Dan Meller, of Milwaukee, Wis., dominated Sunday's H Production race at the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America with a 22.84-second win to claim his first SCCA National Title. Bob Kelly, of Crystal Lake, Ill., and Ron Bartell, of Madbury, N.H., joined Meller on the podium.
Meller controlled the H Production class all week long, staring from the pole after qualifying nearly three-seconds quicker than Kelly in the runner-up position. Meller led the field to the green flag and immediately drove away, climbing out to an insurmountable margin over the 13-lap, 52-mile race.
The home track knowledge also allowed Meller to post the fastest race lap, a 2:40.524 (89.706 mph), in his No. 61 Core Consulting Honda CRX.
"It feels pretty good, too good to be true," Meller said of his win. "It was a great week. I didn't really get pushed by anybody during the race. I was hoping I could just poke away from everybody, but I thought these guys would come up the inside on the start. It was very stressful in the car, being alone like that and trying to bring it home.
"It's good to win at home, but I'd be happy to win a National Championship at any track. I've been racing here at Road America for 10 years, and this place has a lot of good memories - but this is the best."
Kelly also spent most of his race alone, ahead of any challengers behind him, but without enough car to catch Meller. Kelly, in the No. 0 TelSystems/Loop Racing Volkswagen Scirocco, used his local knowledge of the 14-turn, four-mile road course to come home in second.
Bartell, a two-time HP National Champion, battled early with Tim Pitts, of Louisville, Tenn., and Greg Gauper, of Hubertus, Wis., for third. Bartell was able to finally out-brake both drivers and pull away. That battle left him too far away to make a serious run at Kelly, and he would take the final podium spot in his No. 4 Hoosier Tires MG Midget.
Gauper finished fourth in the No. 15 Rana Mort Racing/King Motorsports Honda Civic Si, with Pitts just behind in the No. 11 Performance Tuning Volkswagen Golf.
Mark Weber, of Saint Louis, Missouri, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award after improving nine positions to ninth place.
The H Production National Championship race will be available on demand at ww.speedcasttv.com/scca shortly after the conclusion of the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.