Family Affair Saturday at Buttonwillow Hoosier Super Tour

The third Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA® Super Tour (HST) weekend of the year held 25-minute races across seven run groups Saturday at Buttonwillow Raceway Park (BRP) during the Feb. 23-25, 2024, event hosted by SCCA’s Cal Club Region.

Conditions Saturday were absolutely amazing. Not too hot, not too cold, and plenty of sunshine. The 2.92-mile BRP configuration 25 being used throughout the weekend looked a little different from previous HST visits. Recent rains in California’s Central Valley helped generate a blanket of lush, green grass around the circuit – which is a far cry from conditions usually seen at the track.

Three Generations Registering In

Taking advantage of a wonderful day at the track were Laura Case, Becca Case, and 3-year-old Zoey. Many of those who took part in BRP activities were greeted at registration by that trio, which makes up three generations.

Grandma Laura has been an SCCA member for seven years, but actually made her first visit to BRP about a decade ago. Back then she agreed to catch up with a friend at the track, even though she knew nothing about auto racing. What she learned quickly was how welcoming SCCA is and how the Club is willing to help people get involved. Since then, Laura has travelled the country lending a hand at various tracks, and now serves as Registration Chief for SCCA’s Cal Club Region.

Wanting to share her passion, Laura began bringing her daughter, Becca, to SCCA events in her late teens. Becca’s appreciation for the Club grew and she officially joined SCCA just this year. Today, she puts her skills to use as the new Social Media Chief for Cal Club Region.

Then there’s Zoey, Becca’s daughter. She’s not officially an SCCA member yet, but she’s already making friends with other kids at the track. She also enjoys making bracelets, some of which are handed out to those filing through registration.

It’s safe to say we look forward to involvement from the “Case Crew” for many years and generations to come.

One Extended Family

Those who follow Spec Racer Ford Gen3 (SRF3) are likely familiar with Mike Miserendino. He’s a multi-time Runoffs® Champion and won several HST events at BRP over the years. He’s back again this year, driving the No. 11 MBI Racing car. But Mike isn’t the only Miserendino on the SRF3 entry list.

Tom Miserendino, Mike’s dad, is also in the SRF3 mix driving the No. 15 MBI Racing machine. Tom began competing with SCCA back in 1986 and brought Mike into the fold about 15 years later. The two have been on track together multiple times ever since, with Tom even flying back from his temporary home in the United Kingdom for SCCA races.

“Our very first race together, I started on pole,” Tom recalled about racing with his son. “Mike started second alongside me. He beat me into the first turn and has never looked back since. If I can get close to his lap times, that’s a victory for me.”

The family tree branches out even more at MBI Racing. In the No. 14 MBI & Impress Communications SRF3 car is Paul Marino. Knocking around SCCA competition since 1987, Paul is Tom’s brother and Mike’s uncle. And let’s not forget about Mark Ballengee, Mike’s father-in-law, who drives the No. 197 MBI Racing machine after joining SCCA in the late ‘90s.

In Saturday’s SRF3 competition, Mike was in the hunt for a win until he ran out of gas late in the race. The victory went to John Black in the No. 17 Flat Out Racing car, followed by Caleb Shrader who was only 0.186sec back in second. Ballengee won the family battle by finishing sixth, followed by Tom in 10th place. Two positions further back in 12th is where Paul finished, and Mike ended up toward the tail end of a 25-car field.

Two Second-Generation Drivers

Making their first-ever HST appearance at BRP this weekend are Gabriel and Ayrton Cahan. Gabriel, 18, is in the No. 11 Ford RF06 Van Diemen Formula Continental car; and Ayrton, 16, is a Formula F competitor in the No. 22 Ford RF00 Van Diemen.

These two began their motorsport adventure at the ages of 4 and 6 in tag karts and have racked up some victories and season championships. For the last two years they’ve been racing shifter karts, and only recently earned SCCA competition licenses competing in Spec Miata. This weekend at BRP, both drivers are wheeling their respective cars for only the third time.

Gabriel and Ayrton are second-generation SCCA drivers. Their father, Eben Cahan, is the person who introduced them to the Club. He started running with SCCA in the late ‘90s, first at autocrosses and then wheel-to-wheel in Spec Miata. Now, his fun – and funds – are invested in his sons. Their mother, Tara Tometich, is also at the track and actively involved as part owner of the Cahan Race Team.

“One of the things we really enjoy about the SCCA is that it’s very family oriented,” Eben said. “The Club is very welcoming to people new to this sport. We spent some years doing competitive kart racing, but it’s wonderful to be back in this environment.”

In Saturday’s FF contest, Ayrton spent the race battling with Eric Poulsen in the No. 48 Piper DL7-Honda. Both drivers took turns leading the race, and sizing up one another. Coming out of the final turn before taking the white flag, Ayrton went too deep into the corner and ran wide off track. That handed Poulsen the victory, but Ayrton gathered up his car and came home second.

“I believe we had the pace to win, but I rushed a move that I probably shouldn’t have gone with,” Ayrton admitted afterwards. “But I learned a lot. Sometimes you learn more when you lose.”

In the FC race, Jerry Dutch Schultz emerged victorious in the No. 84 44 Financing Van Diemen RF01, and Troy Shooter finished second. Gabriel managed to secure the third and final podium spot in his first race.

“It was very exciting, and pretty stressful being my first time racing against other people in this car,” Gabriel said afterwards. “I’m just glad I finished the race, really. I think placing third was really great in my first race.”

BRP’s Sunday Schedule

A second day of Hoosier Super Tour competition begins Sunday at 8:40 a.m. Pacific Time from BRP. Drivers across the seven run groups will each have 17-lap or 35-minutes races.

Follow Sunday’s action live, online and for free thanks to the Hoosier Super Tour broadcast. Gregg Ginsberg and Brian Bielanski will again supply play-by-play insight, and DriversEye Live will deliver video from multiple cameras positioned around the circuit.

Find the broadcast online at the SCCA YouTube channel and SCCA Facebook page. Post-race video interviews with select Saturday winners, and Sunday victory podium celebration videos, can also be found at the SCCA Road Racing Facebook page. As usual, live Timing and Scoring is available throughout the weekend at

Saturday Race Winners

Below are provisional race winners from Saturday’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour at Buttonwillow Raceway Park with Class: Name, Hometown and Car.
American Sedan®: Roger Eagleton; Burlingame, CA; Ford Mustang
B-Spec: Thomas Lepper; Benicia, CA; Mazda 2
E Production: Kurt Frietzsche; Mountain View, CA;
Mazda RX-7
F Production: Steven Powers; Phoenix, AZ; Mazda Miata
Formula 600: Jeff Jorgenson; Manitowoc WI; KBS Mark V
Formula Atlantic®:
Greg Labadie; Redondo Beach, CA; Pro Formula Mazda
Formula Continental®: Jerry Dutch Schultz; San Clemente, CA; Van Diemen RF01
Formula Enterprises®2: Caleb Shrader; Tigard, OR; SCCA Enterprises FE2 Mazda
Formula F: Eric Poulsen; Clovis, CA;
Piper DL7-Honda
Formula Vee®: Marjorie Lundberg; Beaverton, OR; Caracal C1
GT-2: Tristan Littlehale; San Jose, CA; BMW M3
GT-3: Michael Lewis; Poway, CA; Mazda RX-7
GT-Lite: Brian Linn; Hermosa Beach, CA; Nissan Sentra SE-R
GT-X: Robert B. Yallen; Woodland Hills, CA; Ligier LMP3-315
Spec Miata: Wyatt Couch; El Dorado Hills, CA; Mazda Miata
Spec MX-5: Cooper Hicks; Simi Valley, CA; Mazda MX-5
Spec Racer® Ford Gen3: John Black; Olympic Valley, CA; SCCA Enterprises SRF3
Prototype 1: Chip Romer; Lake Havasu City, AZ; Elan DP02
Prototype 2: Tim Day; Scottsdale, AZ; Stohr WF1
Super Touring® Lite: Ryan Gutile; Madera, CA; Mazda MX-5
Super Touring® Under: Rylan Hazelton; Soquel, CA; Honda S2000
Touring 1: Don Van Nortwick; Las Vegas, NV; Ford Mustang S550
Touring 2: Roger Eagleton
; Burlingame, CA; Ford Mustang
Touring 3: Ross Murray; Marina Del Rey, CA; Ford Mustang
Touring 4: Izzy Sanchez; San Jose, CA; Toyota FR-S

Photo: In the playful MBI Racing family feud that took place in SRF3, Mark Ballengee came out on top in the No. 197 machine.

Photo by Wedrick Campbell/First Place Visuals