TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 14, 2006) – Lance Knupp, of Fenton, Mich., made a late-race pass on Triple-Crown hopeful Cindi Lux, of Aloha, Ore., on the penultimate lap to capture his first SCCA Touring 1 National Championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kansas, As Big As You Think. Lux and Jeffery Robbins, of Northville, Mich., finished second and third, respectively.-30-
When the green flag dropped, it looked like Scotty B. White was destined to win his first National Championship when he opened up a more than eight second lead by lap nine in his No. 3 Kumho/SRT/Forgeline/Corsa/Momo/Mint Dodge SRT 10 Viper Coupe. However, White’s fortune would quickly change, as he pulled into the pits on lap 10 for a flat left rear tire. White’s misfortune, turned out to be good fortune for Lux, as she inherited nearly a four and a half second lead over new second-place driver Knupp.
For the next seven laps, Knupp continued to chip away at Lux’s lead in his No. 37 Hoosier/Hawk/Moton/IEC/Phoenix. On lap 17, Lux tried to keep her No. 78 Kumho/SRT/Forgeline/Corsa/Momo Dodge SRT10 Viper Coupe in front of Knupp, but slid wide coming out of Turn 14 and Knupp took the lead for good.
Knupp captured his first national title by 1.262-seconds, at an average speed of 80.588 mph.
“To be honest, I thought I was chasing Cindi down for second-place,” Knupp said. Then, my crew told me to ‘go, go, go’ because she was in first. I did not know that Scott [White] had broken down. I could see that her brakes were going away and that she was really struggling in the tight corners. I thought that if I could get to her, I could make the pass. I thought that she would rocket back past me on the straightaway, but apparently she got a little crossed-up and the pass worked.”
Five-time defending T1 Champion John Heinricy, of Royal Oak, Mich., finished fourth, while Edward Zabinski, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., finished fifth. David Pintaric, of Canfield, Ohio, won the Sunoco Hard Charger of the race award for advancing seven positions throughout the race, starting 13th and finishing sixth.
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.