INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 30, 2017)- Honda engines dominated the Super Touring® Lite SCCA® National Championship Runoffs® Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Honda drivers claimed all three steps on the podium.
In a brilliant display of patience, Adam Roberts, of Hillard, Ohio, won his first national championship with Eric Kutil, of Columbus, Ohio, finishing just .674 seconds behind him for second. Garret Dunn, of Commerce Township, Michigan, rounded out the podium in third.
“I am happier than I have ever been,” said Roberts. “I’ve been dreaming of this moment the entire year and for it to finally be a reality I feel like I am just living in a dream.”
Fifty-one of the 57-car field took the green flag in the 19-lap STL race with Roberts starting on pole. Danny Steyn, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, joined Roberts outside on the front row. Kutil and Dunn started from row two. On the start, Roberts and Steyn made incidental contact, which ended Steyn’s race with a flat front right tire in the first turn. Dunn took advantage of the mishap to claim first. However, Roberts, who recovered from the start, took advantage of a missed shift from Dunn to reclaim the lead. Dunn’s No. 136 Honda CRX Si faded into a distant third behind Roberts and Kutil.
Kutil stole the lead from Roberts with a slingshot move on the front straight on lap four. Driving the Carbotech/Auto Assests/Gridlife machine, Kutil led by a comfortable two-second margin for most of the race until lapped traffic slowed his momentum. Roberts slowly chipped away the gap Kutil created. After leading 13 laps, Kutil conceded first place to Robert’s Honest Speed Shop/Myers Motorsport Honda CRX Si.
Side-by-side, the pair battled for the highest step on the podium. Roberts tightly defended his race line, yielding zero room for Kutil to make a move. Lapped traffic compromised Kutil’s run once again as his fight for first was hindered from contact made by a slow car. Kutil’s No. 82 Honda Civic Si went sideways. He recovered, but the hunt for his first Runoff victory slipped by as Roberts capitalized on the contact to take the checkered.
“We started to pull away and lapped traffic really hindered our speed today,” Kutil said. “It was a large field and that happens. We are happy to take away our second national podium today.”
Dunn crossed the Yard of Bricks nearly 24 seconds after Roberts and Kutil for third. Cliff Ira, of Kansas City, Missouri, took fifth in the FIRA Motorsports Acura Integra GSR with Brian Shanfeld, of Powell, Ohio, finishing fifth in another Honda Civic Si. After finishing 14 positions higher than he started, Brian Cheaney earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award.
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 Saturday’s STL 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, (1), Adam Roberts, Hilliard, OH, Honda CRX Si, 19.
2, (3), Eric Kutil, Columbus, OH, Honda Civic Si, 19.
3, (4), Garret Dunn, Commerce Township, MI, Honda CRX Si, 19.
4, (6), Cliff Ira, Kansas City, MO, Acura Integra GSR, 19.
5, (13), Brian Shanfeld, Powell, OH, Honda Civic Si, 19.
6, (5), Nick Leverone, Mendon, MA, Mazda Miata, 19.
7, (7), John Schmitt, Sunbury, OH, Honda Prelude, 19.
8, (10), Darin Treakle, Marshall, VA, Honda Civic Si, 19.
9, (15), Craig McHaffie, Walpole, MA, Mazda MX5, 19.
10, (14), Bob Beede, Northampton, MA, Honda Civic Si, 19.
11, (9), Tyler Chambers, Dayton, OH, Honda Civic, 19.
12, (19), John Hainsworth, Marlton, NJ, Mazda RX-7, 19.
13, (16), Myles Gilsinger, Marysville, OH, Honda Civic Si, 19.
14, (21), Stephen Wheeler, Geneva, NY, Honda Civic Si, 19.
15, (25), Thomas Smith, Marlton, NJ, Mazda RX-7, 19.
16, (17), Mike Taylor, Cumming, GA, Honda Civic, 19.
17, (18), Brian Laughlin, Tulsa, OK, Mazda Miata, 19.
18, (28), Deuce Keane II, Cocoa Beach, FL, Honda Civic Si, 19.
19, (22), Luis Rivera, Angleton, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
20, (8), David Palfenier, Hinkley, IL, Mazda Miata, 19.
21, (23), Amy Mills, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 19.
22, (24), Justin Elder, Lakeville, MN, Mazda Miata, 19.
23, (33), Brian Fitzgerald, Geneva, NY, Honda Civic Si, 19.
24, (27), Rich Walke, Hawthorn Woods, IL, Mazda RX-7, 18.
25, (32), Eric Thompson, Aberdeen, NJ, Honda S2000, 18.
26, (30), Mark Utecht, Stacy, MN, Honda Civic, 18.
27, (35), Glenn Murray, Grove City, OH, Acura Integra, 18.
28, (40), Rick Goryeb, Far Hills, NJ, Scion FRS, 18.
29, (41), John Paul Keane, Jacksonville, FL, Honda Civic, 18.
30, (39), John Elder, Bloomington, MN, Mazda Miata, 18.
31, (31), Andrew Wickline, Brewerton, NY, Mazda Miata, 18.
32, (38), Thomas Lamb, Kalamazoo, MI, Honda CRX Si, 18.
33, (37), Bernie Naegele, Geneva, NY, Acura Integra GSR, 18.
34, (42), Brian Mangan, Wellington, FL, Mazda RX-7, 18.
35, (45), Joe Smith, Wakarusa, KS, Mazda Miata, 18.
36, (48), Will Snyder, Southlake, TX, Mazda MX5, 18.
37, (51), Brian Cheaney, Tampa, FL, Mazda Miata, 18.
38, (34), James Goughary, Houston, TX, Mazda Miata, 18.
39, (46), Whit Gregg, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 18.
40, (43), Peter Burris-Meyer, Titusville, FL, Mazda Miata, 18.
41, (47), William Keeling, Houston, TX, Mazda Miata, 18.
42, (52), Steve Linn, Indianapolis, IN, Nissan Sentra SE-R, 18.
43, (54), Don Wiseman, Rogers, AR, Mazda Miata, 17.
44, (55), Allen Skillicorn, Dundee, IL, Mazda Miata, 17.
45, (56), Nilo Ayuyao, Oldsmar, FL, Mazda Miata, 17.
46, (57), Brian Bogert, Schnecksville, PA, Dodge Neon, 17.
47, (11), Tim Auger, Monterey, CA, Acura Integra, 15.
48, (29), John W. Roberts, Grapevine, TX, Mazda MX5, 15.
49, (50), Michael Olivier, Santa Rosa, CA, Honda Civic EX, 13.
50, (26), JT Murray, Grove City, OH, Honda CRX, 12.
51, (2), Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mazda MX-5, 0.
52, (12), David O'Maley, Loveland, OH, Honda CRX Si, 0.
DNS, (20), Ken Kannard, Sebring, FL, Mazda Miata,
DNS, (36), Carl Young, Salinas, CA, Honda Prelude,.
DNS, (44), B. Clark Cambern, Dewitt, MI, Mazda Miata,.
DNS, (49), James DeFinnis, Shavertown, PA, Mazda Miata,.
DNS, (53), Joe Schubert, Woodmont, CT, Mazda Miata,.
Length of Race: 49 miles
Overall Time of Race: 35:59.214
Average Speed: 82.110 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.674 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:52.589 (82.878 mph)
Lap Leaders: No. 03 lap 1-3, 14-19, No. 82 lap 4-13
Sunoco Hard Charger: No. 8 Matt Stephenson
Image: Roberts holds off Kutil for maiden national win
Photo Credit: Jay Bonvouloir