Hometown Hero On SCCA Majors Tour
Group Four mixed the Spec Miata field with the Touring Car category. While Andy Wolverton’s No. 86 Raw Racing/Hooiser Tires/Werks Performance Pontiac Solstice was winning Touring 2, Spec Miata point leader Jim Drago, of Memphis, Tenn., had a mirror full of his competitors. Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata led the first lap as he and the No. 73 Complete Dent Repair/X-factorracing.com Miata of Chris Haldeman tried to sneak away.
A three-car battle between Charlie James’ No. 40 SafeRacer Miata, Craig Berry’s No. 29 Berry Marble and Granite Remnant Store Miata, and Reynolds’ No. 74 Reynolds Brothers Racing Miata just behind the leaders created a gap, helping Drago gradually inch away for his second win of the season in the Mid-States Conference. Berry won the second battle to claim the final podium position, behind Haldeman.
Late in the day, the GT-1 class battle was a nail-biter for the final 15 laps. Tom Smith’s No. 62 USA Metal Recycling Chevrolet Camaro led early, but for the final 15 laps the No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Chevrolet Corvette of David Fershtand filled the mirrors off Smith’s Camaro. Fershstand followed Smith’s tire tracks for 15 laps, getting alongside Smith with two laps to go on an outside move exiting the final corner. Smith’s Camaro didn’t make a mistake, however, beating the Corvette to turn one on that lap and holding on to cross the line just 0.301-second ahead of Fershtand for the win.
As close as Smith’s win was, he almost didn’t get the chance to earn it. The Camaro hit the tire wall late in the morning’s 20-minute qualifying session. Racer’s tape and hard work had the car ready for the race and the win.
The Formula Mazda battle in the Mid-States Conference is shaping up to be the can’t miss class three races into the 10-race season. Saturday’s race at the twisty Hallett circuit didn’t disappoint. Darryl Wills’ No. 23 Hillenburg Motorsports Formula Mazda led early over the No. 19 machine of Timothy Reger, joined with 10 to go by a hard-charging Alan McCallum. McCallum’s run to the front was boosted by a track record 1:14.005 in the No. 1 Alan McCallum Racing Formula Mazda.
With the three running nose-to-tail and racing hard, Reger and Wills touched – spinning Wills off-course and stranding Reger. Wills continued, but the day’s only full course caution was called out to retrieve Reger’s stopped No. 19.
That yellow erased the gap that McCallum now enjoyed, but the restart with three to go was just a formality as McCallum pulled away for the win.