With so much happening in three race weekends, what should you keep track of? Start with these items:
Break Out The Crowns: Champions will be officially crowned on both coasts during this holiday weekend as the Eastern Conference and Western Conference wrap up their seasons. Drivers in the 12-race Eastern Conference will count their best eight finishes, with the Western Conference competitors counting their best six point scoring races.
Watkins Glen Watch List: The BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour this weekend is the largest of the three events, with 286 cars on the entry list over 28 classes… Jacek Mucha has clinched the crown in C Sports Racing, but has a chance to win his eighth and ninth Eastern Conference races this weekend…Donald Walsh has a shot to go from third to first in E Production this weekend, leapfrogging both Robert Stratos and Greg Ira…A very deep Formula 500 field means that Jack Walbran’s 27-point lead over Michael Brent isn’t a lock. A finish on Saturday will go a long way, however… Chris Fahan, Richard Zober and John Burke are all alive in Formula Atlantic, but will need strong runs on Saturday to stay in contention…Glen Cooper is six for six in his appearances in Formula 1000. He has a very good chance to max out his season points… As of now, Justin Huffman is still alive in Formula Enterprises. Trailing by 24 points, he’ll need a Paul Schneider stumble to catch up… Jerome Hinkle needs two wins and some help to overtake Richard Fohl in F Production. Fohl has eight events already, but a pair of seventh place finishes could be replaced for more points… Stevan Davis has clinched Formula Vee, but is looking for wins five and six…18-year-old Dillon Machavern, driving a 1965 Ford Falcon, has clinched GT-1. He’s currently riding a four-race winning streak…Russ Snow and Jason Lee are separated by just three points in GT-2. Should they both stumble, Jim Goughary is lurking 25 points back… A finish in either race will clinch the GT-3 crown for Steven Lustig…Robert Lentz II has a 16-point cushion in GT-Lite over Brian Downey…An H Production finish by Bradley Davis is worth a crown… Spec Miata belongs to Danny Steyn, who has three wins on his resume…Six points separate Cliff White and Tray Ayres in Spec Racer Ford. Each have maxed out but can drop poor finishes. Ayres has more to gain, with a ninth and a fifth to drop. White, the leader, has worst finishes of fourth and third. An Ayres win would be worth 11 points – the same by White would net six… With leader Raymond Philibert not on the entry list, Bruce Andersen could go from third to first in Super Touring Lite… If either Eric Heinrich or David Brand sweep the weekend in Super Touring Under, they’ll jump to the top of the championship. Anything less, however, gives the title to the truant Michael Flynn… Coming off of a crash in his Ford Mustang Boss 302S at New Jersey, George Winkler has all but clinched Touring 1… David Sanders needs help to make up the 17-point gap to Michael Pullano in Touring 2… Brian Price needs to replace a runner-up with a win this weekend to max out his Touring 4 points. He has, obviously, clinched a title.
Portland Party: The Western Conference, with an eight race schedule, counts six races toward the Championship… Derrick Ambrose has B-Spec in the bag… A finish either day is all Miles Jackson needs in C Sports Racing… Gary Gist has six finishes and the E Production title in hand, but could increase his points with any finish better than fifth this weekend… Snake Livernash, with 30 points over the weekend, moves to the Formula Atlantic title…Sean Powers is in the F Production driver’s seat. Bad luck is all that will keep him from the title…Terran Swanson is up 14 in Formula Vee entering the weekend. He’ll count one race, and replace a ninth in the second. It may come down to the wire in the battle with Dennis Andrade, who will count both races this weekend… Erich Joiner appears to have mathematically clinched the GT-2 battle, but expect he and runner-up Ken Muth to battle in both races for wins… Based on the entry list, Dave Humphrey could make a dramatic move from sixth to the championship in GT-3. It will require a pair of very strong finishes, however… Mike Cummings should be able to leapfrog Jason Isley for the H Production crown… David Ferguson has just a little bit of work to do to clinch Sports 2000. He’s also looking for wins four and five on the season… Todd Harris has one more finish to add to his point total. If he stumbles, Lee Douglas is just eight markers back…Oscar Jackson is six for six on the West Coast in Super Touring Under. His Championship is safe, but the watch for the perfect season is on… Marc Hoover has all but clinched Super Touring Under. He would like to replace a dramatic DNF and a fourth-place finish with a pair of wins, which would be his sixth of the season to max the point total… Michael von Quilich has a four-race winning streak on his way to the Touring 1 title… The entry list shows Pratt Cole in Touring 1, rather than his championship leading Touring 2. If that is, indeed, the case, it opens the door for Scotty White in Touring 2. If Cole runs T2, expect a shootout… Touring 4 Champion Lance Stewart’s only goal is to replace a pair of third-place finishes with wins, giving him six on the season.
High Plains Happenings: High Plains marks Rounds Seven and Eight of 10 on the Mid-States schedule… Jim Wheeler leads American Sedan, and is riding a four-race winning streak… Jay Messenger is up from Texas to extend his C Sports Racing lead… Matt Reynolds is looking for wins five and six in E Production, and his second and third in Spec Miata… Timothy Friest and David Vincent can each close the Formula 500 point gap… Gaston Kearby has an opening to overtake the Formula Atlantic championship lead… Henry Donohoo, most likely, will take over the Formula Enterprises point lead after High Plains… Doug Stout and Bill Kephart are separated by one point in Formula F… Allan McCallum has three wins this season in Formula Mazda. A pair at High Plains would all but clinch a title… Sam Henry has, essentially, a two-race advantage in F Production but is not on the High Plains entry list. Neal Frank, Curtis Wood and Eric Prill could pull into a virtual four-way dead heat for the finale with good weekends… Tyler Hunter has two wins and two runner-ups in Formula Vee this season… Jim Speitz and Jim Valdez are separated by just three points in GT-3… Jerry Oleson is just five back in H Production… Steven Meyer is six tallys ahead of Chris Helt. Helt won twice at Pikes Peak…Barring an unforeseen setback, Denny Stripling will take over the Spec Racer Ford point lead this weekend…Bob Schader has a chance to wrap up the Super Touring Lite title at High Plains…Natha Waldbaum and Michael Pettiford are second and third, respectively, in Touring 2. Pettiford has two Colorado wins already…Derek Kulach and Bob Boileau battled at PPIR, with Kulach getting the better end of both races in Touring 3. They’ll pick up again at High Plains…Rick Shively leads the Touring 4 points, but Stan Czacki has won three of the last four, and tossed in a runner-up for good measure.
The Dawn Of An Era: In September 2012, the Sports Car Club of America rolled out the U.S. Majors Tour as the top level of amateur racing in this country. This holiday weekend features three events spread across the country – the BFGoodrich Tires Watkins Glen Super Tour at Watkins Glen International (Eastern Conference), The Freedom Sprints sponsored by Mazda of Lakewood at High Plains Raceway (Mid-States Conference), and Portland International Raceway (Western Conference). Drivers across the country will participate, featuring an enhanced race experience for drivers and fans, from pre-race to post-race activities.
Traction with BFGoodrich Tires: The official street tire of the SCCA, BFGoodrich Tires returns for its third season as sponsor of the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour events. The 2013 schedule featured six week. This weekend’s double at Watkins Glen International is the sixth and final race on the schedule, including the January rounds at Sebring International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway, a March debut at Circuit of the Americas, and April and June rounds at VIRginia International Raceway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, respectively. Each of those events were a part of the U.S. Majors Tour and the robust SafeRacer SCCA National Racing Series.
SCCA Club Racers – The Best In The Country: There many amateur road racing groups in the United States, but the clear leader of top drivers is with the SCCA. Though most are weekend warriors who take vacations from their full-time jobs to attend races, it’s a craft taken seriously. Bobby Rahal, Mark Donohue, Roger Penske, Michael Andretti, and actor/driver Paul Newman got their start in SCCA Club Racing. More recently, you could have seen current stars Boris Said, Graham Rahal, Sam Hornish or J.R. Hildebrand at an SCCA Club race. This weekend features National Champions, professional race winners and series champions, and up-and-coming stars on the entry lists.