Majors Invitational Concludes at Texas Motor Speedway
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 6, 2012) – The inaugural SCCA Club Racing Majors Invitational weekend came to a successful conclusion Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, with both qualifying and points races as part of the Parts Plus Grand Prix of Texas weekend.
Five race groups comprised of 10 separate classes started the morning with a 10-lap qualifying race to set the respective starting lineups for the Championship races to follow. By most accounts, drivers enjoyed the additional opportunity to battle wheel-to-wheel, in lieu of the traditional timed session. The 19-lap point races that followed counted toward the Divisional, Majors and National point championships.
Race One took the green flag before lunch under cloudy skies. Like Saturday, polesitter George Jackson and Allan McCallum had a spirited battle for the overall and Formula Mazda lead. McCallum took the lead after the pair ran side-by-side each of the first three laps and held the point until Jackson took over at the half way mark. Jackson looked to have the race in hand, stretching out to a two-second lead after 12 laps, but entering Turn Three on his 13th lap, the left front suspension failed, forcing the car up the track and skidding along the wall between Oval Turns Two and Three. Jackson was uninjured.
Following the ensuing caution to collect Jackson’s stricken machine, McCallum took the restart and Stuart Rettie moved from third to second, around Russ Lindemann. On the final lap, McCallum ran wide in Turn Three in his No. 19 Moses Smith Racing entry and admitted he thought he had just given the race to Rettie’s No. 1 Hillenburg Motorsports entry. But Rettie ran wide in Turn Four, allowing McCallum to gain the advantage and score the 0.569-second victory. Lindemann finished third in his No. 76 Rocky Mountain Tire and Auto entry.
Jackson was named the SCCA Enterprises Star of the Race for being the highest finishing Formula Mazda driver that had not previously competed at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
Mike Sauce, of Arlington, Texas, started fourth in Formula F but moved to the lead around polesitter Wesley Cunningham’s No. 33 Loeb Motorsports/Over Fifty/HPD Swift Ford to take the win in his No. 2 Sportscar Performance Sauce SVM-1 Ford. Megan Sauce finished third in her No. 10 Sportscar Performance Swift Ford and won both the Alpine Litho-Graphics random cash drawing for $60. Bruce Cerveny finished fourth and took home the $50 for the SCCA Enterprises Rising Star Award.
Keith Verges, of Dallas, Texas, was on the wrong end of Saturday’s Spec Racer Ford photo finish, and had to start from the rear of the field Sunday after retiring during the qualifying race. But that did not deter him from slicing through the 23-car field and into the lead by lap six. Driving his No. 69 Apex Driving Academy Spec Racer Ford, Verges held off Saturday winner and early leader Denny Stripling and his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports entry to take the win. Rick Bellew took the lead briefly in his No. 10 entry, but a problem with his arm restraints caused him to miss a shift, dropping him to third place.
Doug Azzarito finished sixth, earning the SCCA Enterprises Rising Star Award.
In Race Three, Joe McClughan (No. 57 MAZDA6) and Toby Grahovec (No. 84 Classic BMW/Hoosier/Red Line Oil BMW Z4) had a great battle early, with Grahovec leading Super Touring® Under for the opening seven laps. On lap 8, McClughan got past for the lead in Turn Three, and two laps later, Grahovec started to fade, his car overheating. They finished in that order, with David Kohler third in his No. 82 Over Fifty Racing Pontiac Solstice GXP. Matt Blehm finished fourth in his No. 48 Nissan 240SX, taking the SCCA Enterprises Rising Star of the Race award.
Meanwhile, Craig Berry ran away to his fourth-straight SCCA Majors Championship race win in the No. 29 US Granite Mazda Miata by 10.376 seconds.
Aaron McSpadden started sixth, but moved up to second in his father’s borrowed No. 67 Motorsportheaven.com Mazda Miata, just holding off Jim Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata.
Michael Ross earned the SCCA Enterprises Rising Star award, finishing fourth in his No. 22 Philips Race Prep/Cordray Wagner Schneller Miata.
Race Four featured a pair of dominating wins, but also excellent battles for second place.
In Formula 500, C.J. McAbee, of Topeka, Kan., scored his sixth-straight SCCA Majors Championship win in his No. 15 A.J.’s Import Garage A.J.’s 2012 Special, setting a new track record in the process. The battle behind was fierce, including no fewer than four cars holding the runner-up position at some point. Jack Walbran ended up coming out on top of the fight for second in his No. 67 Mitchell Racing Services Scorpion, with Timothy Friest third in his No. 86 XTRacing/RodEndSupply/Mobile Reasoning KBS.
Charles Hearn, of Houston, Texas, drove his No. 37 Irion Filtration/Noble Racing/Goodyear/Hearn Contractors Vortech VW to a flag-to-flag win. Behind him, the battle for second between Dwight Calkins, Greg Smith and Lisa Noble was a back-and-forth affair, with positions changing each lap. In the end, Calkins came home second, in his No. 87 CPC Protoform, followed by Smith’s No. 6 Protoform.
Farooq Iqbal was named the SCCA Enterprises Rising Star, and Duke Waldrop received the Noble Enterprises drawing prize of $100.
The final race of the weekend for the Production cars featured a three-way battle for the lead between a trio of Caterham 7 Americas. Polesitter Rick Kosdrosky had the early advantage in his No. 77 Kosmic Enterprises/Over Fifty Motorsports/Hoosier/Summit Racing Caterham, but 18-year-old Andrew Robertson again applied the pressure in his No. 24 Hoosier/Summit/SafeRacer Caterham. The duo swapped the lead at least a half dozen times over the first 15 laps, before Mike Halbrook, who was waiting in the wings in his No. 75 Caterham, moved to second and began to close on Kosdrosky. In the end, he didn’t have enough to try to pass for the lead, and Kosdrosky, of Granbury, Texas, took the 0.160-second win.
James R. Smith, of Alvin, Texas, took his second-straight win in F Production, driving his No. 62 Over 50 Motorsports Honda Del Sol. Robert Vick brought his Acura Integra home second.
One driver from each class was selected at random to earn a $250 Gift Certificate courtesy of Competition Data Systems. The were: David Vincent (F500), John Dorety (SRF), Megan Sauce (FF), Lee Thomas (SM), Rick Kosdrosky (EP), James Smith (FP), Dave Zavelson (FM), Joe McClughan and R. David Jones (FV).
Steve Gluskoter was selected at random out of all the Spec Racer Ford drivers to win the SafeRacer $100 gift certificate as the Promoter of the Race. SCCA recognizes one driver or a group of drivers for their efforts to increase event entries within a class.
Full event results are available at the event page at http://www.scca.com/events/index.cfm?eid=3705.
FORT WORTH, Texas – Class winners from Saturday’s SCCA Club Racing Majors Invitational Championship races, part of the Parts Plus Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway with class, driver, hometown and car.
E Production, Rick Kosdrosky, Granbury, Texas, Caterham 7 America.
F Production, James Smith, Alvin, Texas, Honda Del Sol.
Formula 500, C.J. McAbee, Topeka, Kan., A.J.'s 2012.
Formula F, Mike Sauce, Arlington, Texas, Sauce Ford.
Formula Mazda, Allan McCallum, Houston, Texas, Star Formula Mazda.
Formula Vee, Charlie Hearn, Houston, Texas, Vortech.
Spec Miata, Craig Berry, Tyler, Texas, Mazda Miata.
Spec Racer Ford, Keith Verges, Dallas, Texas, SCCA Spec Racer Ford.
Super Tour U, Joe McClughan, New Braunfels, Texas, MAZDA6.