TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 15, 2006) – In the first race, on an overcast final day of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kansas, As Big As You Think, polesitter James Dentici, of Oconomowoc, Wis., cruised to a 15.822-second win over Bill Gilcrease, of Costa Mesa, Calif., to capture his first SCCA GT Lite National Championship. Douglas Ruthroff, of Phoenix, finished third.
From the green flag, Dentici got a great jump in his No. 11 Raglin Racing/JDM Honda CRX Si coming down the front straight heading into Turn One on a damp racetrack and from that point forward, he must have set his throttle on cruise control, as he had more than a 29-second lead by lap 12 and never looked back.
“We didn’t know what to do this morning,” Dentici said about this morning’s weather conditions. “We had intermediates, we had wets, we had slicks and we picked the intermediate Goodyears and they just worked excellent. The whole track was slick; it was like greased lightning out there. We started on the pole and that was key. I was a little surprised I got a good jump, so I knew everyone was not going to pile in on me in Turn One. It was slick, but I am from Wisconsin where we drive in snow six months of the year. I scared myself 10 times out there. I thought to myself, ‘I have a 20-second lead, why am I doing this?’ But we are happy. Everything we asked the car, the motor, the crew to do, everything just responded and I’m very happy.”
Dentici’s win was first SCCA GT Lite National Championship and his fourth SCCA National Championship overall (1981 – GT4, 1989 and 1993 – GT3).
Ruthroff, who started from the rear of the pack after pulling off the grid late in his No. 48 Hasport Honda CRX, put on an impressive driving display of his own charging through the field to challenge second-place finisher Gilcrease for position over the last three laps of the race. Gilcrease had to use most the 2.5-mile Heartland Park Topeka track to keep Ruthroff behind his No. 64 mincomp/Mini Mania/Redline/Booble.com BMC Mini Cooper, and he did just that finishing second.
Arnstein Loyning, of Portland, Ore., and William Pintaric, of Youngstown, Ohio, finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Matthew Foley, of Spartanburg, S.C., won the Sunoco
Hard Charger of the race award for advancing nine positions throughout the race, starting 19th and finishing 10th.
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=697