Mike Miserendino, of Los Angeles, Calif., waited until the final lap of the Spec Racer Ford National Championship Race at Road America to claim his fourth-consecutive SRF Title at the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Brian Schofield, Lakeland, Fla., finished second, followed by Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md.
Starting second in the No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer Ford, Miserendino tucked up under polesitter Brian Schofield at the start of the 13-lap, 52-mile race and stayed there until the final tour of the four-mile, 14-turn road course. As the two commenced the final lap, Miserendino pulled out of his draft heading into Turn One. Unable to make the move stick, Miserendino tucked in behind Schofield's No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer Ford once again and the pair headed into Turn Five. Miserendino took another look on the inside under braking into Five, but ran out of room as Schofield took a defensive line. Fortunately for Miserendino, Schofield nearly ran out of road at the exit of Five, enabling the him to carry more speed into Turn Six and take the lead. Schofield took one more look in Turn 13 and the two made contact through the final corner, but it was Miserendino by 0.67-second at the line.
"I wasn't really holding back so much as hanging on. Brian's [Schofield] car was very good for the first half of the race and I feel like we equaled out toward the end. I tried to save my best stuff for the end, but I had to drive a qualifying lap every time just to keep up with him. I was definitely not sandbagging. I was driving for all I was worth just to keep up with him at the beginning.
"I was better out of Turn Three and that was really the only corner I was faster coming onto a long straighaway. He was better than me in the Carousel and I knew I didn't have a chance to get around him in Canada Corner on the last lap, so I figured my best chance was going into Turn Five and if he got back around me in Turn 12, I couldn't do much about it. I weighed my options and figured that my best chance of being able to hold on was going to be a pass into Turn Five."
It was the third runner-up finish in-a-row for Schofield who turned the fastest lap of the race, a 2:38.812 (90.673 mph).
Starting fifth, two-time SRF National Champion Spicer had a great start in the No. 65 Jay Motorsports/Bucholz Spec Racer Ford, moving into third at Turn Five on the opening lap. After swaping positions with Nick Evans, of Powell, Ohio, Spicer re-claimed the final podium spot on lap eight and never looked back.
Scott Rettich, of Oxford, Ohio, started third, but finished fourth in the No. 97 PDI Communications/Hippi Racing Spec Racer Ford.
Making his return to SRF competition for the first time since 2004, Jean-Luc Liverato, of Alpharetta, Ga., finished fifth in the No. 8 8-Ball Racing/Expanded Techno Spec Racer Ford.
Fourteenth-place finisher Bruce Myers, of Greenland, N.H., captured the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 19 positions in the race
The Spec Racer Ford National Championship Race will be available on demand at www.speedcasttv.com/scca shortly after the conclusion of the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.