PORTLAND, Ore. (July 31, 2005) – Portland’s Gary Bockman shadowed polesitter Justin Hall, of Davis, Calif., for the majority of the SCCA Pro Racing Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook race today at Portland International Raceway, and made his move coming out of the final corner to take his first-career series win in a photo finish.
Hall, who started from the pole in his No. 12 Off Camber Racing 1990 Mazda Miata 1.6, got away after an early skirmish with Bobby Carter that left he and Brad Rampelberg sidelined with damage. Bockman, who started fourth in the No. 89 MiataCage.com/99 West Trailers 1990 Mazda Miata 1.6, worked his way up to Hall and briefly took the lead on lap 23 of the 26-lap race before giving it right back when he missed a shift exiting the Festival Corners.
However, exiting the final corner as they approached the checkered flag, Bockman got a run, pulled along side and managed to edge Hall out by 0.031-second for the closest finish in series history. Bockman averaged 75.329 mph in the 51.064-mile contest.
“Justin and I worked really well together to build on our advantage,” Bockman said. “I figured that I’d wait until the last five minutes. I was waiting for him to make a mistake and he didn’t make very many!
“He made a little bobble in 12 with about three laps to go and he waved me on by, and sure enough, coming out of the chicane, my car wouldn’t go into third gear. He gave me a little bump and it went into first. I thought it was all over. I gathered it back up and I wanted to see if I could get a run on him in 12 and I think I got him by, maybe, a foot.”
Hall’s finish extended his point lead to 34 over Terry McCarthy, who finished fourth.
“Gary [Bockman] made it clear that he would work with me because he gave me a couple of bumps [bump drafting] on the front and back straights,” Hall said. “Toward the end of the race, I got a little wide and the tires went off a little bit. The Hankooks are great tires, but in the 40-minute race, they were starting to go away just a little bit.
“Local knowledge really paid off for Gary. He drove a helluva race and was able to draft past me on the front straight.”
Ken Sutherland, of Sherwood, Ore., finished third after starting seventh. Tom McCarthy, of Mountain View, Calif., and Carlo Sparacio, of Federal Way, Wash., completed the top five.
Sparacio earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for advancing from 13th to fifth during the race.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=372