TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 14, 2007) – Local driver Jesse Prather and Brian Linn, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., put on one of the most exciting races of the weekend at Heartland Park Topeka, when Prather narrowly beat Linn by 0.898-second to win his second-consecutive F Production National Championship at the 2007 SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by AT&T. Harold Flescher, of West Palm Beach, Fla., finished third.
The side-by-side battle between polesitter Prather and Linn began just seconds after the green flag dropped on the F Production race. Prather grabbed the early lead in his No. 1 Prather Racing Mazda Miata. Linn, driving the No. 31 Hoosier/RedLine Oil MG Midget, briefly took the lead for the first time from Prather on lap five. Unfortunately for Linn, Prather regained the lead one corner later. For the next 13 laps of the 18-lap race, Prather and Linn raced each other hard exchanging the lead several times before Prather finally took the lead for good on lap 16.
“Last year when I came into this room I said that I had never driven harder in my life,” Prather said. “This year, guess what? It was ten times as hard! Brian is a phenomenal driver. It was a great race. He had a better handling car, I had a little more power, and we went back and forth. It was very interesting, the way I could pull him on the straight and he would pull up on me and he was killing me in one and two. I didn’t think that I could go much faster through one and two without going off. We went side by side through three, then four, then five, then six, then seven. You know, when you race with a clean driver like that, it is a pleasure. The side-by-side was such fun, I adjusted my shifts, and I could hear his engine, he could hear my engine, that was such fun. That was the best race of my career, for sure.”
“The first few laps I did not know if I could catch him,” Linn said. “He was maintaining a gap to me and I was starting to get concerned. Then it seemed that his tires began to go off a little bit before mine did and I was able to close up on him. I was faster through two and three and he was faster down the straights. We had a very good battle. It was very clean. For as many times as we were side-by-side through multiple corners. We made it through them all. One time one guy would be off line in the marbles and the next corner the other would be. It was incredible how even it was. It was really fun racing.”
Flescher drove an impressive race in the No. 93 C.A.R.S. /RedLine/Goodyear Austin Healey Sprite to finish third. Flesher’s F Production Runoffs podium finish was the eighth of his career.
Eric Prill, of Topeka, Kan., finished fourth in his No. 7 800-Fight-MS/Hoosier/Prather Lotus Super 7. Joe Walker, of Richland, Mich., piloted his No. 5 Walker Racing Lotus Super 7 to a fifth-place finish.
Driving the No. 89 C. W. Horton General Contractor MG Midget, Charles Horton, of Hayward, Calif., was the Sunoco Hard Charger for advancing 10 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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