ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 21, 2008) – Scattered rain showers made for some unpredictable races, while others allowed drivers to display their dominance Saturday at the 53rd annual Piggly Wiggly Chicago Region June Sprints at Road America.
The first four of nine weekend races were held Saturday afternoon, with rain popping up occasionally on what was generally a partly cloudy day.
John Buttermore, of Pontiac, Mich., dominated Race One in his Touring 1 class Nearbrook Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette, beating Jim Lynch’s Dodge Viper to the finish by 27.828 seconds. In the same race, defending SCCA American Sedan National Champion Andy McDermid took another Sprints win in his Hoosier/Lane Auto/Felice Racing Ford Mustang from the pole, setting a new lap record in the process. David MacNeil, of Hinsdale, Ill., won Touring 2 in his WeatherTech.com BMW M3, while Steve Welk, of Plymouth, Wis., won D Prepared in his UMW Motorwerks/Citgo Mazda MX-5. William Peter (Mitsubishi Evo) and Ron Pawley (Lexus IS300) set track records in Touring 2 and D Prepared, respectively.
Race Two saw another dominating performance from defending D Sports Racing National Champion J.R. Osborne. The Castle Rock, Colo. driver won overall from the pole, setting a new track record in the process in his Rilltech Race Engineering/Goodyear Stohr WF-1. Sheboygan’s Brian French took C Sports Racing in his Ralt RT 41. Mark Eaton, of Melbourne, Fla., came from fourth on the 23-car Formula Enterprises grid to take the win, setting a new track record in the process in his RobinsonMotorSports.com entry. Local driver Bart Wolf came out on top of a battle with Marc Walker to take Sports 2000 in his Wolf’s Motor/Elite Engines/Arms Up Carbir.
Race Three saw it all—clean racing, a big incident and rain. The Touring 3, Showroom Stock B, Showroom Stock C and Spec Miata contest ended before many felt the racing was going to really start—particularly in Spec Miata, which saw an epic battle for the lead developing before the race was slowed.
Bob Boileau, of Monument, Colo., built a sizeable lead overall in his Touring 3 class Hoosier/1-800-FIGHT-MS/CTEngineering Honda S2000 before a lap-five incident involving the Showroom Stock B cars of Bob Schader and Jonathan Start brought out a full course yellow. Due to the lengthy cleanup and a brief rain shower, the race was shortened to seven laps and ended under caution with Boileau taking the overall win. Boileau also set a new T3 track record in the process.
Lee Neffenegger, of Delaware, Ohio, won Showroom Stock B in his Honda/BFGoodrich/Cobalt Friction Honda Civic Si and Joe McClughan, of New Braunfels, Texas, took SSC in his Mazdaspeed/Hoosier MAZDA3. Polesitter Mark Bennett, of Lagrange, Ohio, led a train of Spec Miatas that included Jim Drago, Jason Saini and Richard Wiese, and took the win in his Stewart Engineering/Carbotech/Backstreet Mazda Miata.
The final race of the day was greeted by a cloudburst on the pace lap, meaning the Formula Mazdas and Formula Fords spent the first several laps under full course caution. Several drivers headed to the pit lane for rain tires, but polesitter Franklin Futrelle, of Augusta, Ga., stuck it out on slicks in his MECO Inc. of Augusta/Goodyear Formula Mazda to take the overall win by more than 22 seconds.
Jeremy Treadway, of Putman, N.Y., also stayed on slicks and moved from third on the grid to take a big win in Formula Ford in his Goodyear/Farley/Treadway Swift DB6.
Final starting grids were set for three of the five Sunday races, with several record speeds being turned in the process. The final two race grids will be set Sunday morning.
For full timing sheets and results, click here.
The 53rd annual Piggly Wiggly Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints concludes Sunday. The June Sprints annually draws the most SCCA National Club Racers of any single event during the season and serves as the first leg of the Chicago Region SCCA Triple Crown®.