Lexington, Ohio (Sept. 25, 2005) – Joe Colasacco, of Greenwich, Conn., earned his first-ever SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kohler title in Spec Racer Ford Sunday afternoon, taking the checkered flag by 1.282 seconds over John Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., and Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md., who finished second and third, respectively. -30-
Starting second on the grid, Colasacco trailed polesitter Black for the first two laps. As the field entered the Esses, Colasacco executed a perfect inside pass on Black, taking over the lead. Though he was never completely in the clear for the rest of the 20-lap race, Colasacco never relinquished his advantage and took the checkered flag.
Spicer, in his Hagerman RacEngineering/Spicer SRF, also made his move on the third lap, passing Jeff Beck, of Ingleside, Ill., who was looking for a SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown. It wasn’t to be for Beck, however, as Spicer went on to set a new SRF race lap record with a 1:38.642 (83.211 mph), putting third, let alone first, out of reach.
Colasacco said that even after he gained the top spot, he never felt like he had complete control.
“Once I got the lead, I just tried to focus ahead,” Colasacco said. “It was so difficult because [Black] was all over me. I tried not to make mistakes, and when I saw Richard [Spicer] make a pass on Black late in the race, I had a feeling that I had it at that point, so I just concentrated on running laps with no mistakes since I didn’t have to run qualifying-speed laps at that point.”
For Colasacco, it was a relief to finally top the podium as he had participated in more than a decade’s worth of Runoffs, but had only been able to finish second, that coming in 2004.
“Last year, I had the pole and went off with two laps to go,” Colasacco said. “I’ve been trying to win this race, for, seriously, like the last three years and have been coming to the Runoffs for the past ten years plus. Finally, it’s a good way to go out with the Runoffs going to another location next year, to finally win one, it’s important to me.”
After battling for much of the 20-lap race, Beck finished fourth, and Mike Miserendino, of Los Angeles, completed the top five.
Ron Lentz, of Shawnee, Kan., won the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 12 positions to finish 14th after starting 26th.
Now in its 42nd year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America as Champions. More than 750 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 23 class titles this year, with eight races being run Friday and Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Celebrating its 61st anniversary, Sports Car Club of America is a 60,000 member motorsports organization that sanctions and promotes grassroots and professional motorsports events of a variety of disciplines, including road racing, autocrossing, road rally and rallycross.
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