ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Sept. 22, 2013) – It was a big day for Saferacer polesitter Chris Farrell, of Salt Lake City, on Sunday at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs® at Road America. He won the D Sports Racing National title and, as a result, won the prestigious Club Racing Super Sweep in the process. David Locke, of Lafayette, Ind., and Tom Bootz, of Evansville, Ind., completed the podium.
Though the polesitter, Farrell started on the outside of the front row in the No. 58 C&M Manufacturing/GDR Engines/Hoosier Tires Stohr WF1. This was an interesting decision because it allowed Bootz to take the early race lead. But, on lap two, Bootz hit the Turn 6 rumble strips, which led to his car’s kill switch being shut off. Bootz pull off course at Turn 9 and Farrell took the lead. He went on to win in dominating fashion by 10.800 seconds over Locke. This was Farrell’s first DSR National title and his third-career Runoffs podium.
“You know, I just wasn’t thinking,” Farrell said of starting on the outside pole. “I was on the normal driving line on the straightaway. In fact, even after the start, I hadn’t realized I hadn’t taken the inside for the pole position. I had no idea. It was just brain fade – totally!
“I was very surprised that he [Bootz] pulled off. I figured I was going to have to chase him down and actually work to get by him. He made it awfully easy for me, so I was pleasantly surprised, because I lost my headrest. I had to hold my head up the whole time at 150 mph. My neck is still pretty sore."
Farrell was the first driver of the 50th Runoffs to win the prestigious Club Racing Super Sweep. The Super Sweep is the most difficult on-track award for a driver to claim, as it requires a U.S. Majors Tour Conference Championship, a win in a key, designated Majors race, the nationwide point championship, and a National Championship at the Runoffs, all in the same class.
“For me, it’s like, finally,” Farrell said of his first Runoffs win. “I’ve been second a couple times and third and broken, and just had so much bad luck at the Runoffs. This feels pretty good.
“I had heard of the Super Sweep, so that was kind of an added treat. It’s pretty gratifying. It’s nice to have finally done it, and winning the Super Sweep is an added bonus. I chased the Majors this year and had a lot of fun – we had a great time running. So it’s very gratifying to have won the Runoffs and the Super Sweep.
Locke started third in the No. 18 Moon’s Supercycle Stohr WF1 Suzuki and moved up to second by lap four, a position he would never relinquish. Locke's second-place finish was a Runoffs career-best for him. His previous best Runoffs finish was fifth in 2011.
“It was largely uneventful, other than when Brian Hall spun in front of me,” Locke said of his race. “I had a lot of difficulty getting heat in the tires. I had the same set of tires to last the whole week. I scrubbed those Monday morning, and made them last until today. I think one of the downsides was that they were pretty tired by the race, sliding a lot in the early laps. Brian managed to get by me in (Turns) 5 and 6, and then spun in front of me; I had to get on the brakes in order to keep from T-boning him. After that, I just kind of put my head down and tried to get back in the rhythm and run consistent laps and keep an eye in the mirrors, looking for the CSRs coming from behind.”
Bootz got the good fortune to start from pole in the No. 36 Hoosier/Havoc Motorsports/Bootz Industries Stohr WF1. Shortly after the green flag dropped, Bootz darted into the lead in Turn 1 and led the first lap. But, on the second lap, Bootz hit the Turn 6 rumble strips damaging some bodywork that hit the kill switch on his machine. He coasted to a stop off driver’s left at Turn 9.
“Well, our polesitter decided he didn’t want the inside of the track apparently,” Bootz said of his race start. “I’m not sure what that was all about, but that’s fine. We got a good start. He pulled out a little bit, and I pulled out a little bit, and was able to get out in front. It was going pretty until we got to Turn 6. We hit some rumble strips and the bodywork came up and hit the kill switch, so it shut off.
“Oddly, I figured that’s what that was; otherwise, something else would have broken. So then, I had to think about where there might be somebody that could turn it back on for me. Having gone off a lot here, I went to Turn Nine. It worked; the guy ran out and understood what I was yelling, and turned it back on for me.”
By then, Bootz had dropped from first to sixth before he got his No. 36 machine restarted. Bootz put down some consistently fast laps, including the Hawk Performance Hot Lap of 2:04.697 (115.480 mph), to be back in contention for the final podium spot by lap five. Unfortunately, he was too far behind Farrell and Locke to contend for a higher finish.
“Well, it wasn’t much of a race; I caught a couple of guys and got around them,” Bootz said. “I just got some good laps and tried to stay consistent. I didn’t really know where I was, because I didn’t count how many guys I passed. And then, the CSRs were coming up, and I didn’t want to get in their way, so I was watching my mirrors and trying to get some halfway decent laps, trying to get into position. Finally, the crew did tell me I was in position three. It worked out in the end.”
Bootz got the GoPro Hero Move of the Race for getting his machine restarted to finish third. Bootz won the DSR National title in 2011. This now gives his four-career podium finishes.
Jim Hallman, of Kitchener, Ontario, finished fourth in the No. 64 Stohr WF1 Suzuki. Brian Hall, of Spring Grove, Ill., finished fifth in the No. 69 Audi Hoffman Estates/Hoosier Stohr WF1.
Doug Piner, of Chapel Hill, N.C., was the Sunoco Hard Charger after improving three positions. He started ninth and finished sixth.
The 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Road America, Friday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 22.
Follow all the live timing and scoring and get results at www.scca.com/runoffs. Live Twitter stream is available @SCCALive. Follow this weekend’s races on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SCCAOfficial.
The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available through Sunday at www.SpeedcastTV.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Provisional results for Sunday’s D Sports Racing national championship at the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America, with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1), Chris Farrell, Salt Lake City, UT, Stohr WF1, 12.
2, (3), David Locke, Lafayette, IN, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 12.
3, (2), Tom Bootz, Evansville, IN, Stohr WF1, 12.
4, (5), Jim Hallman, Kitchener, ON, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 12.
5, (4), Brian Hall, Spring Grove, IL, Stohr WF1, 12.
6, (9), Doug Piner, Chapel Hill, NC, Dauntless MX-1 Suzuki, 11.
7, (7), Michael Reupert, Hubertus, WI, NosTendo 1, 10.
DNF, (11), Garrett Kletjian, Hingham, MA, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, 3.
DNF, (6), Richard Colburn, Northbrook, IL, NosTendo 2 Suzuki, 0.
DNS, (8), Jim Vogel, Middleton, WI, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, .
DNS, (10), Brandon Dixon, Tuscaloosa, AL, Stohr WF1 Suzuki, .
Overall Time of Race: 26:40.986
Average Race Speed: 107.933 mph
Margin of Victory: 10.800 seconds
Hawk Fastest Race Lap: 2:04.697
Fastest Race Lap Average Speed: 115.697 mph
Sunoco Hard Charger: #00 Doug Piner
Lap Leaders: #36 – Laps 1, #58 – Laps 2-13