TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 15, 2006) – One day after finishing second on the racetrack at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kansas—As Big As You Think, John Heinricy, of Royal Oak, Mich., was awarded his 10th-Career SCCA National Championship and fourth-straight in the American Sedan class after Michael Lavigne was disqualified following post-race technical inspection. Ed Hosni, of Novi, Mich., was second, followed by Jason Von Kluge, of Ann Arbor, Mich.-30-
From the outside of row two driving the No. 78 Sensible Auto/Hoosier Ford Mustang, Kyle Watkins, of Broomfield, Colo., tried a banzai-like move to the outside of Turn One for the lead, but could not make it stick. Watkins locked up the tires sustaining a flat right front tire, giving the lead to the No. 7 Hoosier/Russell Auto Center Ford Mustang of polesitter Tom Sloe, of Newbury, Ohio.
Sloe quickly put some distance between himself and then second-place Lavigne, leading by more than five seconds by lap three. However, smoke began to emanate from the rear of Sloe’s machine on lap four. By lap eight of the 18-lap race, the smoke continued to get worse and Lavigne passed Sloe for the lead – a lead he would never relinquish. Lavigne captured his first SCCA National Championship by dominating 20.631-seconds at an average speed of 77.501 mph.
“The race was exciting, especially through turn one,” Heinricy said after the race. “There seemed to be quite a lot of attrition going on in turns one and two. I managed to get through there and I don’t think that I had any contact. I don’t remember what place I was in but I just gradually started picking cars off and moving up. Obviously there was some attrition, but I was able to move up into second place [on the track].”
Heinricy put on an impressive driving display in his No. 58 Goodyear/TAR/Tom Aquilante Pontiac Firebird from his 10th starting position to take the win. Driving the No. 3 Kumho Tires Cheverolet Camaro, Schepergerdes also had nice race finishing third on track, but would also be disqualified in post-race tech.
Following the penalties, Hosni in the No. 17 Goodyear/RSIG Security Ford Mustang winds up second in the final results, followed by the No. 77 Ford Mustang of Jason Von Kluge to complete the revised podium. Jim Wheeler, of Leneza, Kan., and Tom Ellis, of Pompano Beach, Fla., become fourth and fifth respectively. Kevin Youngers, of Greeley, Colo., won the Sunoco Hard Charger of the race award for advancing 10 positions throughout the race, starting 21st and finishing 11th.
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=694