Miserendino Takes SRF Win in Final Lap; Ends 8-year Drought

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 29, 2017)- In a tight battle for the Spec Racer Ford (SRF) National Championship, Mike Miserendino of Bakersfield, California, took the checkered flag in his MBI Racing machine for the first time since 2009 during the 54th Sports Car Club of America® National Championship Runoffs® at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway on Friday.

Todd Harris of Portland, Oregon, finished second for a fifth overall national podium, and Scott Rettich of Columbus, Ohio, snagged third for a 12th overall national podium.

“Crossing the bricks at IMS as a national champion hasn’t set in yet,” Miserendino said with a huge smile on his face. “I actually felt the bricks underneath me every time, but on the last lap it could have been a cobble stone road and I wouldn’t have known; I was just focusing on that flag. It’s awesome to race and win here in Indy. I feel absolutely amazing right now.”

Harris dominated the SRF class leading up to the championship race, setting fast-lap time in all four qualifying sessions. Driving the No. 42 Pro Drive Racing/Flatout car, Harris lost the chance to defend his 2016 title as the lapped-traffic on the final lap played a role in Miserendino’s win.

“The lapped traffic kept things entertaining today,” Harris said. “It helped me take first but in the end, it threw me off because we had traffic four cars long. I chose to draft and Mike took the inside, and he got by. I love racing these guys, though. They race very hard but clean. Everyone played it straight-up today and that is what we want Spec Racer Ford to be.”

The 50-car SRF field started the 19-lap race with Harris inside on the pole and Miserendino completing the front row. Denny Stripling of McKinney, Texas, Rettich and Todd Vanacore of Ormond Beach, Florida, rounded out the top-five starters.

Rettich got the jump on the start and slipped into first before Turn 1, creating a small gap from the rest of the field. However, his momentum was interrupted by a full-course yellow caused by a four-car, Turn 1 incident.

On the restart, Miserendino took the lead, holding off Rettich. Rettich, tight on Miserendino’s tail, seized the front-runner’s position during Lap 16, but not without contention from the 2016 SRF National Champion Harris. Harris completed a bold pass in lapped traffic to take the lead on Lap 17.

Harris led going into the penultimate lap with Miserendino and Rettich trying to catch his draft. As the trio approached the front straight, Harris ducked to the outside of lapped-traffic as Miserendino took the inside. Miserendino’s calculated move landed him the win, dropping Harris to second.

Miserendino, Harris and Rettich take the track again Saturday for the Spec Ford Gen 3 race.

The No. 7 Southeast Spec Racer/Lightspeed car of Denny Stripling finished fourth, and Matthew Harper finished fifth in the No. 77 Rose-Hulman racecar.

The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to the No. 78 Astra Products Co. car of Bill Ladoniczki who started 39th and finished in sixteenth position.

The 54th SCCA National Championship Runoffs, the Pinnacle of American Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Friday, September 29 through Sunday, Oct 1.

While the live broadcast of all 28 National Championships is available at SCCA.com and Motor Trend OnDemand, each race will be on demand in the coming weeks.

Provisional results for Friday’s Spec Racer Ford (SRF) race at the 54th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.

1, (2), Mike Miserendino, Bakersfield, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
2, (1), Todd Harris, Portland, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
3, (4), Scott Rettich, Columbus, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
4, (3), Denny Stripling, McKinney, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
5, (8), Matthew Harper, Charlotte, NC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
6, (6), Charles Turner, Montpelier, VA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
7, (11), Connor Solis, Prunedale, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
8, (10), Dave Ogburn III, San Angelo, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
9, (14), Todd Fox, Memphis, TN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
10, (18), Craig Blackwell, Carmel, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
11, (15), Mark Goodman, Brentwood, TN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
12, (17), Thomas A Panaggio, Tampa, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
13, (16), Bill Cullen, Merritt Island, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
14, (24), Benjamin Brinn, Lafayette, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
15, (29), Bernard Grogan, Newtown Square, PA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
16, (39), Bill Ladoniczki, Odessa, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
17, (30), Reid Johnson, Hamel, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
18, (38), Mark Peyser, Easton, CT, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
19, (31), John Annis, Tampa, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
20, (20), Thomas Kirchman, Kilchberg, ZH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
21, (33), Roy Hillenburg, Friendswood, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
22, (27), Scott Schweitzer, Lake Orion, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
23, (19), Kurt Breitinger, Martinez, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
24, (25), Geno Barbera, Carson City, NV, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
25, (34), Mark Fickenscher, Painesville, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
26, (44), David Knoche, Greensboro, NC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
27, (21), Dave Cammack, New Brighton, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
28, (26), Vince Balch, San Diego, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
29, (40), Bruce Kromminga, Millersville, MD, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
30, (42), Steven Thomas, Marlton, NJ, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 19.
31, (45), Raymond R. Moser, Red Bank, NJ, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
32, (43), Jim Nash, Bloomington, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
33, (35), Scott Sanda, Western Springs, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
34, (36), Jim Tibor Jr, Silver Plume, CO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
35, (48), David Glodowski, Minneapolis, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
36, (47), Craig Wheatley, White Bear Lk, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
37, (46), Michael Pesch, Franklin Park, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
38, (50), David De Bolt, Cumberland, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 18.
39, (49), Steve Ladoniczki, Palm Harbor, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 17.
40, (13), Tom Burt, Woodway, WA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 17.
41, (23), Bruce Richardson, Los Gatos, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 10.
42, (32), Jim Tibor, Cortland, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 9.
43, (22), Hal Briand, New Baltimore, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 5.
44, (28), Jay Messenger, Muleshoe, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 2.
45, (37), Efren Ormaza, Quito, ECU, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 2.
46, (5), Todd Vanacore, Ormond Beach, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 0.
47, (7), B. Doug Mead, Melbourne, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 0.
48, (9), Richard Baldwin, Covington, LA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 0.
49, (12), Max Koff, Ann Arbor, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 0.
50, (41), Doug Stewart, Porter Ranch, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford, 0.

Length of Race: 49 miles
Overall Time of Race: 39:14.221
Average Speed: 75.308 mph
Margin of Victory: 00.194 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:53.769 (82.019 mph)
Lap Leaders: No. 17 laps 1-2,17; #11 laps 3-16, 19; #42 lap 18
Sunoco Hard Charger: No. 78 Bill Ladoniczki

Image: Mike Miserendino on his way to the SRF win at the Runoffs.
Photo Credit: Mark Weber

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