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SCCA Majors Tour Schedule Takes Checkers At Topeka Mid-States Race
Posted by: newsla on Sep 01, 2014 - 06:23 AM
Sports Cars
SCCA Majors Tour Schedule Takes Checkers At Topeka Mid-States Race

The SCCA Mid-States Conference Majors Tour, and the entire 2014 U.S. Majors Tour schedule, wrapped on Sunday at Heartland Park Topeka with six group races and settled the remaining open championships.


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Sunday’s schedule featured 21-lap races around the 2.2-mile HPT configuration to wrap the season. Championship battles were settled by scoring the best eight of 12 races within the Conference.

Highlights from Sunday include:

Group 1: Denny Stripling clinched the Mid-States Conference Spec Racer Ford championship with a pair of wins in his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports Spec Racer Ford, walking away from the field to take care of business without any help.

There were a number of scenarios that would allow Stripling to vault Keith Verges’ No. 69 Apex Driving Academy SRF in the standings, but the simplist entering Sunday’s race was for Stripling to win. Starting from pole, he held the lead for the distance and won by a final margin of 12.740 seconds.

That final margin of victory is a bit misleading. Stripling was up four seconds when the field saw the white flag, with Chris Funk’s No. 54 KC Racing SRF battling hard with Verges for second and third place. Funk spun on the final lap, and Verges spun to avoid him, avoiding contact. Both continued quickly, and crossed the line together in order to complete the podium with Jimmy Cote’s No. 20 Micro-Comm Inc. SRF just behind.

Matt Reynolds swept the weekend in Spec Miata, running flag to flag for his win in the No. 73 Reynolds Bros. Racing/JPM/Vintage Connection Mazda Miata.

Group 2: In a mirror image of Saturday’s race, Michael Mallinen started in front of the field and pulled away in the No. 71 Swan Motorsports Swift 016/Mazda to lap the entire field and take the win.

Stuart Rettie’s No. 21 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda swept the weekend in Formula Mazda, moving around Darryl Wills late in the race. Wills’ second-place finish clinched the Mid-States Majors Tour class championship in the No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports/Hoosier Tire/Hawk Performance Formula Mazda.

Group 3: Saturday winner Max Mallinen was an unexpected Formula F winner on Sunday after a last lap incident elevated his No. 1 Spectrum 014H/Honda from third to first.

The race was a three car battle between Mallinen, Bill Kephart, and Cliff Johnson, with all three taking their turn in the lead in a race that featured an official 10 lead changes.

By the final stages of the race, Mallinen had fallen back and Kephart’s No. 37 Vestial 10F/Honda led Johnson’s No. 4 Alpine Litho-Graphics/Farley Engines Piper DF-5/Honda at the white flag. Johnson, looking for an opportunity to move into the lead, tried to move around Kephart in turn three. The two got together, with Kephart going over the top of Johnson’s machine.

Mallinen suddenly found himself in the lead, and picked up the win. Because they had already put a lap on the rest of the field, Johnson limped around for second, with Kephart being towed in but still in third on the final standings.

In Formula 500, Herb Noble held on for the win in his No. 44 Mitchell Racing Services Scorpion 001/Rotax after a battle with Conference champion Timothy Friest. The battle between Noble and Friest’s No. 86 Hoosier/XTRacing/RodEndSupply KBS MkVII/Rotax became the battle for the lead with CJ McAbee’s No. 15 AJ’s Import Garage/Hoosier AJ’s 2012/Rotax pulled to pit lane on lap three.

Lisa Noble drove the No. 7 LittleFeat.Net Vortech FV to the Formula Vee win after starting from the rear of the field. Noble worked through traffic and took the class lead on lap five, then swapped the lead with Justin Willbanks’ No. 21 RS1 Motorsports Wormer EV-3 for the next two laps. Noble broke free of that battle and drove to the win.

Group 4: David Fershtand and Mark Kirby marched away from their closest competition on Sunday, taking wins in GT-1 and GT-2, respectively, and finishing first and second in the overall order.

Fershtand led flag to flag in the No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Chevrolet Corvette, setting a new track record with a 1:23.016 on lap three. Kirby matched the win in the No. 21 Dodge Viper, winning by six seconds over Mike McGinley’s No. 50 Hendrick Chevrolet/McGinley Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette.

Group 5: A weekend sweep by Preston Calvert in Touring 2 gave him the nation-wide point title in the No. 77 Phoenix Performance/Hoosier/Penske/Hawk Ford Mustang, but Steven Coleman’s third place finish in class gave him the points he needed in the No. 25 Race Away Cancer Ford Mustang to take the Mid-States class title. Coleman’s point total equaled second place Natha Waldbaum’s in the No. 51 Hutter Performance/Vettesport Chevrolet Corvette, but earned the title on tiebreakers.

Kim McDonald got a great start in the No. 29 Kim's Auto Repair Services/Herman Plumbing/BosselmanOil Pontiac Firebird, jumping into the early lead but falling behind Tim White’s No. 7 Woomah.com Ford Mustang and Dean Palmer’s No. 5 Palmer Racing Development/Ford Racing Parts/Hoosier/AJ's racing engines Ford Mustang on the opening lap. By lap five, McDonald had moved back to the lead, and held the position through the middle stages of the race. By lap 19, however, Trevor Janke’s No. 14 Janke Auto/Blue Ox/Famous Racing Ent./Pender Body and Glass was closing to the back of McDonald. McDonald held on for the final two laps, with Janke second.

Cliff Ira got revenge from Saturday’s race, keeping his No. 36 Fira Motorsports Acura Integra in front of Bob Schader’s No. 12 MiataCage.com/Hoosier Tire Mazda MX-5 for the distance. Ira held off a charging Schader through the final corner, when Schader dove to the inside in his last effort to take the win. Schader spun, with just a hint of contact, but Ira stayed in front up the front straight to the checkered flag.

Anthony Simmers wrapped up the Super Touring Under Conference title in the No. 45 RebayReseller.com/Hoosier Tires/Vaslet Design Volkswagen GTI with a pair of wins in the weekend, and James Place swept the Touring 4 weekend with a win on Sunday in the No. 138 Place Rentals/Hawk/Acura/BFG/Summit Acura GRS.

Group 6: Nigel Saurino, running in F Production on Sunday, moved his No. 57 The Race Shop/Kelley Engines/Hoosier Tire MG Midget around Jesse Prather’s E Production No. 34 Jesse Prather Motorsports/MAZDASPEED/Carbotech/Hoosier Mazda MX-5 on lap five through lapped traffic, then kept his car in front for the overall and class win.

Saurino maintained a gap over class rivals Rick Harris, in the No. 8 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier/V8 Roadsters/Mazdaspeed Mazda Miata, and Eric Prill, in the No. 7 MaxtonsFight.org/JPM/Hoosier Tire Mazda Miata, to hold off any serious challenges. Harris and Prill completed the class podium.

Roy Lopshire drove his No. 98 TRD/Williams Racing Development/Hoosier Toyota Tercel around Kent Prather’s No. 26 PratherRacing/Mazdaspeed/MossMtrs/Torco/Carbotech/Hoosier Tires Mazda Miata on lap 15, then pulled away for the race win.

Ralf Lindow swept H Production with a win on Sunday in the No. 53 Volkswagen Golf, but the No. 09 R & R Racing/R. Smart Properties Fiat X 1/9 of Randy Smart walked away with the season long Mid-States Conference championship with his second place on Sunday.

That concludes both the Mid-States Conference and the entire U.S. Majors Tour for the 2014 season, as the SafeRacer Club Racing program turns its eyes to the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 7-12. Each of the National Championship Races will be broadcast live on SpeedCastTV.com.

Provisional race winners for Sunday’s SCCA Mid-States Conference Majors Tour Round 12 from Heartland Park Topeka. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.

American Sedan: Kim McDonald, Potomac, Md., Pontiac Firebird
E Production: Jesse Prather, Topeka, Kan., Mazda MX-5
F Production: Nigel Saurino, Tulsa, Okla., MG Midget
H Production: Ralf Lindow, Bellevue, Neb., Volkswagen Golf
Formula 500: Herb Noble, Marion, Iowa, Scorpion 001/Rotax
Formula Atlantic: Michael Mallinen, Liberty Lake, Wash., Swift 016/Mazda
Formula F: Max Mallinen, Liberty City, Wash., Spectrum 014H/Honda
Formula Mazda: Stuart Rettie, Houston, Texas, Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Lisa Noble, Manhattan, Kan., Vortech FV/Volkswagen
GT-1: David Fershtand, Fort Worth, Texas, Chevrolet Corvette
GT-2: Mark Kirby, Shawnee Mission, Kan., Dodge Viper
GT-Lite: Roy Lopshire, Blue Springs, Mo., Toyota Tercel
Spec Miata: Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks, Texas, Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Denny Stripling, McKinney, Texas, Spec Racer Ford
Super Touring Lite: Cliff Ira, Kansas City, Mo., Acura Integra
Super Touring Under: Anthony Simmers, Boulder, Neb., Volkswagen GTI
Touring 2: Preston Calvert, Potomac, Md., Ford Mustang
Touring 4: James Place, San Antonio, Texas, Acura GRS

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