225 Cars Battle For SCCA Checkers
FONTANA, Calif. – The SCCA Western Conference Majors Tour awarded trophies on Saturday at Auto Club Speedway in Round One of the season long championship.
A total of 225 cars, a historic high for this event, took green flags during the seven race groups.
The 30-minute timed races were run in 80 degree temperatures under sunny skies, with no full course cautions throughout the day.
The day opened with a runaway win by Brandon Aleckson in Formula Enterprises, driving the No. 33 Dan’s Upholstery/Hoosier Tires Formula Enterprises, but was highlighted by a two car battle in Formula Vee.
Terran Swanson, Charlie Turner and Dennis Andrade started the race locked nose to tail in their Volkswagen-powered machines. Swanson’s No. 86 Toad Hall Enterprises/Swan Tech Graphics Mysterian M4 and Turner’s multi-colored No. 25 TMM/Noble Racing/Hoosier Vortech 01 traded the lead, while Andrade looked content to stalk in the early stages of the race behind the wheel in the No. 87 D & D Racing Vortech Caracal.
On lap seven, however, Andrade spun in turn seven, a hard right hander through the infield. That left Andrade and Turner to continue to swap the lead.
And swap the lead they did, nearly every lap. Swanson looked to be faster through the infield section of the track, but Turner took advantage of the long, fast NASCAR oval and zipped past on the laps when he fell behind.
As the time limit ticked down, Swanson had the lead at the most important stage –the start of the last lap. Swanson held off Turner through the infield and up onto the banking in the lead, with enough room to hold it to the checkered flag. Both drivers pumped their fist across the finish line after an impressive performance.
Spec Racer Ford was a two-car battle between a pair of the west coast’s best drivers in the class. Mike Miserendino moved his No. 11 MBI Racing Spec Racer Ford to the front before diving to the infield, and led a crowd of four drivers – including Todd Harris, Steve Fogg and TJ Acker – around the circuit.
Acker’s No. 62 machine spun on lap four, leaving him to wait for a line of traffic to pass and separating Fogg’s No. 21 Lisa, Alex and Emily Racing/Pro Drive machine from Miserendino and Harris in the battle for the win.
That left Miserendino and the No. 24 Pro Drive Racing Spec Racer Ford of Todd Harris to dice it out. Miserendino held the lead as time wound down, and took the one to go sign in front. Harris challenged on the banking, pulling alongside the hometown driver, but Miserendino led through the transition into the infield. The veteran swung just wide again as the pair exited the infield to cut off a drafting opportunity, and stayed in front to the checkered flag.
The drafting continued after lunch in Spec Miata, and this time it influenced the race winner. Clement Lee and Elliott Skeer got in front of the field and ran nose to tail for most of the race, swapping the lead on a couple of occasions but pairing up in front of the 33 car field.
At the one to go board, Lee’s No. 33 RM Autosports Spec Miata crossed the stripe in front with Skeer’s No. 77 Rush Motorsports Miata on his bumper. Skeer used the tow through NASCAR one and two to take the lead under braking as the pair dove through the left-right complex into the infield. Skeer held on through the long back straight and led the duo onto the banking and the run to the checkered flag.
The pair made light side to side contact on at least two occasions as Lee’s red Miata moved to the outside of Skeer’s bright yellow car. Lee pulled slightly ahead just before the line, winning by a nose and 0.035-second.