Jason Knuteson, of Danville, Ind., captured his second-consecutive Formula 500 Title Sunday at the 46th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. Patrick Gallagher, of Thornville, Ohio, and Aaron Ellis, of Farmington, Minn., completed the podium.
Knuteson qualified his No. 92 Hoosier Racing/Mitchell Racing Scorpion S1 Rotax fourth on the grid but made a great start to take the lead going into Turn One. From there, he built what was eventually a 15-second lead before a full course caution on lap nine to clean up several separate incidents erased the advantage.
The lap-12 restart set up a two-lap dash to the finish. Knuteson again pulled a gap as polesitter Gallagher in the No. 00 CTL Engineering Invader QC-1 Rotax battled with Michael Brent's No. 41 QRE/Hoosier Invader QC-1 Rotax, allowing the leader to get away. Knuteson won by 4.18 seconds, averaging 83.648 mph in the 13-lap, 52-mile race.
"I knew the car was strong today," Knuteson said. "I got out and got the lead, but I figured the draft would come. Fortunately, I was able to hold out a little bit of a gap. I had a good lead, so probably the most disappointing thing of my life was seeing the double yellow with three laps to go, but that's racing. The car was really strong and had enough to get the win.
"We've been here 10 days now. You start to second guessing yourself. At some point, for me, you have to stop looking at the car and start asking other people what they think. I'd like to take credit to myself, but I can't, I have to thank all the people that did all the hard work."
Knuteson also set the fastest race lap en route to victory, with a 2:23.406 (100.414 mph) effort.
Sixteen-year old Gallagher admitted to getting a poor start, but worked his way back to a solid second place before his car developed a handling issue, forcing him to spin twice. He managed to restart in second, but dropped to third before working back up to the runner-up spot for good.
Ellis started fifth in the No. 43 Carlisle/CFF/Ellis Motorsports Ellis AE06 Rotax and emerged atop a final-lap battle with Brent that saw the two swap positions several times before he secured the position for good in Turn 13.
Brent, who started second, finished fourth, followed by Robert Giesen's No. 0 Subway Sandwiches/Hoosier Tire Red Devil LD 04 Rotax.
Daniel Greening, of Fond Du Lac, Wis., earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award after advancing 14 positions from start to finish in his No. 03 Bull it Racing/Pro Motorsports Red Devil BR-2K2 Rotax.
The Formula 500 National Championship race will be available on demand at www.speedcasttv.com/scca shortly after the conclusion of the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Provisional results from Sunday's Formula 500 National Championship Race, part of the 46th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (4), Jason Knuteson, Danville, IN, Scorpion S1 Rotax, 13.
2, (1), Patrick Gallagher, Thornville, OH, Invader QC-1 Rotax, 13.
3, (5), Aaron Ellis, Farmington, MN, Ellis AE06 Rotax, 13.
4, (2), Michael Brent, Bethel, CT, Invader QC-1 Rotax, 13.
5, (3), Robert Giesen, Sherwood, WI, Red Devil LD 04 Rotax, 13.
6, (6), Michael Mueller, Plymouth, WI, Red Devil 2004 Rotax, 13.
7, (15), David Lapham, Irvington, NY, Invader QC-1 Rotax, 13.
8, (7), James Weida, West Lafayette, IN, Scorpion W1 Rotax 493, 13.
9, (11), Steven Jondal, Somerset, WI, Red Devil JS08 Rotax, 13.
10, (17), Steven Moore, Towanda, PA, Invader QC-1 Rotax, 13.
11, (16), Katherine Lapham, Irvington, NY, Invader QC-1 493, 13.
12, (13), William Cobb, Cambridge, WI, CNBF500 Milton Banana Rotax, 13.
13, (8), Jeff Jorgenson, San Francisco, CA, NovaKar J-10 Rotax, 13.
14, (28), Darrel Greening, Fond Du Lac, WI, Red Devil BR-2K2 Rotax, 13.
15, (21), Jack Walbran, Saint Louis, MO, Scorpion 2006 Rotax 493, 13.
16, (23), Charles Schlismann, Homewood, IL, KBS MK8.5 Rotax, 13.
17, (25), Dan Sowinski, Carol Stream, IL, KBS MK8.5 Rotax, 12.
18, (26), Glen Smeal, San Marcos, TX, Red Devil T-2001 Rotax, 12.
19, (18), Herb Noble, Marion, IA, Scorpion 001 Rotax 494, 8.
20, (12), Mike Bymaster, Brownsburg, IN, NovaKar JW1 Rotax, 7.
21, (14), Jeremy Morales, Glen Head, NY, Perf Eng Raptor DE-2B Rotax, 7.
22, (27), Chuck McAbee, Jacksonville, FL, Invader QC-1 Rotax 493, 7.
23, (20), Joseph Palmer, Coppell, TX, NovaKar J-9 Rotax 494, 6.
DNF, (19), Chris Huskamp, Saint Louis, MO, Scorpion S09 Rotax, 5.
DNF, (22), Jeff Blumenthal, Independence, OH, KBS MK 8 Rotax, 4.
DNF, (10), Kenny Price, Dewey, IL, Scorpion 001 SC Rotax, 3.
DNF, (9), Michael Vacek, Steger, IL, Invader QC-1 Rotax, 3.
DNS, (24), Donald Clar, Pleasant Hill, CA, NovaKar J-10 Rotax, 0.
Time of Race: 37 minutes, 17.940 seconds
Margin of Victory: 4.180 seconds
Winner's average speed: 83.648 mph
Fastest race lap: #92 Jason Knuteson, 2:23.406 (100.414 mph).
Lap leaders: Laps 1-13, Jason Knuteson
Sunoco Hard Charger: #03 Darrel Greening
Attached: Jason Knuteson takes the checkered flag at Road America
Credit: John Steflik