TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 15, 2006) – Eighteen year-old Andrew Caddell, of Graham, Wash., successfully avoided an opening lap melee to become the inaugural Spec Miata National Champion at the 2006 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented By Kansas, As Big As You Think. Brad Rampelberg, of San Jose, Calif., and Matt Cross, of Folsom, Calif., finished second and third respectively.-30-
With 61 cars starting the Spec Miata race, expecting anything less than a free-for-all in the first corners would be a mistake, particularly with a damp-to-drying course. Caddell wasted no time, and motored his No. 88 Victory Lane Miata past polesitter Blake Clements, of Kennedale, Texas, and into the lead through Turn One. Clements got his No. 56 SP Induction Miata all crossed-up in Turn Two, causing the pack of cars behind him to take evasive action, and costing Clements a shot at the podium.
Caddell sped away from the incident with the No. 27 MSR Miata of Tony Rivera and No. 17 Pouredfoundations.com Miata of Anthony Coello hot on his heels. The pressure on Caddell cooled on lap four when Coello ran wide in Turn Five handing third to Rampelberg in the No. 12 Off Camber Miata. Rambelburg immediately began to battle with second-place Rivera, who began to fade with his wet-weather tires as opposed to the tires of Cadell, Rampelberg and Cross. The fight for second allowed Cadell to pull away to a dominant Spec Miata victory.
“This is amazing,” Caddell said. “Coming into this week, all these fast drivers, we thought we might have a top five, we knew it was going to be a battle getting the win. When I heard the rain last night I knew we had a good chance, because we were good in the rain. Then this morning the track began to dry out, and we knew that we could win on dry tires. The first pace lap I thought we were in trouble, because going into the corners we locked up, but the dry tires turned out to be a good choice. Early in the race, I saw Blake [Clements] spin-off and I knew we were in good shape, because he was the only guy on dry tires who was close to me. We made a good choice and I just drove for the win.”
Rivera hit trouble on lap seven, when Rampelberg made the pass for second in Turn Five. Several laps later Rivera would loose the final podium spot to the No. 80 Hooverspeed/Rebello Miata of Cross. Karl Zimmermann, of Austin, Texas, and Eric Foss, of Braselton, Ga., completed the top five. No. 4 Michael Neal, of Indianapolis, Ind., earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 25 positions throughout the race, from 56th to 31st.
Now in its 43rd year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kansas, As Big As You Think annually crowns the best amateur road racers in North America as Champions. More than 750 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 25 class titles, with nine races on Friday and eight Saturday and Sunday. This marks the first year that the Runoffs is held at Heartland Park Topeka.
Celebrating its 62nd anniversary, Sports Car Club of America is a 55,000 member organization that sanctions and promotes grassroots and professional motorsports events in a variety of disciplines, including road racing, Solo, road rally and rallycross.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=699