Lexington, Ohio (Sept. 23, 2005) – Starting on the pole for the second time in three years, Toby Grahovec managed to finally put together a full weekend as he won his first SCCA National Championship Showroom Stock B Championship Friday morning at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Jack Tippens, of Woodstock, Ill., finished second, 6.691 seconds behind Grahovec, and 2003 SSB Champion Harry Manning, of Racine, Wis., finished third. -30-
Getting away from the field early with a clean start in his Hoosier/Red Line/Classic BMW 2003 BMW Z4 (the same car that earned 2004 Champion Jim Leithauser his SSB title), Grahovec was never seriously challenged in any of the 20 laps on the 2.258-mile course. While he may not have needed it, he received a gift from then third-place Tippens, who was denied in his bid for the SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown, and second-place David Nielsen, of Galena, Ohio.
Battling as they entered the Esses on Lap 9, Tippens’ Dora/Fall Line Motorsports/Anderson BMW 2004 BMW Z4 briefly contacted the back end of Nielsen’s Nielsen Environmental Field School 2003 BMW Z4, causing both drivers to spin. Both recovered quickly, but were well out of Grahovec’s reach.
“"I had a sweet start and then I just put my head down and concentrated on my lead,” Grahovec said. “When the cars started bumping behind me I got a real nice lead. Then I saw Harry [Manning] in my mirrors and we were just matching lap times. Then I was happy to see a clear track in my mirrors when Harry and Jack [Tippens] had some trouble. I finally took a checker!"
After recovering from the incident with Tippens, Nielsen went on to finish fourth, while Ken Simonson, of North Ridgeville, Ohio, completed the top five.
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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