First for Ayers with Spec Racer Ford Gen3 Runoffs Win

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 30, 2017) – Everyone stopped what they were doing just before noon Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and found their way trackside to watch the highly anticipated Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3) race at the 2017 SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®.

More than 100 SRF3 drivers posted qualifying times earlier in the week, and a Last Chance Race was held late Thursday afternoon to decide who would fill the final 12 starting positions in the 72-car Runoffs field. On Saturday, John Black, in the No. 17 CSR Performance’s SRF3, paced the field to the start with the No. 7 Ayres Racing car of Tray Ayres beside him.

The spectator mound inside Turn 1 was filled with hooting fans as the colorful SRF3 field shot toward the first corner. Black and Ayres plunged into the turn while the rest of the field followed, some five-abreast on the main straight.  Black emerged with the lead followed by Ayers and the No. 11 MBI Racing vessel of Mike Miserendino, who won the Spec Racer Ford Runoffs event Friday.

Most of the field got through the first turn clean. However, a few competitors back in the field tangled in the following corners, which brought out a full-course yellow that lasted a couple laps. On the restart, Ayres moved to the front, after a big brake lockup, and Black slotted into second.  But next time around, Black moved inside Ayres on the front straight and retook the lead.

Black and Ayres swapped the lead heading into Turn 1 lap after lap for the first half of the race with Miserendino sitting content close in third.  Behind the lead pack, No. 84 Todd Lamb, in the Atlanta Speedwerks/Ayres Racing car, held fourth and Robeson Clay Russell, in the No. 31 Angry Llama SRF3, was leading a fight for the fifth position.

Just past the race’s halfway point, Black bobbled a bit and lost momentum, giving Miserendino the opportunity to move up a spot.  Then something occurred that most people didn’t anticipate happening at this year’s SRF3 Runoffs race -- Ayers and Miserendino set sail, leaving Black and everyone else far behind.

For the last half of the race, Miserendino sat right in the wake of Ayers -- keeping his nose tight to Ayers’ tail, but not making any aggressive attempts to pass.  Just a sterling example of patience.  Then on the last lap, Miserendino made a move in the final set of corners, pushed a little too much, and went wide at a turn.  With that, Ayers, from Gainesville, Georgia, was free and went on for his very first Runoffs victory in eight attempts.

“Lead if you can and see who comes along,” Ayers said was his plan for the race.  “Mike and I race once or twice a year, so I know he is tactical late in a race.  Every once in a while, I’d try to click off a flyer to see what kind of gap I could get.  That’s what I ended up doing on the second-to-last lap, and it worked.”

Miserendino settled in to claim the second podium spot in SRF3, saying afterward that “once I got to second I said, ‘well, let’s see if Tray and I can get away and make it a two-car race.’ We were able to pull away.  At that point, I said I’d wait ‘til the second-to-last or last lap, but Tray was flawless on both the second-to-last and last lap. I couldn’t get it done.”

Watching the fight for first gave Black hope that perhaps the front two would tangle, gifting the win to him.  But that just didn’t happen, so he settled for third -- Black’s 15th podium finish at the Runoffs.

“I didn’t quite have the car I thought I was going to have today,” Black said.  “I made a couple really awful mistakes.  I think Mike realized that and started pushing Tray down the front straight.  It was kind of funny just watching them motor away from me down the straight.”

Further back, Lamb faltered and Russell moved up to finish fourth, and Colin Kaminsky drove the No. 27 Slick Locks/Kaminsky Racing machine to fifth.

The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to No. 14 Paul Marino in the Impress Communications/MBI Racing car.  He started 52nd and finished in the 25th 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.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Provisional results for Saturday’s Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3) 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), Tray Ayres, Gainesville, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
2, (3), Mike Miserendino, Bakersfield, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
3, (1), John Black, Olympic Valley, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
4, (8), Robeson Clay Russell, Spartanburg, SC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
5, (7), Colin Kaminsky, Homer Glen, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
6, (14), Brian Schofield, Lakeland, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
7, (10), Grayson Strathman, Jennings, OK, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
8, (4), Todd Lamb, Atlanta, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
9, (12), Scott Rettich, Columbus, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
10, (13), Cliff White, Huntsville, AL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
11, (11), Todd Harris, Portland, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
12, (19), Max King, Franklinville, NJ, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
13, (18), TJ Acker, Saugus, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
14, (15), Richard Wiese, Chesterfield, MO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
15, (20), Steve Fogg, West Linn, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
16, (22), Jack Willes, Palm Desert, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
17, (27), Wayne Hudec, Fayetteville, AR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
18, (33), Adam Gottlieb, Wilmette, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
19, (29), John Greene, Gainesville, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
20, (16), Umberto Milletti, Hillsborough, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
21, (25), Steven Sammut, Locust Valley, NY, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
22, (47), Whitney Strickland, League City, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
23, (37), Brandon Kennedy, Newark, DE, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
24, (17), Todd Vanacore, Ormond Beach, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
25, (52), Paul Marino, Chatsworth, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
26, (46), Colin Clark, Spring, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
27, (34), David Anzalone, Glen Head, NY, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
28, (36), Dan McBreen, Atlanta, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
29, (38), Steve Introne, Oxford, CT, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
30, (39), Jean-Luc Liverato, Woodstock, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
31, (30), Derek Schofield, Lakeland, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
32, (42), Kevin Gauntt, Egg Harbor City, NJ, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
33, (35), Thomas W Burt, Woodway, WA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
34, (6), Bobby Sak, Mattawan, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
35, (40), Bob Kaminsky, Homer Glen, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
36, (48), Mark Snyder, Southlake, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
37, (56), Corey Condit, Scottsdale, AZ, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
38, (50), Paul Goudy, Portland, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
39, (49), Jim Cote Jr., Overland Park, KS, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
40, (43), Mike Littrell, Cypress, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
41, (55), Chuck Newman, Lagrange, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
42, (41), Scott Monroe, League City, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
43, (44), Bill Booth, Cupertino, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
44, (61), Michael Greene, Gainesville, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
45, (54), Lee Hill, Brandon, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
46, (64), Jerry Aplass, Newcastle, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
47, (51), James Marinangel, McHenry, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
48, (53), Mick Robinson, Melbourne, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
49, (59), David Schacht, Noblesville, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
50, (58), Lee Douglas, Portland, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
51, (62), Mark Ballengee, Shafter, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
52, (69), Sabré Cook, Grand Junction, CO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
53, (5), Denny Stripling, McKinney, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
54, (68), Wade White, Vail, CO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
55, (57), Craig Blackwell, Carmel, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
56, (67), Tom Miserendino, London, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
57, (63), Daniel Brooks, Colorado Springs, CO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
58, (71), Mark Hutchins, Lincoln, NE, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
59, (66), Matias Bonnier, New Albany, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
60, (72), Chris Current, Silver Spring, MD, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
61, (60), Steven Greenhill, Mundelein, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 19.
62, (65), Matt Gray, Chaska, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 18.
63, (32), Herb Sweeney IV, Arlington, MA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 17.
64, (70), Thomas Riley, New Fairfield, CT, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 15.
65, (9), Charles Turner, Montpelier, VA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.
66, (26), Jacob Loomis, Corinth, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 12.
67, (23), Max Grau, Port Byron, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 7.
68, (45), Scott Peterson, Normandy Park, WA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 1.
69, (21), John Tipton, Lexington, KY, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.
70, (24), Joe Sammut, Locust Valley, NY, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.
71, (28), David Dickerson, Wall, NJ, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.
72, (31), Liam Snyder, Southlake, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.

Length of Race: 49 miles
Overall Time of Race: 39:08.416
Average Speed: 75.495 mph
Margin of Victory: 01.872 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:49.782 (84.998 mph)
Lap Leaders: No. 17 laps 1-3, 5, 8; No. 7 laps 4, 6-7, 9-19
Sunoco Hard Charger: No. 14 Paul Marino

Image: Ayers leads Miserendino to the finish line to win SRF3 at the Runoffs.
Credit: Shawn Lumley

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