TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 12, 2007) – Brian Novak, of Dearborn, Mich., led all 18-laps to win his first Formula 500 National Championship at the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T at Heartland Park Topeka. Jason Knuteson, of Danville, Ind., and Jim Libecco, of Bedford, Ohio, completed the top three.
Novak, a Chicago Region SCCA Triple Crown winner, got a good jump at the start in his No. 66 Hoosier Tire/HRP Motorsports NovaKar J360 heading into turn one and never looked back. He led the entire 18-lap race winning by 4.576-seconds.
“It’s unbelievable considering how many years I’ve had something go wrong at the Runoffs,” Novak said of his first win. “I think I’ve finished the Runoffs three times out of six tries. But, it was finally good to have everything go right. I was trying to run a conservative race. This feels pretty good. It’s been a long time coming.”
Starting from the pole in the No. 92 Hoosier Racing Scorpion S1, Knuteson fell to fifth on the start but managed to work his way through traffic and was up to second by lap six. From there, Knuteson tried to stay within striking distance of Novak with the hopes of challenging for the lead late in the race. But, in the end, Knuteson settled for a solid second place finish.
Libecco put together one of the best performances of the day after starting 19th and finishing third. His effort in the No. 98 Sonny’s SpeedShop/QRE KBS MKV earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing 16 positions.
Robert Giesen, of Sherwood, Wis., and Steve Jondal, of Somerset, Wis., finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by AT&T, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions for the 44th-consecutive year in 2007. The best amateur drivers from across North America convene on Heartland Park Topeka’s 2.5-mile road course each fall in what is considered the “Olympics” of motorsports. This year’s event begins with four days of qualifying, Oct. 8-11, and concludes with three days of racing, Oct. 12-14.
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