GoRacingTV’s Daily News Show from the 46th annual SCCA Runoffs News coverage is courtesy of Honda HPD. Day 3

T2 Class Driver Quotes

Marty Grand – First Place

The start went just as I thought. The car has a lot of torque, and I hoped I could get a good run on Andy and that worked out. Jason was soon behind me, and he’s got a lot of top end. I tried to get away from him so he couldn’t use his top end advantage to run me down.

Everything was going well until I came into Canada Corner and lost all breaks. I made two quick downshifts to stop and not go off into the sand. Before I got back to third, Jason was in the back of me. I hoped I still had brakes left for the race, so I just jumped on his tail and found out I did have brakes. I just had to pump them constantly. I just tucked in behind Jason. There are parts where he had the advantage and parts where I did. I tried to go fast where I had the advantage and basically not overdrive my car where I didn’t.

I didn’t have to battle anybody, so I could run a nice, clean line and that’s why I could go faster later in the race. At one point I could feel the bumper dragging down the straights, but once it fell off I was fine.

It means a lot. I was on the pole last year and led some laps and three laps from the finish my car broke. So this has been a long, long off season waiting to get back here. This is actually better than it would have been last year after everything I went through. It’s just awesome. My dream since I was Cooper’s age to one day race and win a national Championship.

Cooper MacNeil – Second Place

I hung back and only drove as fast as I had to drive to stay with those guys. I was watching them battle, and they were using up tires and brakes and everything. I was hanging back, conserving, and so I had something for Mark at the end. I started picking off cars through the field. I came out of Three behind Mark, and got a good run through five and it was perfect.

Mark Boden – Third Place

I battled Don Knowles for a while, and then Jason for a while, and then Andy. I had a lot of battles going on. They all drove a great race. I was sorry to see cars break or the crashes, as Don did. I could see that Jason’s rear tires were starting to give up on him and took advantage of that then opened up a gap.

It was a bit of a surprise [when Cooper went by for second]. He came up quick and got me. I think he had a little bit more car, I was battling with some other guys. Obviously he was fast coming up that quick from eighth to a battle for second. Next thing I knew I was on his tail. He was faster than I was. If I had an opportunity and he made a mistake, I would have stomped on it, but he didn’t.

FE Class Drive Quotes

Scott Rettich – First Place
I got kind of a slow start as my tires were really cold and we had them set for a full 13 laps of green and I knew if I would just bide my time things should be looking pretty good.

I was kinda indifferent (at the double yellow). I just wanted to make sure it didn’t end on the yellow. I was actually setting up to pass them at Five in the next couple of laps, so it didn’t make a big difference either way…just wanted to make sure third place didn’t sneak by me.

Matthew got a pretty good launch and I was in-between gears and he got on the power and he got a little ahead, but I just stayed on the power along the inside of the wall and corrected my position. I was able to come through three and set myself up for a pretty good position.

I knew I wanted to make my pass in Turn Five because I should have been able to hold the lead in the Carousel and it should be looking pretty good.

I was pulling Matthew a little bit and I knew he was pretty quick so there toward the end I started to have to pick up the pace, when he started getting close enough to start drafting me and he started out-braking me a little bit. I knew I had to pick up the pace. I knew if I drove well and hit my marks it would be pretty hard for him to pass me.

Mathew Mair – Second Place

The start wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I wanted to be out in first, the two guys just came and took over.

(After the double yellow came out) I was drafting Scott [Rettich] I finally got close to him in Corner Three, then passed him in five, then I just held it. I was really upset (when the double yellow came out) because I was opening quite a gap. On the restart, I came up over the hill and saw the green flag. I just stayed to the inside with no one behind me just kept on going.

After Scott got back around me my tires started to go away a little bit..but I decided to run after him and and then the cars caught up and I couldn’t do anything.

Patrick Gallagher – Third Place

The car was really bad on the start. It didn’t want to handle and then, in the middle of the race, I really picked it up. At the beginning of the race the car was not at its prime.

I was seventh (when the yellow flag came out) and I was happy to see it.

I didn’t really know where I passed everyone, I just knew I needed to brake deeper to get the job done and get up front. At the end of the race, the last couple of laps, Brian Novak and I were racing wheel-to-wheel trying to outbreak each other with the drafting as well.

We went into One side-by-side, then we switched at two and again at three I think. I finally overtook him at five.

AS Class Driver Quotes

Andy McDermid, First Place
We got together a little in Turn One. I bumped him in the back and he inadvertently got a little squirrely so I just backed off until he got it back straightened out and back into position.

I got a good line in five and Tom went a little long and we got back together and I’m not sure what happened after that. As soon as the caution came out, I noticed that Tom was not in the field behind us. Eric was right behind so I knew I had to be on the green, ‘cause he is really fast. As soon as they dropped the green flag, I kept my head down and knew I had to go forward.

It feels great to win. We worked on the car extremely hard and it paid off. It went really well, we had a really bad qualifying situation. We had one lap in the dry qualifying and broke a ball joint. The rest of the qualifying sessions were wet. We were on the outside of the front row and we had to give it everything we had to get around Mr. Sloe, as he is extremely good and extremely fast.”

Eric Curran, Second Place
We struggled throughout the week. The first session was fairly wet. The middle session we had was dry and that was the one that really set the fast times. The third session was wet again so we ended up starting in the sixth position. I knew I had to get up with Andy and see if I could run with him. Luckily enough I got a good start and went into Turn One and went on the inside. Some cars got together and I got ahead of all these guys and got behind Andy at Turn Three.

This team worked really hard this week. I don’t think anybody worked harder. That hard work really paid off today. The Mustangs are really fast here. I feel like we brought a knife to a gun fight. They did a good job and deserved the win though.

Jeff Werth, Third Place
We set up for a full green race. Mike [Lavigne] just kept coming up and Eric, I used him as a rabbit, but kept having that snake on my backside trying to bite my tail. The car ran great. The tires didn’t go away and one of my goals was to go flat out through the kink. I did that on the final lap and it ended up being my fastest lap. We had a good time, it’s a good track and the car ran as well as expected.

My last race in GT-5 was Mid Ohio against Joe Huffaker. That was best race I ever had but I had to sell the car. There was no way of topping that race. Another reason why I went away from SCCA is I had to go back to school. I couldn’t find sponsors, so I had to make enough money to sponsor myself. I did a little stock car racing for a while and when I sold the stock car I looked for a class that had a unibody car like my GT-5 car and a small block Chevy like my stock car. So we put together this car.

FA Class Driver Quotes

David Wilcox – First Place

It’s just phenomenal. I’ve waited ten years for this. Mirl Swan is the best. He won last year, and I’m in his car this year. I knew I had an opportunity to do it, it was all about me. It was a pretty big learning curve coming from the DB4, but here we are.

Unlike Keith, I was screaming for the pace car, for crying out loud, I wanted to get sucked up behind him somewhere. I didn’t know it would turn out like it did. When we finally got caught up to the pace car, there was a car in between us and I knew that was going to be a challenge. I was just hoping going into Turn One that I might be able to suck up behind Keith and I was able to. Going into Five, I tried a little juke move and he didn’t go for it. I got a good run through six and seven, but he was kind of pulling away from me. I got a good run through Canada Corner, and just didn’t give up. Coming out of 14, I saw him bobble a little bit and get two wheels off. I tried to ride it out and make sure I used all of the RPMs. When I pulled up alongside him, boy, I’ll tell you, we were side-by-side. About 100 feet from the start-finish I realized that was the win.

Keith Grant – Second Place

I was not happy to see the yellow come out. I had gotten a good start at the beginning of the race and built a pretty good lead and was able to maintain that. We had gone several laps with the car off in the kink in the back, and they did. When [the safety car] picked up the FB car, I didn’t get to set the pace on the restart. I had to follow the other cars out there.

When we restarted, David was able to close right up on me. We went side-by-side into five and I came out a little bit ahead of him. Into Canada Corner I had a little bit of a lead over David, and we got into Turn 14 and I just blew it. I set two tires off the track coming back on the front straight and David drafted by me, and that was it.

Michael Mallinen – Third Place

We had a fast car. I actually thought I had the fastest car going into the race, we were fastest in Q2 and it was running very, very well. We started the race optimistically. The start was pretty uneventful for me, we didn’t lose or gain anything.

The restart was pretty chaotic. I didn’t know what was going to happen, so I just floored it and took off. I got past the Formula B cars and just held off Sedat [Yelkin] for fourth and came home.

FB Class Driver Quotes

Brandon Dixon – First Place
“I was disappointed [when the caution came out] because I had built up a little bit of a lead. The car was working well. But, you never know what’s going to happen on a restart. You just bunch everybody up. People are going to try to make moves and you can wind up with cars [going] off.

“I was very careful on the restart because the Atlantic cars in front of me were racing really hard and I did not want to get caught up in their crash and get taken out.

“This has been our goal [to win the National Championship] from the day we started construction of the car. Our explicit goal was to win the first F1000 National Championship. It was great fun.”

Tom Schwietz – Second Place
“At the start, I had hard tires and Brandon went out on soft tires, so I knew that I was going to be slow for the first lap or two. I got nailed from someone behind me and it sent me a little bit sideways. When I got through Turn Two, the car really did not pick back up. It missed for a little bit. Then, all of a sudden, it started running clean again. We did not have a chance to catch Brandon. I think we were keeping pace with him, but we weren’t really catching him. Theoretically, my tires should come in at the end of the race and his [Dixon] should go off at the end of the race. The full course caution kind of ran that [plan] askew.

“I did not really think there would be a restart. They usually pick up the leader of the race and they were shuffling cars all the way up to the last corner. Then, all of a sudden, they threw a green flag. I was caught completely flatfooted because I thought they were going to end the race under yellow. But, they went back to green, and I thought, ‘I’ve got a chance to catch Brandon. Where is he? He’s way up there.’ He got bumped by a couple of Atlantics halfway through the last lap, which was the only thing I had hoped for. If they [the Atlantic drivers] had done something stupid, I wanted to make sure I was there.”

Niki Coello – Third Place
“The car started to understeer right away. So, I did everything I could to hang on. I was fourth for a while. It was a different kind of race for me because normally I’m up front or at least battling for the lead. This time, I was holding on. It was trying experience.

“I was a little scared, though, on the restart. I was trying to race Tom [Schwietz] and then we had a cluster of Atlantics coming up behind us and I thought for sure I was going to lose my head on the deal because there were cars everywhere. But, it was fun. It was a good time.”

SSB Class Driver Quotes

Edward Zabinski – First Place
Actually I ended up inheriting the second row because the fourth-place car did not make the grid. So, I got in right behind Lance [Stewart]. My strategy was to tuck in behind Lance and follow him around and watch the show. The start was interesting. It wasn’t exactly very smooth. The Honda took off and when a little bit and then sort of slowed down. There was a little bit of jockeying around there. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. But, ultimately by the time we got to the flag, it was a pretty clean start. Some of the guys in the back got a pretty good jump. It was crowded going into Turn One. All I wanted to do was to keep looking at the back of Lance’s Mustang and just let him knock anything out of the way that got in there. It was a clean start. That thing sort of settled out by exit of Turn Three. Then, all of the top five cars got into a draft on the straightaways and, from then on, the race just developed.

Well it did just come to me. But, that was my strategy. I knew that I didn’t have the legs to run them down. But, they were having a pretty good battle that was slowing all three of us down. I knew that if I just sort of stayed back and watched for an opportunity – if they were going in to fast any place or going too wide. I guess Lance had some brake lock up issues and that was causing him to slide the rear end around. It looked like Toby was having an understeer problem too. Those two things added together, I think made them go wide in Turn One. I saw that coming. I just made sure I got slowed down and got on the power way early. That gave me probably five or six miles an hour on the exit of Turn One. I was in front of them by the end of Three and was able to gap them from there.

Lance Stewart – Second Place
“It [the start] actually kind of went just the way you said. Except for Toby and I, it went pretty much the way I figured it would go into [Turn] One and down into [Turn] Three. But, I surprised by the speed of some of the cars behind us coming up the inside. Once it sorted out going down towards [Turn] Five, it was kind of a battle. Matt [Staal] was up there for a while. I had gotten by Toby and we were going down into Five. I turned in and he [Staal] went sailing by me, and I had no idea how I cheated death on that deal. It was amazing. I hope he’s alright. I heard the car rolled. That was a big scare there.

“Finally, I think it them worn down. We got into the lead. Ed [Zabinski] was coming up after dealing with all the cars there. Once Ed and I got cleared, we just had to sort it out and see who could get here first.

“I actually did catch him [Zabinski] about two or three laps towards the end and then I gummed up 13. He gapped me again and I did not have enough to get back to him.”

Lee Niffenegger – Third Place
“I have no idea what happened on the start. It was one of the worst starts I’ve seen in a long time. The guys from the back just swamped us. I had guys who qualified 10th they were up beside me. So, I have no idea what happened. I just had to work the whole race and stay patient. The front three were kind of in a draft and I was all by myself for quite a while. So, it was everything I could do to hang on. Finally, I got Toby [Grahovec] on the last lap. I was able to make a move on him in the last turn and drag race him up the hill.

“There were certain areas of the track – the Carousel, Canada Corner – there were certain places that I was getting through better. I think I was a little more patient and he [Grahovec] was sliding around a little bit more. Maybe he ran his tires off or something. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get him going into the corner. So, I basically I moved inside and forced him to protect, which he did. Then, he ran wide at the exit and I was able to beat him up the hill.”

HP Class Driver Quotes

Steve Sargis, First Place
The carousel and the kink are the strong places for the Spitfire. I wasn’t getting splits to the car behind me, so I just tried to be consistently fast. I have bad luck when I try to slow the pace. I just tried to maintain what I was doing the first few laps.

I was a little surprised at the times. Back in 1998, I ran a 2:38.8 in a G car which is the same car only a lot heavier. I think the track has gotten faster and I’ve learned a lot more. I had a clear track and weather is really good so I guess I did go faster. The car felt like it was on rails. It was handling so well.

The plan to get into H was combination of thoughts that other cars can be fast and the fact that Tom [Feller] wasn’t running this year. There really wasn’t a good roadster benchmark for the class, so my son and I decided to get the old G [Production] motor out. I always told Tom Feller that anytime he didn’t want to run, I would get my G car out. It was a nice way to win my fifth [Championship].

Mike Moser, Second Place
At the start, I went in a little to hot – the tires were a little cool. Thank goodness for ice racing techniques. I just stayed on it and I had Steve a little worried but we made it through. In [turn] three, it popped out of gear and Steve went by and never looked back. I had some air/ fuel ratio problems adjusting the fuel pressure and a lot of things going on inside the car.

Chris Albin, Second Place
It’s great to be up here, especially with Steve—the master. After the first couple of laps the race settled in, I just drove as hard as I could. I knew I needed to stay with Dan [Meller]. His tires seemed to be going away before I got by. My tires really stayed great throughout the race.

That first lap was pretty close. We just know that you can lose the race on the first lap but you can also make up a lot of positions as well. You just need to be cautious.

GT1 Class Driver Quotes

Michael Lewis – First Place
Its good to be back on the top steps – its been a few years and I hope it doesn’t take that long again. We caught a few breaks on this one. The exhaust broke on the first lap going down to turn three. It was loud and it was hot and I felt we were going to burn the car down but we needed to keep going. Then near the end of the racethe alternator light came on, a belt came off. The checkered flag couldn’t come soon enough for me.

Cliff knows his way around here. He’s pretty much the king around here. He does a really good job and car is well prepared. I knew it was going to be a tough race. He’s also real good to getting up to speed fast so I thought if I could get in front of him at the start I could keep him at bay. Up the front straight he was really pulling some car lengths. Luckily our car was hooked up a little better on some of the exits and it was just enough to keep him back there. Toward the end his tires seemed to be going but in the end I think both of our Goodyears were kinda screaming.

Cliff Ebben – Second Place
I had a pretty good start until I started pushing going into the first turn. Michael drove around the outside and then I never really could get close enough to do anything as the race one went on. A couple of times I did get close on the front straight. I had a pretty good run going but not enough to make it stick.

Amy Ruman – Third Place
We didn’t have too many laps here this week, so we just tried for balance on our set up. We were chasing a push much of the week and I thought we had a third place car. It turned out I was right.

I definitely tried to keep the leaders in sight. At the beginning, I thought the car might come to me. Especially if they were racing each other real hard, I might be able to catch up with them and take advantage of that if I could conserve the tires. They were in my sights for a while and then midway I lost sight of them. At that point, I was running real consistent laps. So unless something detrimental would happen I knew I would remain in third position.

CRS Class Driver Quotes

Steve Forrer – First Place

“Jacek and James [French] went around me at the start. The motor has been bogging this whole week. I don’t know if it’s the weather or what [it is]. But, [I] just hung on to those three. I had a good car all weekend. Once it got going, it just kept going. I got by James and then eventually I got by Mucha.

“I was worried about the start again [referring to the restart] and I did not want to be caught, again. So, this time I had a good start for the restart.”

Dudley Fleck – Second Place

“We knew we had a fast car. I guess we stayed out of trouble and used what openings we had. This is last year’s National Championship car. So, obviously it’s a good piece. I just wanted stay out of trouble, yet be somewhat aggressive on the start. There were some guys who were not quite as fast as the top five. I needed to plan out well ahead where I was going to pass those guys. They gave me room and we got up to the top five fairly quickly.

“I tried to be smooth to preserve that podium finish and not do anything stupid. My pit guys said, ‘Jacek’s [Mucha] moving back. He’s backing up.’ So, I got back on it [the throttle] a little bit. By the time I got to the Carousel, I went right around him. Obviously he had a motor or ignition issue or something and I was able to get around him.”

James French – Third Place

“What can I say, we got a great start. We started fourth and ended up second by Turn One – so that was good. Then, I saw Dudley [Fleck] and on the second lap, he was right behind us already. He started way in the back. I don’t know how he pulled that off. It was pretty amazing.

“After the full course yellow, I didn’t push too hard. I didn’t block or anything. I tried to keep it clean. It was good battle.”

S2000 Class Driver Quotes

Matthew Direnzo – First Place

They [Corey and John Fergus] got a great jump at the start and there was nothing I could do. They both went past my on the right and had a good draft going. I said ‘Ok, that’s that. I’m just going to have to really work now,’ and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. So I tucked in behind them and figured I was settling in for the long haul.

At some point, I think on lap two, I got a good draft on John on the back straight. I just powered by him and got him on the brakes underneath. Then I was behind Corey and the yellow came out.

I think Corey did an excellent job on the restart. He tried to fake me out in the last corner, but I was ready. He went off and it was a battle. He made me work really hard to win it. It came out in my favor this time and it was fun.

It was similar to when I passed John. I got a good launch out of the last corner. I was really close and I seemed to have a good draft off of him. He defended to the inside down the front straightaway and I was able to go by on the outside. I went pretty deep on the brakes into Turn One. It was tough. I got a little sideways, but thankfully I didn’t lose it.

I’m very relieved. I’ve come to a number of these and I’ve finished second, third, fourth, anything but winning. I think I even had the pole once. So, I’m really happy to have finally won. Not just for myself, but for everyone who’s helped me.

Corey Fergus – Second Place

Usually it’s not a good feeling to see the double zero behind you, it’s usually intimidating, but in this situation I wanted him behind me. I don’t think a lot of people would want him behind them! It worked out great. It worked out how we had hoped. After the first lap we were one-two.

(Thoughts on the restart)
I thought we were going to have our own start. I didn’t think we were going to have a combined start until the pace car waved me by. I was kind of scared to do it. I didn’t want to get penalized, so I made sure he was actually pointed me by. Then, I just tried to time it right coming it out of 14, because the some of the CSRs in the back are a little slow to get going. I tried to time that right and it worked out good, for at least the first lap after the yellow.

He [Direnzo] just drove right by me on the straightaway.

We were running good times. Both Matt and I were in the 2:16s, just a little slower than we qualified at. We were definitely laying down some good lap times.

I was hopeful that something maybe would happen, but I deffinitley couldn’t make the move anywhere, because I couldn’t keep up with him on the straightaway, so there was no place to out-brake him or anything because I wasn’t close enough.

I was pushing hard the whole race. I didn’t want [Direnzo] to get away from me. I was driving the wheels off that car. That’s as fast as it was going to go today. I think the second to last lap effort was a little bit better than the last lap. I made a little mistake on the last lap and that cost me a little.

John Fergus – Third Place

We were at the sweet spot. We must have had a different gearing than Matt, because Corey and I rolled off at the same time, so I ended up second in Turn One and second, I think, at the end of the first lap. Corey and I were running one-two, so at that point I was a happy guy.

(Thoughts during caution period)
My first thoughts were with our teammate Joey Moran when the double-yellow came out. It was obviously a big crash and I didn’t know who it was or what it was until I saw the debris. When I saw the blue and yellow bodywork I realized it was Joe. I was thrilled to see him getting out of the chassis when we went by. It took me about a lap to get over that. The guys say he’s in good shape, but it was a big hit.

After that, I thought a little bit about the C Sports Racers. They held us off with our own pace car for a lap and then they turned us loose and eventually Corey caught up to the pack. We knew that there was at least one car in the CSRs that we were quicker than, so I was a bit concerned how the start would go, but I think it worked out well.

He [Direnzo] just drove by me on the straight. That was before the caution.

I was a third-place car all week. These guys (Direnzo and Corey Fergus) were beating on each other in qualifying and I was the third place guy. That’s where I deserve to finish.

source http://www.scca.com

Related Racing News

    blog comments powered by Disqus