Southwest Division's SCCA Club Racing Super Sweep qualifying event was held Saturday, March 6 as part of the double National Texas Two-Step weekend at Texas World Speedway. One hundred fifty-eight drivers took part in the traditional event hosted by Lone Star Region.
Group one featured the small-bore Production, GT and Showroom Stock cars and an inter-class battle for the overall victory. Eric Prill, of Topeka, Kan., was on the overall pole in his F Production Mazda Miata and led the opening 11 laps with Rick Kosdrosky's E Production Caterham 7 close behind. On lap 12, Kosdrosky, of Granbury, Texas, took the lead and looked to be on his way to victory. However, with less than two laps to go, the lead duo encountered traffic, allowing Prill to go by in Turn 1 on the last lap. Kosdrosky got the jump exiting Turn 10 and pulled to the inside in the Turn 12 "kink." The side-by-side move forced Prill to the grass, allowing Kosdrosky to take the overall and E Production win. Prill held on for second overall and first in F Production. Other class winners were: Luis Rivera, of Angleton, Texas, in GT-Lite; John Trenery Sr., of Rosenberg, Texas, in H Production; Ralph Siebert, of Fort Worth, Texas, in SSB; James Place, of San Antonio, Texas, in SSC; and Bill Bagby, of Houston, Texas, in Super Touring U.
Group two for small formula cars was a breakaway for Arlington's Mike Sauce in his Sauce Formula F. Starting from the pole, Sauce sped away to a 12.9sec, Super Sweep-qualifying win. F500 polesitter Joseph Palmer had to come from the back of the pack to chase down Jack Walbran. Palmer passed for the lead with two laps to go, only to have Walbran, of St. Louis, Mo., take the point back in his Scorpion on the final lap for the win. Formula Vee was the traditional exciting race, but a lap-13 incident eliminated leaders Charles Hearn and Jim Rainey, paving the way for Philip Trinder, of Houston, to take the win in his Protoform.
Spec Miata's group three race saw Blake Clements, currently residing in Singapore, China, return to Texas to take the win over the 34-car field in his Mazda Miata. Last year's Nationwide Point Champion Matt Reynolds finished second, just ahead of Aaron McSpadden.
Michael Lewis, of Poway, Calif., became the first driver to win two Super Sweep qualifying events – taking the GT-1 and overall win in Race Four. Making his first appearance at TWS, Lewis raved about the course layout and passed early leader Bill Reid on lap two en route to victory in his Jaguar XKR. Lewis also won the Super Sweep Qualifying National event at Auto Club Speedway Jan. 24 in Fontana, Calif. Scott Ferguson, of Fort Worth, Texas, held off Jeff Moore to take the GT-2 win in his Porsche 911 Cup car. Other class winners were Kerry Bonner, of Katy, Texas, in GT-3; Richard Baldwin, of Madisonville, La., in Touring 2; Brian Himes, of Slidell, La., in American Sedan; and Colin Cohen, of Southlake, Texas, in Touring 3. The race was shortened to 12 laps to clean up an incident involving the GT-1 cars of David Fershtand and Douglas Harrington.
The winged formula cars and sports racing classes made up Group Five, the largest of the weekend, with 36 cars taking the green. The first five finishers overall were all class-winners, meaning overall and Formula Atlantic winner Ken Davis, of Escondido, Calif., Formula 1000 winner David Burkett, of Corpus Christi, Texas, Formula Continental winner Bill Johnson, of Austin, Texas and Formula Enterprises winner Scott McQueen, of Huffman, Texas, each ran reasonably unfettered en route to victory. The exception to that was fifth overall finisher and Formula Mazda winner Darryl Wills, of Deer Park, Texas, who held off a late-charging Jamie Slone to win by just under one second. Other class winners were: James Smith, of Alvin, Texas, in CSR; Marvin Hodges, of Houston, in Sports 2000 and Jim Rawson, of Houston, in DSR.
John Strickler, of Olathe, Kan., led the final race of the day for Spec Racer Fords flag to flag, but the battle behind him was intense, with GT-3 winner Bonner eventually coming home in second place over Ernst Krueger, of Cypress, Texas.
The Saturday action was followed up with races on Sunday, when 18 of the 27 winners repeated their feat to score valuable points toward Divisional and Nationwide Championships.
Full event results are available here . A list of Super Sweep event winners and current Nationwide Point Standings is available here.