LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2005) – Doug Marsh, of Eastlake, Ohio, captured his first National Championship Saturday, taking the Formula 500 class win at the 2005 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Wiley McMahan, of Covington, Ga., and Michael Brent, of Bethel, Conn., completed the top-three.-30-
In typical Formula 500 fashion, the start featured the 29-car field fanned out four-wide into the first turn. Holding the lead ahead of Brian Novak and Marsh, Brent witnessed former champion Aaron Ellis spin off-course in turn eight. Running nose-to-tail, the top-four repeatedly swapped positions throughout the opening laps, with Novak taking the lead early on. Working lap 10, Novak suddenly slowed in the carousel and pulled into the pits. On the following lap, racing came to an abrupt halt, as the field was shown Black All, for an incident in turn one. Following a 13-minute stoppage, racing resumed with a restart on lap 13. Getting a great start, McMahan took the lead ahead of Steven Jondal and Marsh. Quickly recovering from his poor start, Marsh passed Jondal and began pressuring McMahan for the lead. Setting up the pass exiting turn one, Marsh took the lead in the keyhole turn on the final lap of the time-shortened race. Leading the remainder of the race, Marsh captured his first Formula 500 National Championship win by 6.30 seconds over McMahan.
“My plugs fouled on the restart and the engine would not pull,” said Marsh. “I was getting passed left and right. By the time I got into Thunder Valley the plugs cleared and the car ran well after that. I was able to get ahead on what turned out to be the last lap. Last year we had a minor machining error that cost us the win. But we made up for it this year”
Jim Schultz, of Levittown, Pa., finished fourth, and Jondal, of Somerset, Wis., completed the top-five.
No. 38 Steven Jondal wins the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 15 positions, to finish fifth after starting 20th.
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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