,” Baten said. “I was keeping my nose to the grindstone and gaining some ground. Then my crew chief came on and said Andy was having some trouble and the pack was catching him, so I bore down even more. I was able get close enough on the last turn of the last lap which was incredible.
 
“This means so much to me. I’ve had so much bad luck at the Runoffs. I’ve totaled cars. I’ve broke on the last lap when I’m second or third. So, I really appreciate what it takes to get to the podium. There are so many great drivers and especially in my first year with American Sedan I’m very proud to be here.
 
After leading for 19 of 20 laps, finishing third was a bitter disappointment for McDermid, who was one lap away from his seventh American Sedan championship.
 
“We had a left front brake rotor fracture on lap four of the race, so I ran the rest of the race with three-wheel brakes,” McDermid said. “I knew they were going to track me down, but my car handles so well it’s crazy.
 
“The game plan when someone is catching you is to be as wide as possible without getting thrown out. When you’ve got a wounded car, you’ve got to get going as hard as you can and hope they don’t get to you, because when they do it’s easy pickings.
 
“It’s a testament to Felice Performance Engines, T&A Shocks and all the help from WeatherTech to how great the car was, that I was able to drive the thing. If it was one less lap, we would have been golden.”
 
Bailey, of Shasta Lake, California, recovered from his misstep in Turn Two to finish fourth. Amy Aquilante, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, completed the top five.
 
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 SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on SpeedcastTV.com.
 Despite making his first SCCA National Championship Runoffs appearance, 21-year-old Nigel Saurino, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, climbed to a 8.243-second win on Friday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to take the F Production title. Joe Huffaker, of Petaluma, Calif., and Eric Prill, of Topeka, Kan., joined Saurino on the podium.
 
Saurino moved his No. 57 The Race Shop/Kelley Engines/Hoosier MG Midget pushed Tire Rack polesitter Brian Linn’s No. 14 Hoosier/Red Line Oil/Carbotech/Hussey Lotus Super Seven clear of the outside row at the start, then moved around him just a couple of corners later to lead the opening lap.
 
Once in front, Saurino was virtually untouchable. Linn spun on lap two through Turn Six, trying to keep up, and Saurino was gone. He covered the 20-lap, caution-free race in a 78.692 mph average speed.
 
The only question was whether Saurino’s Midget would hold up to the finish after going off course in the GT-Lite race earlier in the day, driving the same car. Despite light smoke coming from the back, there were no troubles to the finish for his first National Championship.
 
“Honestly, I wish I could take credit for it,” Saurino said. “The car was hooked up. We made a couple of adjustments, and have had twice the track time as most of the competitors here. The motor was strong, AVP Engines stole the show, from my point of view. We were flying. We got on the radio after Linn had his off and we worked out a strategy and executed it to perfection.
 
“I buried it in the tire wall on Tuesday and we rebuilt the car in one night and handed me just as fast of a car as when I destroyed it. We made a couple of changes that we hadn’t tried before and last night over dinner decided we needed to go back to what we had before, and it paid off.”
 
Though Saurino is making his first Runoffs appearance as a driver, coming from a racing family, he has been to many as a spectator.
 
“To come out here to a track like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and race with some great drivers like Joe Huffaker and Eric Prill, it’s surreal. To miss a little school and come out here to battle it out is a blessing.”
 
As Saurino set sail, Runoffs veterans Huffaker and Prill battled hard for second-place. Both avoided Linn at his spin, then dueled back and forth for nearly the full 20 laps.
 
Officially, Huffaker’s No. 77 Huffaker Engineering MG Midget kept Prill behind him for all but two of the laps, but each car showed their strength in different parts of the track. Prill’s No. 7 MaxtonsFight.org/Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier rushed down the front straight and got alongside the black Midget going into turn two, but Huffaker’s inside line kept him in front.
 
Prill eventually made the move to second on lap 15 through Turn Five, but with tires and brakes fading after a race long battle opened the door going into the Corkscrew two laps later. Huffaker went by, and kept Prill’s Miata in his mirrors to the finish.
 
The Podium finish was the 13th for Huffaker in his career, including a GT-Lite National Championship earlier on Friday.
 
“It was exciting on the start with the different kinds of cars out there,” Huffaker said. “I had a view that I haven’t had in a while: a bunch of cars dicing it up out there over the first few corners. It was a marvelous display of ability out there. A lot of guys are just itching to get out there, but no one did anything stupid. I was just hoping for a good battle when I saw Nigel go off into the sunset.
 
“It was a great battle with Eric. You probably couldn’t even see how often we were swapping positions out there. We both used our cars up, especially there at the end. But it was great, clean driving from Eric. It was a lot of fun, in the end.”
 
The fourth-career podium finish capped a trying year for Prill.
 
“I had abused the tires quite a bit, and just locked it up going into the Corkscrew,” Prill said of the final pass. “That let him get back by. After that I had a pretty bad vibration, and actually picked up a fuel stumble coming out of Turn Two on the last couple lap. It was great fun. The best racing always happens here at the Runoffs. I’m glad we were able to figure out a way to get out here and race against the best.
 
“Last November my son, Max, was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was two at the time and is now three. He’s doing better, but still has a long treatment time ahead of him. For a while, I didn’t think I was even going to race this year. Someone told me ‘you have to keep living your life.’ So, we made the decision to keep racing and I am just glad I was able to come out here and race at the Runoffs against these guys.”
 
Rick Harris, in the No. 8 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier/V8Roadsters Mazda Miata, finished fourth, followed by Ken Kannard in the No. 51 Northwest Cable Construction/Hoosier Mazda Miata. Linn made his way back to sixth by the finish after his early spin.
 
Neal Frank earned the Sunoco hard charger award, improving eight positions to finish seventh.
 
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 SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on SpeedcastTV.com.
 Mark Drennan, of San Jose, California, took the popular hometown win in his third attempt at Spec Miata gold at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Andrew Carbonell, of Miami, Florida, and Brian Ghidinelli, of San Rafael, California, completed Friday’s podium. 

In his two previous races, Drennan’s best Runoffs finish was 11th place, at Road America, in 2013. At this year’s, Drennan started by taking the Tire Rack Pole Award then ran to a 1.734-second victory. Driving the No. 10 NoWifeNoKids/TFB/Riverbed Mazda Miata, Drennan led wire to wire in the 20-lap race that averaged 75.896 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. He is now eligible for the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy Club Racer Shootout, and a $75,000 ride in the 2015 SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires.
 
“This means everything,” Drennan said. “I’ve been after this prize for a long time. My buddy Brad Rampelberg did it, and I was just trying to follow in his footsteps. I had a couple failed attempts, went broke, and then came back to racing last year. I was so dedicated to making this attempt and making this happen today, since December of last year.
 
“I have to thank Jason Hoover and Atlanta Motorsports Group for building my cars. I also have to thank TFB. Those guys are amazing. I want to dedicate this to my mom and Tommy Olivier, who was taken too soon from us with cancer. It’s been a season dedicated to them, and a dream come true.
 
“Even though I took the pole, I was absolutely worried about the competition. Andrew put down a heck of a lap yesterday in trying conditions. I knew I had to be on my game, and the setup was just right.”
 
Carbonell, driving the No. 79 BSI Racing Mazda Miata, started the race third and did not have an easy path to his second-place finish. On Lap 11, Carbonell made a brave pass for second utilizing the pit lane exit to make the move around Kyle Kaiser stick. Later in the lap, Carbonell dropped two tires off track exiting Turn Six, allowing Kaiser to take second back on the entrance to the Corkscrew.
 
On Lap 12, Carbonell made the same move and held the position until the checkered flag fell.
 
“I really can’t thank everyone enough for the great and respectable race we had out there,” Carbonell said. “Turn Two seemed to be the only passing zone during the race. It turned out I could get on the brake before, and through, Two quite well.
 
“Brian [Ghidinelli] tried a couple times to make the same move on me, and it was tough to hold him off. Fortunately, we were able to make that happen.”
 
In the No. 12 Race Hero/Atlanta Motorsports Group/Miata Cage/TFB Mazda Miata, Ghidinelli was lurking in fourth for much of the race. As the laps ticked by, Ghidinelli made his move for third. On Lap 14, he used a pass similar to that used by Carbonell to get around Kyle Kaiser. From there he tried to get around Carbonell, but couldn’t make a safe pass.
 
“On the last couple laps, I had a bit of a push through the infield in Turns Three and Four,” Ghidinelli said. “Andrew [Carbonell] would get a little bit of a gap there. I think I was just a little better up the hill [heading toward Turns Seven and Eight] and also felt like we had a little edge in the brake zones. I just kept pushing deeper and deeper and the car stuck.
 
“Whenever I got the opportunity, I was trying to show my nose to try and spook Andrew [Carbonell] a bit. But he’s a very experienced driver, so I feel good to have finished where I did.”
 
Finishing just off the podium, in fourth, was Kyle Kaiser, of Santa Clara, California, driving the No. 88 TFB Mazda Miata. For 12 laps, Kaiser withstood the pressure of both Carbonell and Ghidinelli, but fell just six laps short of securing a podium finish.
 
Craig Berry, of Tyler, Texas, was a big mover during Friday’s race. He started in eighth, but was able to move to fifth in his No. 29 Berry Marble and Granite/East Street Racing Mazda Miata.
 
Joe Rombi, of Pebble Beach, California, drove his No. 48 Flying Meatball Mazda Miata from his starting position of 32nd to 20th, earning 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 SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on SpeedcastTV.com.
 Joe Huffaker hadn’t attended an SCCA National Championship Runoffs since a pair of DNFs in 2003 and 2004. The now nine-time champion showed on Friday at Mazda Raceway that he hasn’t forgotten how to win, taking the GT-Lite Championship by 4.197 seconds. Troy Ermish, of Tracy, Calif., and Jon Goodale, of Conifer, Colo., completed the podium.
 
The race averaged 75.446 mph in the 20-lap race around the 2.238-mile circuit.
 
Huffaker, of Petaluma, Calif., started on the Tire Rack pole, but fell to third in the opening corner behind Runoffs rookie Ermish. Ermish led the opening seven laps until Huffaker’s No. 77 Huffaker Engineering Mini Cooper snuck past under braking going into the Corkscrew for the GoPro Hero move of the race.
 
Once in front, Huffaker snuck away for the win despite his three-second margin closing on lap 16 for a full course caution when Peter Shadowen, running third in the No. 72 Road N Race/Flat Top Brewing/Hoosier Honda CRX, spun into the gravel in Turn Three. The win moves Huffaker into fourth by himself on the all-time championship list, behind only Jerry Hansen, Duane Davis and John Heinricy.
 
“The start was phenomenal,” Huffaker said. “Everyone got around me that I expected to, and I wasn’t too sure about Saurino. I don’t know him. I know the family, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. That was working ok, and I held my ground into turn two. It was a little bit of a Joe sandwich, but they were all real clean, and it worked out and I was able to pull away a little bit.”
 
Huffaker also set a new race record with a best lap of 1:40.339 (80.296 mph), and dedicated his win to former Crew Chief Charlie Pollet, who passed away earlier this year.
 
“I’m very proud,” Huffaker said. “I wish Charlie Pollet could be here to see this. The last time at the Runoffs, his note to me was that it wasn’t supposed to end like this. So for you, Charlie, it did not. It feels great to be back. This year was a blast.”
 
Ermish led six laps in his Runoffs debut behind the wheel of the No. 88 Datsun 510 parts Outlet/LS Energy Nissan 510. After losing the lead to Huffaker, Ermish fell behind the No. 22 The Race Shop/Kelley Engines/Hoosier MG Midget of Joshua Saurino. Mechanical problems plagued Saurino just a few laps later, however, and Ermish inherited his eventual finishing position again.
 
“It’s tough to describe,” Ermish said of his first podium. “My goal from the beginning of the year, I thought to myself I had a race in my back yard and I just need to try this.
 
“I had an awesome start. The way SCCA has these engine packages, there are different strengths and I knew our particular package had a little more grunt. Joe picked a perfect RPM for me, and we just got a good jump. Joe and I knew that we had some cushion on the rest of the field and we didn’t want to race each other real, real hard. Whoever got the lead needed to run hard to stretch it out. I distanced Joe in a couple of turns, and he gathered me up. He peeked it in there at the top of the Corkscrew, and I had to give way.”
 
Goodale started eighth, jumping into the top five just after the green flag in the No. 04 Mazdaspeed/Hoosier/JoeApex.com Mazda Miata. Goodale inherited two spots when the Saurino brothers, including Nigel Saurino in the No. 57 The Race Shop/Kelley Engines/Hoosier MG Midget, and James Hargrove’s No. 38 RaceEnergy/Analytic Systems Honda Civic suffered mechanical issues.
 
Goodale was battling with Shadowen for the third spot, right on his bumper when Shadowen spun. Lapped cars between he and Ermish on the restart kept him from challenging for second, but left him able to hold on for his first Runoffs podium in 13 tries.
 
“It’s been a busy week, but it’s a great experience,” Goodale said. “I’m glad I made the tow out here. The track is incredible. Hopefully in a few years, we can come back out here and do it again.
 
“I knew it was going to be a battle from the get go. I had one of the Saurinos blow up in front of me, and then someone went off in three and covered it in dust. It was very busy at the beginning. Peter and I had a great race, we ran through three, four and five side by side, and went through the Corkscrew three wide twice. It was bittersweet seeing him spin off in front of me.”
 
Peter Zekert, of Maryland Heights, Mo., drove the No. 45 Wiseco Pistons/RedLine/RKI Group Nissan 200SX SE-R to fourth place. Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., fell one behind Huffaker on the all-time championship list but still earned a top-five finish.
 
Tim Linerud earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award, improving seven places to finish 12th in the No. 95 Performance Fabrication Volkswagen Rabbit.
 
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 SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on SpeedcastTV.com.

Automobili Lamborghini and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have extended their partnership for the next four years, with the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America championship being contested under IMSA sanction through the 2018 season. 

As part of the extended partnership, the 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event calendar was unveiled. The schedule features 10 rounds at five venues at some of the most iconic, exciting circuits in the United States. Races will take place in conjunction with IMSA's top sports car series, the most prestigious in the U.S. 

Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America competitors also will race in the World Final, which features top drivers and teams from the three global Blancpain Super Trofeo Series - Europe, Asia and North America. The location of the 2015 World Final will be announced this November. 

Each Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event will feature two rounds. The season will open May 1-3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The next round will take place June 26-28 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York, followed by Aug. 21-23 at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Virginia. 

The season will continue Sept. 17-19 with the series' first visit to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, with the next event Oct. 1-3 during Petit Le Mans week at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. 

The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America championship debuted in 2013, with drivers competing in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo car, powered by a 570-horsepower V10 engine and featuring permanent four-wheel drive. 

The series ran in conjunction with IMSA events starting with its second season in 2014 and enjoyed tremendous growth, with grid sizes increasing 50 percent through the season. 

Motorsport will become an even more strategic, exciting asset for Lamborghini in 2015 with the debut of the incredible, all-new Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo car. 

The Huracán Super Trofeo marks a new benchmark for the race series. The car was built with a clear racing concept, with every feature engineered for sophisticated high performance and compliance with the strictest motorsport safety standards. 

There is increased power in the Huracán Super Trofeo, which boasts a 620-horsepower V10 engine and rear-wheel drive. 

The Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo and Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo cars will share the grid in the 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America, with separate standings.

 Competitors and their guests will continue to enjoy the complete Lamborghini experience at Blancpain Super Trofeo North America events in 2015, including exclusive amenities and world-class hospitality in the Lamborghini Village. 

Lamborghini also plans to expand its racing program in North America by participating in GT Daytona (GTD) class sports car competition with the Huracán GT3 starting in 2016.  

Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, captured the Touring 1 title at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Scotty White, of Auburn, Washington, and Mark Boden, of Winnetka, Illinois, completed the podium positions. 

Driving his No. 32 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Hawk Performance Ford Mustang, Aquilante survived an opening lap incident at the start, which collected Tire Rack polesitter William Brinkop, to capture is fourth SCCA National Championship. Once taking the lead on the opening lap, Aquilante stayed at the front of the pack for the 20-lap race that averaged 85.153 mph around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile course.
 
“It’s been a difficult week for T1,” Aquilante said. “Coming into Laguna from the East Coast we don’t have any car experience. We have track experience from pro racing, but we didn’t have any experience with the current crop of cars we brought out. We knew there were going to be a lot of questions. We did the testing and answered some questions, but also created some more questions. We had to go back and work on the sound, because it’s so much stricter out here.
 
“The car we were supposed to drive, the Corvette, we had issues with in the first two qualifying sessions, so we had to switch to a spare car that we had thrown together last minute and brought out. We qualified second.
 
“In the race, I got a pretty good start. I cleared Brinkop over the rise. When I looked back into Turn One there were cars backwards and sideways. From there, I got a little pressure, I think from Darrell Anderson, and I got away from him. I worked on hitting my marks and keeping it consistent.”
 
White started from deep in the field, in eighth, and worked his way up to second by the time the checkered flag flew. His finish, while driving his No. 0 GOT CDL?/Knight Transport/BFGoodrich Tires/Hawk Performance Dodge Viper, marked his fourth career Runoffs podium.
 
“I qualified perfectly, because we knew the first four, five or 10 cars would get taken out in Turn One,” White said. “But really, all these guys are fast and excellent drivers. There’s a lot of guys that want to be sitting here talking on the microphone, and maybe they wanted it a little too much. I didn’t see anything blatant. I think guys were arguing for position and it went bad, but it went good for us. Fortunately, the BFGoodrich Tires and Hawk Performance brakes allowed me to avoid that mess. I think I gained about four or five spots.
 
“I sound like a broken record trying to sell tires, but we’re able to place the car wherever we want it. I didn’t have a magic, two-second faster lap to qualify on the pole, but I ran faster in the race than I did in qualifying. The car is consistent and fast. The SRT Viper you can put an alignment on it and leave it for the rest of your life. We knew that we raced well. I don’t know if I would have had something for Pratt [Cole] or Darrell [Anderson], but we figured we could race these guys if we got through the first couple turns clean. It wasn’t a total surprise that we did how we did. We’re running the 10-year-old Viper. It’s down about triple digit horsepower over the other Vipers, but it’s a good hot-rod, I love it.”
 
Mark Boden, in his No. 47 Fall-Line Motorsports/Trim-Tex BMW M3, finished third, which is Runoffs podium number six for the Midwest driver. Boden sustained damage in the Lap One tussle that collected four cars, but that didn’t stop him from doing what it took to finish the race in the top three.
 
“Scotty [White] said it was a record that we made it to Turn Two,” Boden said. “I didn’t even make Turn Two, I was already in major contact before Turn One.
 
“We felt we had a good, consistent car. Thanks to BMW because it’s a great car. The car does very well and through the course of a race it’s very consistent. Unfortunately, the early contact gave us damage and some toe-in and camber-out that we didn’t need and some tire rub that we didn’t want. Thanks to Hoosier the tire held up. We didn’t run the pace we wanted to run, but the car was great and the tire held up.
 
“It was pretty uneventful after that. I was able to work by some traffic and try to track down Scotty. I was doing it, but we didn’t have enough car.”
 
Connie Bogan, in the No. 10 NNAWG.com Dodge Viper, finished fourth. He was able to make huge improvements on his 9th-place starting position.
 
What captured the attention of most onlookers of the Touring 1 race was the four-way battle for fifth. John Iles came out on top by finishing fifth, in the No. 44 Cortex Racing Ford Mustang, ahead of Igor Lyustin, in his No. 71 Driving Ambition/Hoosier Tires/HPD Acura NSX. Kenneth Davis and Michael Pettiford were also in contention for the position.
 
For much of the 20-lap race, Lyustin was able to hold off the trio of Davis, Pettiford and Iles until Lap 17. Davis tried an outside pass in Turn 11, but wasn’t able to make it stick. Later in the lap, Iles was able to take advantage of the attempted pass by getting by both Davis and Lyustin.
 
Aside from finishing fifth, Iles also earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award after getting to fifth from his 14-place starting position.
 
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 SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on SpeedcastTV.com.

Following the race weekend at Silverstone Circuit the RoadRace Factory team has had to make some tough decisions. 

Jake Gagne's incident while qualifying in the wet has reactivated his shoulder injury that he sustained in the final round of AMA racing from New Jersey Motorsports Park.  After initial consultation from medical staff onsite at Silverstone and a follow up from local medial professionals near our temporary base of operations, it has been decided that Jake should be sent home for immediate medical attention.  He has already been flown home to California and has been received by his home physician.

This leaves the team with AMA Daytona Sportbike Rookie of the Year, Tomas Puerta, as it's sole rider for the final round of the British Supersport Series to be held at Brands Hatch. 

Everyone wishes Jake a speedy recovery and the team expects to have him back on a bike soon.   

 

 Following three days of qualifying, Tire Rack Pole Positions for the 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs have been set following a frantic day of position changes at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
 
Two drivers hit milestone marks for their fast qualifiers, as Scott Rettich will sit on the Formula Enterprises pole in the No. 17 Alliance Autosport/PDI Communications Formula Enterprises/Ford for the sixth consecutive year. Joe Huffaker, making his first Runoffs appearance since 2004, scored his 13th career pole to top GT-Lite in the No. 77 Huffaker Engineering Mini Cooper. Only Jerry Hansen’s 25 poles rank higher on the career list than the eight-time Champ.
 
Several other drivers used the cooler Thursday temperatures to move to take over the top of the charts.
 
Matt Reynolds will begin his quest for Runoffs gold from the pole in E Production. Driving his No. 71 Reynolds Brothers Racing/JPM/Vintage Connect Mazda Miata, Reynolds took the top position from Jim Daniels with a lap of 1:37.119, who led the class until Thursday’s third qualifying session. F Production also saw a change on the time charts as Californian Brian Linn, in his No. 14 Hoosier/Red Line Oil/Carbotech/Hussey Lotus Super Seven, lapped the circuit in 1:39.975.
 
Many of the formula classes also featured changes atop the leader board on this final day of qualifying. Defending Formula F Champion Tim Kautz is at the top of the class for the third consecutive year in the No. 88 Braeburn/Two Dogg/Hoosier/Euroquipe Piper DF3D Honda after a 1:32.899, clearing the Jeremy Grenier’s No. 21 Ski Motorsports/Hoosier/ELR Citation Formula F/Honda by 0.3-second. Formula Mazda also saw a change as Mike Anderson, in the No. 42 HASA/Whiteflyer Star Formula Mazda and Darryl Wills’ No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports/Hoosier/Hawk moved to the top two positions with times of 1:29.298 and 1:29.403, respectively. The pole is the fifth-career pole for Anderson, but the first in Formula Mazda.
 
Conner Kearby lowered the pole position time in his Formula Atlantic-classed No 56 GK Motorsports Swift 016a/Mazda to 1:22.144, taking the top spot from defending champion Michael Mallinen’s No. 71 Swan Motorsports/Mazdaspeed Swift 016a/Mazda. In Formula 1000, J.R. Osborne was able to do the same in his No. 83 Ralph Firman/Hoosier/Geartronics Moo RFR 1000/Kawasaki, running a lap of 1:23.705 for the Tire Rack pole.
 
Super Touring Under also juggled at the front of the grid. Andrie Hartanto put his No. 98 CTEngineering/Supertech/Wicket Tunin Honda S2000 on the pole in 1:36.843 late in the session to earn his first career Runoffs pole. David Daughtery dropped his time in Touring 3 for his first Tire Rack pole at the controls of his No. 8 Nissan/Hoosier/Carbotech/Knkei Nissan 370Z, posting a 1:39.531.
 
In Prototype 2, Robert Kazen was able to pull out some magic by putting down an absolute flying lap that propelled him to the top starting position in the No. 12 Kazen Racing Engines West WR1000/ Kawasaki. His fast time of 1:26.993 cleared day two’s provisional polesitter John Bosso by just less than two seconds.
 
The Touring 4 pole position went to Izzy Sanchez in the No. 78 Corona Bumper Service Mazda RX-8, pulling the top starting position away from Daniel Bender by a mere 0.1-second margin with a 1:45.071. Cliff Ira’s No. 36 Fira Motorsports Acura Integra GSR will lead the Super Touring Lite field at the green flag following a time of 1:41.729.
 
With qualifying in the books, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs gets underway at 8:30 a.m. as the first of nine National Championship races on Friday. More information, results, and the live broadcast can be found at SCCA.com/Runoffs.