LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2004) – Jim Leithauser, of Westminster, Colo., captured his first National Championship Friday, taking the Showroom Stock B class win at the 2004 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Toby Grahovec, of Palos Park, Ill., and David Neilsen, of Galena, Ohio, Colo., completed the top-three.
Driving the No. 74 Hoosier Tire/Bimmerhaus Performance 03 BMW Z4, Leithauser drove a comfortable race to capture his first career SCCA Runoffs win. Starting on pole, Leithauser fell back to second on the opening lap. Getting a good run out of the Keyhole turn, he retook the top spot in turn seven on lap two. Once out front, Leithauser steadily pulled out a lead of one second per lap, as second through fourth battled for position. At the checkered flag, Leithauser had captured the SSB National Championship by 12.480-seconds and an average speed of 74.767 mph.
“Last year [when the car was declared ineligible just before the start] was a heartbreaker,” said Leithauser. “This year is so much better! I just focused on this year. I tried to forget what happened last year, just tried to win every race that I ran, and focused on this race. I got a good start, but Toby [Grahovic] outbraked me. I could have hit him but backed off and let him go. Then I got a great run down the straight and outbraked him going into turn seven. I can't tell you how happy I am!”
Chris Puskar, of Chesterland, Ohio., finished fourth, and Chad Gilsinger, of Marysville, Ohio, completed the top-five.
Now in its 41st year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America Champions. More than 700 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 24 class titles this year, with eight races being run each day from Friday through Sunday.
Celebrating its 60th 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 performance rally.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=150