Pardus Headlines Spec Miata at Runoffs

(updated: September 30 at 6:55 p.m. Eastern to reflect a change in second place in the official results)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 29, 2017) – Spec Miata (SM) has been an exciting class to watch all week during the SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  More than 100 drivers posted qualifying times during the week, and a Last Chance Race was held late Thursday afternoon to decide who would fill the final 12 starting positions.

Spec Miata qualifying was led all week by Chris Haldeman in the No. 28 X-Factor Racing machine who brought the 72-car field to the green flag for the start.  The gaggle of colorful cars made it clean through Turn 1, which is a credit to the caliber of skill Runoffs drivers exhibit.

Haldeman held the lead early, with Preston Pardus’ No. 42 Danus Utilities/5X Racing/ESR/PR Mazda Miata and the No. 39 Adept/Rossini/OPM/G-Loc Mazda Miata of Danny Steyn in tow.  But within only a couple laps, things started to change rapidly and often.

For most of the 19-lap event around the 15-turn, 2.592-mile Indianapolis road circuit, there were as many as six SM challengers who made up the front pack.  Contenders throughout included the No. 44 Kessler/Flatout/Carbotech Mazda Miata of Tyler Kicera, the No. 13 Baci Racing/Keenan Transit/Rossini Mazda Miata of Michael Gagliardo, the No. 21 Bravo Trailers Mazda Miata of Daniel Bender, and Michael Carter’s No. 08 Rossini/Carbotech Mazda Miata.

The race, which went without a full-course yellow, came down to the last lap.  As the lead pack came down the front straight it was Rollan of Miami, Florida, who held the slightest advantage over Steyn of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Pardus of New Smyrna Beach, Florida.  Going into Turn 1, Pardus positioned himself outside Rollan and right up against the white, outer cement wall while Steyn moved to Rollan’s inside.  Smoke curled up from Pardus’ car as he executed a late-braking maneuver to gain the advantage and the lead -- a lead he never relinquished as he went on to become the 2017 Spec Miata Runoffs Champ.

“This is big. This is awesome,” Pardus said after the race. “The historical significance of this track is major.  It’s paved the way for the past 100 years. To say I’ve actually got to race here is incredible. And to make it a Runoffs win is even more incredible.”

While Pardus moved into the lead, Steyn managed to maneuver himself into second spot.  He looked to be taking a bit of a defensive posture the last half of the final lap, and crossed the finish line second. 

Unfortunately, Steyn was later disqualified by the Chief Steward for a non-compliant car. 

Rollan brought his car home in third, elevated a day later to a runner-up finish. 

“Everyone kind of thought beforehand it was going to be a Texas thing this year,” Rollan joked.  “It’s a great thing the three of us from Florida are here.  We made it.”

Haldeman finished fourth and Carter came home fifth. Each were also elevated one position, giving Haldeman the third-place trophy. 

The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to TRB Autosport No. 19 of Justin Elder who started 52nd and finished 29th in the large class.

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 and Motor Trend OnDemand, each race will be on demand in the coming weeks.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Provisional results for Friday’s Spec Miata (SM) 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), Preston Pardus, New Smyrna Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
2, (10), Selin M. Rollan, Miami, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
3, (1), Chris Haldeman, McKinney, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
4, (9), Michael Carter, Savannah, GA, Mazda Miata, 19.
5, (7), Daniel Bender, Northbrook, IL, Mazda Miata, 19.
6, (8), Michael Gagliardo, Chicago, IL, Mazda Miata, 19.
7, (6), Jonathan Davis, Wadsworth, OH, Mazda Miata, 19.
8, (15), Joseph Federl, Austin, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
9, (11), Nick Leverone, Mendon, MA, Mazda Miata, 19.
10, (12), Andrew Charbonneau, Boca Raton, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
11, (13), Paul Holton, Tallahassee, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
12, (26), Jim Drago, Memphis, TN, Mazda Miata, 19.
13, (16), Jason Knuteson, Danville, IN, Mazda Miata, 19.
14, (27), Taylor Ferranti, Cypress, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
15, (29), Voytek Burdzy, Shiller Park, IL, Mazda Miata, 19.
16, (23), John Davison, Jacksonville Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
17, (17), Erik Stearns, Van Buren, OH, Mazda Miata, 19.
18, (32), Max Nufer, St. Louis, MO, Mazda Miata, 19.
19, (22), B. Clark Cambern, Dewitt, MI, Mazda Miata, 19.
20, (25), Julian Garfield, Beloit, WI, Mazda Miata, 19.
21, (4), Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
22, (20), Justin Hille, Ypsilanti, MI, Mazda Miata, 19.
23, (30), Jason Connole, Raleigh, NC, Mazda Miata, 19.
24, (19), Marc Cefalo, Swoyersville, PA, Mazda Miata, 19.
25, (24), Jason Kohler, White Lake, MI, Mazda Miata, 19.
26, (37), Kyle Greenhill, Mundelein, IL, Mazda Miata, 19.
27, (38), Lee Thomas, Austin, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
28, (52), Justin Elder, Lakeville, MN, Mazda Miata, 19.
29, (39), Senter Smith, Greenville, SC, Mazda Miata, 19.
30, (47), James Randall, Watertown, MN, Mazda Miata, 19.
31, (43), Alex Piku, Grosse Pointe, MI, Mazda Miata, 19.
32, (56), Dean Busk, Chandler, AZ, Mazda Miata, 19.
33, (46), Dave Hechler, Franklin, OH, Mazda Miata, 19.
34, (49), Richard Astacio, Stamford, CT, Mazda Miata, 19.
35, (55), Domenico Leuci, Binghamton, NY, Mazda Miata, 19.
36, (42), Ricardo Juncos, Avon, IN, Mazda Miata, 19.
37, (48), Nicholas Soriano, Jacksonville, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
38, (40), Toby Linder, Dallas, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
39, (35), Joe Boyd, Richmond, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
40, (61), Jesse Singer, Miami, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
41, (54), Amy Mills, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 19.
42, (62), Charlie Campbell, Corry, PA, Mazda Miata, 19.
43, (58), Natalino Scappaticci, Ann Arbor, MI, Mazda Miata, 19.
44, (28), Chris Ciufo, Livonia, NY, Mazda Miata, 19.
45, (63), Brian Wright, Winston Salem, NC, Mazda Miata, 19.
46, (64), Joe Schubert, Woodmont, CT, Mazda Miata, 19.
47, (68), James DeFinnis, Shavertown, PA, Mazda Miata, 19.
48, (31), Michael Collins, Frederick, MD, Mazda Miata, 19.
49, (70), Michael LaMaina, Oaklyn, NJ, Mazda Miata, 19.
50, (50), Marc Briley, Austin, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
51, (53), Stephen Jeu, Houston, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
52, (67), Steve Sturm, Mc Lean, VA, Mazda Miata, 19.
53, (60), Whitfield Gregg, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 19.
54, (71), Matthew Van Vurst, Pompano Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.
55, (65), William Keeling, Houston, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
56, (72), Dave Metz, Galion, OH, Mazda Miata, 19.
57, (45), Andrew Devoto, Wilsall, MT, Mazda Miata, 18.
58, (59), Cooper Lilly, Henderson, KY, Mazda Miata, 16.
59, (66), Robert Spence, Atlanta, GA, Mazda Miata, 16.
60, (18), Alex Bolanos, Hialeah, FL, Mazda Miata, 15.
61, (44), Steven Powers, Mesa, AZ, Mazda Miata, 14.
62, (14), Spencer Rutherford, Lexington, KY, Mazda Miata, 14.
63, (5), Tyler Kicera, Manheim, PA, Mazda Miata, 14.
64, (69), John Harms, Plano, TX, Mazda Miata, 14.
65, (51), Brian Naumann, Milford, MI, Mazda Miata, 13.
66, (57), David Ciufo, Livonia, NY, Mazda Miata, 12.
67, (21), Trace Hance, Naples, FL, Mazda Miata, 9.
68, (41), Daniel Setili, Bloomfield Hills, MI, Mazda Miata, 6.
69, (34), Jeff Luckritz, Saint Joseph, MI, Mazda Miata, 5.
70, (36), Juan R Marchand, South Haven, MI, Mazda Miata, 1.
71, (33), John Costello, Dallas, PA, Mazda Miata, 0.
DQ, (3), Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mazda Miata, 19.

Length of Race: 49 miles
Overall Time of Race: 38:15.326
Average Speed: 77.241 mph
Margin of Victory: 00.242 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:59.100 (78.348 mph)
Lap Leaders: No. #28 lap 1; No. 42 laps 2-3, 7-10, 19; No. 39 lap 4; #87 laps 5-6, 11-18
Sunoco Hard Charger: No. 19 Justin Elder

Image: Preston Pardus (No. 42) fights Danny Steyn (No. 39) for the Spec Miata win at the Runoffs
Credit: Jay Bonvouloir