TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 11, 2008) – Crossing the finish line more than 10 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, J.R. Osborne, of Castle Rock, Colo., earned his second-consecutive D Sports Racing Championship as well as the SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown® at the 45th SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Mark Jaremko, of Spokane, Wash., and Tom Bootz, of Evansville, Ind., completed the podium at Heartland Park Topeka.
The field’s first attempt at a start may have been waved off by the starter, but when the green flag waved the next time around, what ensued was nothing short of spectacular. At speeds topping 100 mph, polesitter Jaremko, second-starting Bootz and third-starting Osborne went side-by-side through Turn Alpha and Turn One. When the order was sorted exiting Turn One, it was defending Champion Osborne in the lead, with Jarmeko shuffled back to third behind Bootz.
“I got a little jump on Mark, and probably got a little tow to get up next to him, and I was close enough that I had to try and stick it in there [on the start],” Osborne said.
Once in front, there was no catching Osborne, who ran a flawless race, increasing the gap to second place with nearly every lap. While doing so, Osborne set a new Runoffs race lap record, turning a 1:23.461 in the No. 1 Rilltech/Goodyear/Red Line Stohr WF-1/Suzuki. When the checkered flag flew after 18 laps, Osborne had 10.468 seconds on second place Jaremko, the DSR National Championship and SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown.
“We’ve just had an awful weekend,” Osborne continued. “We’ve been up until midnight and back up at six in the morning fixing the car. I guess that’s what makes it really special for me, that it all came together when it counted. It was a great race, Mark gave me room and did exactly what I would have done -- he pressured me a little bit, but not to the point of being reckless. I was able to really push hard for the first couple of laps and try to build a gap, and then maintain it, because you can wear these cars out if you keep pushing too hard. It was the perfect race, all things considered.”
Though Bootz was able to put his No. 36 Bootz Industries Stohr WF-1/Suzuki in front of Jaremko when the trio when side-by-side through Turn One, Jaremko didn’t let Bootz get very far. Only a handful of corners later Jaremko’s No. 2 GDRE Dauntless/WRD/Goodyear Stohr WF-1/2007 GDRE was back in the runner-up spot, where he would finish for the second year in-a-row.
Following a late-race battle with Chris Farrell, of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bootz was able to hang onto the final podium spot. Recovering quickly from a spin after contact with Bootz, Farrell finished fourth in the No. 58 C&M Mfg./GDR Engines/Hoosier Tire Stohr WF-1/Suzuki.
Jean-Luc Liverato, of Alpharetta, Ga., completed the top five in the No. 8-Ball Racing/Hoosier/KWS Stohr WF-1/Suzuki.
Roy Maxwell, of Arlington, Texas, advanced four positions during the race to earn the Sunoco Hard Charger Award.
The DSR National Championship race will air on SPEED, Wednesday, Nov. 17 at noon (EST).
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions for the 45th-consecutive year in 2008. The best amateur drivers from across North America will compete on Heartland Park Topeka’s 2.5-mile road course in what is considered the “Olympics” of motorsports. This year’s event began with four days of qualifying, Oct. 6-9, and is in the middle of three days of National Championship racing, Oct. 10-12. Live timing, lap notes, results and photos are all available at www.scca.com/runoffs.