LEXINGTON, Ohio (September 20, 2002) - With the first three Sports Car Club of America Valvoline Runoffs® races in the books Friday morning, the trend has been set by John Fergus, David Daughtery and Steve Sargis that experience is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to winning a National Championship at Mid-Ohio.
Fergus, of Powell, Ohio, started the Sports 2000 race from the pole, and led flag-to-flag in his No. 00 Hoosier Tires/The Fergus Co. Carbir CS-2. The win was Fergus' second-straight and third in four years.
"Everything pretty much went according to plan," said Fergus. "I had to push myself more this year than previous years because the field is bigger and deeper than it's been in a long time. I pushed hard for the first three laps and then had a small lead that I could maintain. Once in the lead, I was able to drive my own race."
Hans Peter, of Overland Park, Kan., moved from fifth to second early and finished 5.887 seconds behind for his second-consecutive podium finish. David Ferguson, of Sunnyvale, Calif., finished third, followed by Mark Hardymon, of Delaware, Ohio, and Dan Dubrovich, of New York, N.Y.
Daughtery, of Carmel, Ind., earned his seventh-career SCCA National Championship today in Showroom Stock B. After starting outside of the front row and following polesitter David Roush for two laps, Daughtery went to the front in his No. 00 Ruth The Realtor/Carpenter/ GMAC Mazda Miata. Third starting Eric Morehouse, never more than a half second out of the lead for the first five laps, took over on lap six, but spun in turn 11 on lap 11, handing the lead, and the win, off to Daughtery.
"It was a good race," said Daughtery, who last won a Championship in 1999. "Eric [Morehouse] got by when David [Roush] and I were battling side-by-side. A few laps later, he went off and I was back out front. Then, I just buckled down and watched my lap times. I ran my own race and it worked."
Roush, of Shelby, Ohio, held on for second place, 2.972 seconds behind, followed by Toby Grahovec, of Palos Park, Ill., Ken Simonson, of Strongsville, Ohio, and Harry Manning, of Racine, Wis.
Steve Sargis, of Frankfort, Ill., a three-time G Production Champion, earned his first F Production title in a flag-to-flag run driving the No. 18 Hoosier Tire/SBS Batteries Triumph Spitfire. Mike Pinney, of Phoenix, Ariz., finished second, 8.276 seconds behind.
"I got a good jump and was sorry to see the double yellow flags [for a startline incident]," said Sargis. "I developed a push on the restart and Mike [Pinney] was all over me. It finally went away and I was able to pull away from the rest. Last year, the car broke, but this year I was too busy to look at my gauges. I was too worried about Mike."
Charles Guest, of Brooksville, Fla., came out on top of a spirited four-car battle for third, which eventually saw the other three drivers fall by the wayside. Despite multiple contacts with Dieter Griesinger, Guest was able to hold onto the position. Charles Coker, of Nashville, Tenn., finished fourth after starting 19th, followed by Walter "Les" Handly, of Atglen, Pa.
For complete results, visit www.scca.org. The 39th Valvoline Runoffs continues this afternoon with five races for the GT-4, Touring 2, Formula Vee, American Sedan and H Production classes.