ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 20, 2009) – The first races of the 54th Chicago Region June Sprints are now etched in the record books as Groups One through Four named 12 winners total, while qualifying continued for the remainder of the paddock.
Group One set the stage for a great first day of June Sprints racing, as Touring 3 drivers Richard Fisher, of Glencoe, Ill., and John Costello, of Dallas, Pa., took the race all the way down to the wire. Costello was able to get his Racelabz/Hoosier/ChaseCam/RedLine Oil/King Motorsports Honda S2000 around polesitter Fisher and his Volkswagen GTI after a restart from an early race caution. Fisher stuck with Costello though, and waited until the final lap to retake the lead and claim the T3 win.
Spec Miata was the stage for another race-long battle in Group One, with Jim Drago, of Memphis, Tenn., and Andrew Charbonneau, of Delray Beach, Fla., swapping positions throughout the race. Drago ended the contest on top in his East Street Auto Parts/E Street Racing Mazda Miata.
Toby Grahovec, of Chicago, Ill., took the Showroom Stock B win in a Classic BMW BMW Z4. Showroom Stock C went to Joel Lipperini, of Pittston, Pa, driving a Racelabz.com/Raceshopper.com/BFG Honda Civic Si.
In Group Two, Jason Knuteson, of Danville, Ind., and Bob Giesen, of Sherwood, Wis., were glued nose-to-tail the entire race. At the checkered flag it was Knuteson in the Hoosier Racing/Mitchell Racing Scorpion S1 by 0.067-second over Giesen’s Subway/Hoosier Red Devil LD04.
Michael Varacins, of Burlinton, Wis., ran away with the Formula Vee win in a Speedsport Eng/Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM5.
Both Group Three races were also won by sizeable margins. Glenn Cooper, of Roswell, Ga., was the Formula 1000 victor in a Hoosier Novak/Van Diemen, while Formula Enterprises polesitter Scott Rettich, of Oxford, Ohio, could not be caught in his PDI/Hippi Racing FE. Rettich set a new FE lap record in the process, a 2:16.718.
In Group Four, Greg Ira, of Plantation, Fla., and Jon Brakke, of Fargo, N.D., battled early for the E Production win, before Brakke pulled his Margaret Peterson Bars Mazda Miata off course near Turn 13, handing the win to Greg Ira and his CU Yacht Charters Datsun 240Z.
Mark Carpenter, of Charlotte, N.C., was around F Production polesitter Kevin Ruck, of Delaware, Ohio on lap two and never looked back, taking the FP win in a Team GGS Racing/Goodyear Acura Integra.
James Dentici, of Oconomowoc, Wis., was the GT-Lite winner in a Honda CRX Si, while Bob Kelly, of Crystal Lake, Ill., took home H Production in a Telsystems/Loop Racing VW Scirocco.
Many of the Group Four participants dedicated their races to veteran E Production driver Thomas Thrash Jr., who would have started today’s race from the EP pole, but lost his life in a single-car accident during the morning qualifying session.
Groups Six through 10 set their first qualifying times of the weekend before the afternoon races.
Revere Grelst, of Madison, Wis., topped the Group Six times, leading the Formula Continental class with a 2:15.604 in his Waypoint Health Innovations Van Diemen. Formula Ford qualifying was led by Jeremy Treadway, of Putnam, N.Y., who turned a 2:23.450 in his Goodyear/Loynings Engines Swift DB8.
In Group Seven, Gary Crook, of Pensacola, Fla., earned the provisional D Sports Racing pole, turning a 2:06.996 in his Vision Construction Stohr WF-1. Just behind him in the qualifying order was the father-son duo of Brian and James French, of Sheboygan, Wis. Driving a Motorsports Enterprises Ltd. Ralt RT-41, father Brian just nicked son James for the provisional C Sports Racing pole with a 2:07.403. In S2000, Corey Fergus, son of six-time National Champion John Fergus, ended the day as the provisional Sports 2000 polesitter. Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, turned a 2:19.001 in a Fergus Companies Carbir CS2.
Former SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT pilot Bob Woodhouse, of Blair, Neb., sits atop Group Eight with the provisional Super Touring Over pole. Woodhouse entered a 2:22.038 in his Woodhouse Performance Viper Competition Coupe. John Buttermore, of Pontiac, Mich., took home the provisional Touring 1 pole, turning a 2:23.980 in his Hoosier/Carbotech/Kryderacing Chevrolet Corvette. A familiar name emerged at the top of the American Sedan times in Group Eight; four-time National Champion Andy McDermid, of Grand Ledge, Mich., put his Lane Auto/Felice Eng/Redline Ford Mustang Cobra on the provisional pole with a 2:30.344. In Touring 2, it was William Peter, of Mequon, Wis., who earned the top qualifying spot, entering a 2:32.945 behind the wheel of a Northwestern/Griffin Mitsubishi Evo. Ronald Pawley, of Greenwood, Ark., is the provisional polesitter in Super Touring Under, turning a 2:38.872, in his J Pauley Toyota Scion Lexus IS300.
Mirl Swan, of Platte City, Mo., leads the Group Nine qualifiers as the Formula Atlantic provisional polesitter. Swan entered a 2:05.574 in a Swan Racing/Hoosier Swift 014A. Darryl Willis, of Deer Park, Texas, currently leads the Formula Mazda qualifiers with a 2:18.284 in his Hillenburg Motorsports FM.
At the top of the GT-1 class and head of the Group 10 field, Cliff Ebben, of Appleton, Wis., turned a 2:08.830 in his McMahon Group Stumpf Ford Ford Mustang. GT-2 was lead by Mark Boden, of Winnetka, Ill., who entered a 2:22.959 in a Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche GT3. Robert Warkocki, of Frankfort, Ill., is currently pacing the GT-3 class with a 2:25.871 in his Empcor/Gdyr/Mazda/Redline Mazda RX-7.
Groups Six through 10 will hold their final qualifying session Sunday morning beginning at 8 a.m. (CDT). Racing, beginning with Group Five and Brian Schofield, of Lakeland, Fla., on the Spec Racer Ford pole, will commence at 10:55 a.m. More information, including results and live timing are available at www.scca.com or www.junesprints.com.