TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 13, 2007) – Ken Flory, of Commerce Twp., Mich., captured his first Showroom Stock B title at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T in his first try. Lee Niffenegger, of Delaware, Ohio, and Toby Grahovec, of Chicago, completed the top three.
Driving the No. 8 Hoosier/Competition Graphics Pontiac Solstice, Flory started second but took the lead at the start over polesitter Michael Scornavacchi Jr.’s No. 25 Hoosier/Phoenix/Carbotech Pontiac Solstice at the start. He built up a three-second lead that evaporated when the caution came out on lap six to retrieve a disabled car.
On the restart, Niffenegger went to the front from fourth place in his No. 43 Honda/Hankook/Cobalt/DC Sports Honda Civic Si. However, the lead was short-lived, and Flory out-broke the Honda into turn four. From there, he never looked back, winning by 4.174 seconds.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet but it feels pretty good,” Flory, who is a crew member for Team Cadillac in SCCA SPEED GT competition said. “This is my first Runoffs and to be on the podium is great.
“At the start, the Honda behind me hit me hard and gave me a huge launch so I was able to get maybe a car length on Mike [Scornavacchi] into Turn One and I just continued on from there. At the restart, I was able to put in underneath Lee [Niffenegger] going into turn four and pulled away from there. Turn One and Turn Two were a mess because of the mud. At Turn Eight and Nine, I think that all three of us went off there. Someone about three laps from the end hit the apex at Eight and put a lot of mud on the track. All of us went off but all of us were able to save our cars and continued on.”
Former class Champion Grahovec had an eventful race in his No. 86 Classic BMW/Hoosier/RedLine BMW Z4, falling outside of the top five at one point before climbing back up to the third step on the podium.
Bob Schader, of Boulder, Colo., and Juston Poole, of Atlanta, completed the top five.
Richard Crites, of Bera, Calif., earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing nine positions in the race.
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by AT&T, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions for the 44th-consecutive year in 2007. The best amateur drivers from across North America convene on Heartland Park Topeka’s 2.5-mile road course each fall in what is considered the “Olympics” of motorsports. This year’s event begins with four days of qualifying, Oct. 8-11, and concludes with three days of racing, Oct. 12-14.