Buttermore Better in Majors Northern Conf. Championship

TOPEKA, Kan. (September 8, 2017) – The SCCA® U.S. Majors Tour® Northern Conference wrapped up its calendar in August after a 12-race battle across five different circuits. Nearly 750 competitors throttled up to challenge for the conference championship across 28 classes, but only the most skilled and determined claimed a Northern Conference Championship.

John M. Buttermore had a productive season, taking two Northern Conference Championships driving a Chevrolet Corvette.  In Touring 1, Buttermore claimed the championship over Craig Capaldi in a Ford Boss 302 Mustang.  Buttermore also grabbed the Touring 2 conference championship, besting Aaron Kaplan and his M3 BMW.

The Spec Miata field boasted almost 120 competitors this season in the Northern Conference.  Daniel Bender took the championship with 180 points after earning wins at Road America and GingerMan Raceway. Voytek Burdzy was only 13 points behind Bender at the end of the season.

The American Sedan conference battle came down to Ford Mustang racers Andy McDermid and Craig Weidner. McDermid managed wins at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America to secure the AS conference championship with Weidner only 14 points behind.  The F Production fight was close, too, as Mazda Miata pilots David Bednarz and Michael Froh found themselves separated by only 17 points at season’s end, with Bednarz claiming victory.

A couple open-wheel classes added excitement to the Northern Conference points contest.  In Formula Vee, Jeffrey Loughead and his Vortech CR04 earned 150 points and the championship. Michael Varacins, in a Speed Sport AM-5, was only 16 points behind Loughead.  Then in Formula F, Robert Gross and his Piper DL 7 scooped up a championship without winning a conference race during the year.  But solid performances throughout the season earned him 18 more championship points than runner-up Tazio Stefanelli in a Spectrum FF1600 racecar.

U.S. Majors Tour Northern Conference action began in May at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit, Illinois.  The six-weekend, 12-race battle then moved to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in June for a Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour event.  The Hoosier Super Tour fight continued on with the WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Northern Conference Round Seven and Round Eight were hosted at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan; then it was back to Road America in late July for Round Nine and Round Ten.  The Northern Conference then concluded at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan.

Conference points are awarded to the top 20 finishers in each class.  Winners earn 25 points, and 21 points go to second.  Points are then doled out to others starting with 18 and descending to a single point for the 20th finisher. Only the best eight races count towards a driver’s point total.  Below are Northern Conference Champions with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
- American Sedan®: Andrew McDermid; Howell, MI; Ford Mustang
- B-Spec: Tom Coury; Westlake, OH; Mazda 2
- E Production: Joe Moser; Wilmette, IL; Honda Prelude
- F Production: David Bednarz; Ann Arbor, MI; Mazda Miata
- H Production: Gregory Gauper; Hubertus, WI; Honda Civic
- Formula 1000: Nicholas Vardis; Sylvan Lake, MI; JDR F1000
- Formula Atlantic®: Charles Duncan; Broomfield, CO; Swift 016A
- Formula Continental®: Jim Victor; Davenport, IA; Van Diemen RF-01
- Formula 500: Steven Thompson; Royal Oak, MI; T&R Fabricating TR1
- Formula Enterprise: Elliot Finlayson; Yorkville, IL; Formula Enterprises Mazda
- Formula F: Robert Gross; Washington Twp., MI; Piper DL7
- Formula Mazda: Jason Vinkemulder; Spring Lake, MI; Star Mazda FM
- Formula Vee®: Jeffrey Loughead; Darien, IL; Vortech CR04
- GT-1: Dave Ruehlow; Hartland, WI; Chevrolet Corvette
- GT-2: Jonathan Start; Caledonia, MI; Dodge Viper
- GT-3: Kenford Nelson; Novi, MI; Nissan 200SX
- GT-Lite: Ryan Kristoff; Farmington, MI; Honda CRX
- Prototype 1: John Gyann; Darien, IL; Stohr WF1
- Prototype 2: Michael Reupert; Hubertus, WI; Nostendo 1
- Spec Miata: Daniel Bender; Northbrook, IL; Mazda Miata
- Spec Racer Ford: Max Koff; Ann Arbor, MI; Spec Racer Ford
- Spec Racer Ford 3: Bobby Sak; Mattawan, MI; Spec Racer Ford Gen3
- Super Touring® Lite: Eric Kutil; Columbus, OH; Honda Civic Si
- Super Touring® Under: Kevin Boehm; Marysville, OH; Honda Civic
- Touring 1: John Buttermore; South Lyon, MI; Chevrolet Corvette
- Touring 2: John Buttermore; South Lyon, MI; Chevrolet Corvette
- Touring 3: Paul Kwiecinski; Northbrook, IL; Mazda MX-5
- Touring 4: Thomas Bernacki; Chicago, IL; Mazda MX-5

The U.S. Majors Tour is one pathway to the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® being held September 25 through October 1 on a road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana.  U.S. Majors Tour drivers qualify for the Runoffs by participating in three U.S. Majors Tour weekends and starting at least three U.S. Majors Tour races in the same car class over the course of the season.

The Sports Car Club of America®, Inc., founded in 1944, is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.

Photo: John Buttermore grabbed the T1 and T2 Northern Conference Championships
Photo Credit: Digital Automotive Depictions