TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 14, 2007) – Steve Oseth, of Leesburg, Va., used a late last lap pass to win his second-consecutive Formula Vee National Championship at the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T at Heartland Park Topeka. Michael Varacins, of Burlington, Wis., and Bob Neumeister, of Pueblo, Colo., completed the top three.
Oseth, who is the defending Formula Vee National Champion, led only one lap in the chase for the Formula Vee crown – the last lap. Driving the No. 72 Hoosier Tire/DBM Racing Vortech 07, Oseth spent most of the race mired in second place, trying to chase down then race leader Varacins. Oseth finally caught and passed Varacins on the last lap going into Turn Alpha and never looked back winning by a slim 0.239-second over Varacins.
“The truth is, I probably couldn’t have caught Mike if it hadn’t been for the lapped traffic,” Oseth said of his win. “It seemed to me that his car went off about five laps or so before the end. It seemed that the back end was starting to slip out a little bit. My car was good all the way to the end. He was faster than me through the fast stuff. It was really tough keeping pace with him early on. There aren’t many opportunities, so you take them where you can. Last year, we had two braking areas where you could take somebody, but those don’t exist anymore, so you are pretty much left to drafting. I think that I got a better run on him coming out of the last turn and I picked up a car length or so on him as we were exiting, and that let me by him.”
Polesitter Varacins got a great jump at the start in his No. 65 Speed Sport Eng./Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM-5 and led the first 17 of the 18-lap race. In fact, at one point Varacins led by more than two seconds until he caught lapped traffic, allowing Oseth to narrow the gap to less than a second with two laps to go. Varacins did everything he could to keep Oseth behind him, but could not hold the lead with only 14 corners remaining in the race. This was Varacins’ second consecutive second-place finish in the Formula Vee National Championship race.
Starting on the outside of front row, Neumeister dropped to fifth at the start in his No. 94 Hoosier Tire/RedLine Vortech Vortech. Undaunted by his early loss of position, Neumeister methodically worked his way back into the top three by lap 12, which is where he finished. This was Neumeister’s first-career Formula Vee National Championship podium finish.
Brad Stout, of Webster Groves, Mo., finished fourth in his No. 35 Goodyear/Noble/LRE/BRP ACI Vorech 2005. Steven Davis, of Powder Springs, Ga., piloted his No. 80 Butler Engines/Goodyear/Valvoline Racer’s Wage to a fifth-place finish.
Warren Holcomb, of Denver, was the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing 14 positions during the race.
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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Attached: Photo of Steve Oseth’s No. 72 Hoosier Tire/DBM Racing Vortech 07.