JENNINGS, Okla. (April 14, 2012) – Despite the lingering threat of Midwestern storms blowing across the plains on Saturday, the first day of racing at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit stayed dry and provided the action typical of SCCA National Races.
Early morning thunderstorms left the track wet for morning qualifying, but the high winds and occasional sunshine meant each of the six groups got a dry circuit for the afternoon races.
The action started in Group 1 with the small formula cars, where Cliff Johnson took an early lead the No. 4 Alpine Litho-Graphics/Farley Engines Piper DF-5 Ford Formula F machine. Working lap 13 of the scheduled 25-lap race, Johnson caught a lapped car and the two made contact, launching Johnson up in the air and out of the race, though he would walk away unharmed.
Taking advantage of the situation was Tim Webb, who cruised to a victory in the No. 24 BBD Racing Swift DB-6 Ford. C.J. McAbee’s No. 15 AJ’s Import Garage/Hoosier AJ’s 2012 took the Formula 500 win, while Lisa Noble piloted her No. 7 Littlefeat.net Vortech FV past Bill Johnson’s No. 42 Portable Work Tools, Inc. FV Vortech late in the race for the Formula Vee title.
Rick Kosdrosky’s No. 77 Kosmic Enterprises/Over Fifty Motorsports Caterham Super 7 grabbed the overall and E Production win in Group 2, but the battle of the race was for the F Production crown. Polesitter Sam Henry took an early lead in his No. 37 Springfield Dyno/SafeRacer/Goodyear Mazda Miata, but as the pair worked through lapped traffic, Eric Prill’s No. 7 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier/OS Giken Mazda Miata moved to the inside going into Turn One on lap 17 and took the lead and the eventual victory.
Brian Laughlin drove his No. 25 Tulsa Radiology Assiociates/Mazda/Hoosier moved around Jim Drago’s East Street Racing Mazda Miata for the STL win late in the race. Also in Group 2, Kent Prather earned the GT-Lite win in the No. 26 Prather Racing/MAZDASPEED Mazda Miata, Toby Grahovec snared the STU win in the No. 84 Classic BMW/Hoosier Tire BMW Z4, and Jack Schulz took gold in the No. 75 Automotive Archeologists MG Midget.
Polesitter Denny Stripling led flag-to-flag in the Group 3, made up entirely of the Spec Racer Ford class. Stripling set the fast lap of the race in his No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports Spec Racer Ford, topping Cliff White (No. 58 Thompson White Racing SRF) and Jim Cote, Jr. (No. 20 SRF).
Group 4 saw a loss of position near the top on the final lap when Jim Drago’s No. 58 East Street Racing, running second overall and chasing Spec Miata leader Craig Berry, spun and fell off the leader’s pace. Berry took the win in the No. 29 US Granite Mazda Miata, followed by Matt Reynolds and Chris Haldeman (No. 72 Phillips Race Prep/Complete Dent Repair Mazda Miata).
Also in the group, Richard Kulach took the Touring 3 win in the No. 02 Nissan Sport Magazine Nissan 350Z, Toby Grahovec (No. 84 Classic BMW/Hoosier Tire BMW Z4) took the Showroom Stock B class win, and John Saucier (No. 31 Mazda/SKM/Redline/BFGoodrich Tires MAZDA3) grabbed the Showroom Stock C victory.
The ground pounders made up Group 5, and the No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Oldsmobile Cutlass GT-1 machine of David Fershtand made a late-race pass on Tom Smith’s No. 62 USA Metal Recycling Chevrolet Camaro to take the Majors victory. Jeff Gainsborough (GT-2 No. 94 Porsche GT3 Cup), Mike McGinley (Touring 1 No. 50 Superior Chevrolet Corvette), and Mark Kirby (STO No. 21 Dodge Viper) filled the top five overall and took their respective class wins.
Bill Gray topped an 8-car American Sedan field for a victory in the No. 09 Pontiac Firebird. Brian Haupt (Mazda RX-7) led the GT-3 class to the checkered flag.
The final group of open-wheel machines was a Formula Mazda sweep after Jacek Mucha’s CSR machine pulled off course after 12 laps. Alan McCallum took the top spot in his No. 19 Moses Smith Racing Formula Mazda, followed by George Jackson (No. 76 FM) and Russ Lindemann (No. 16 Rocky Mountain Tire & Auto Formula Mazda). Jason Hickey won CSR in the No. 32 Spring Door Mazda Sport Racer, with Steve Meyer topping Sports 2000 in the No. 48 Lola 89/90.
The SCCA Majors weekend continues Sunday morning with the BFGoodrich Tires SCCA Super Tour. Qualifying begins at 8 a.m. Central time, followed by races in the afternoon.
More information on the event weekend is available at the event page here, including entry lists and live timing and scoring links.
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