The SCCA U.S. Majors Tour season ended on Sunday, as seven groups took checkered flags at Gateway Motorsports Park in a combined meet for the Mid-States and Northern Conferences.
Each group ran a 10-lap qualifying race on Sunday morning, with the finishing order setting the grids for the 28-lap, point-paying feature races on Sunday afternoon.
The first group was spread out on the track, but a number of drivers did what they needed to do to clinch Conference Championships.
Bob Schader, in the No. 5 Hoosier Tires/MiataCage.com Mazda Miata, and Greg Vandersluis, in the No. 93 Carbotech/BFGoodrich/Ford Racing/Vandersluis Motorsports Ford Mustang, had already clinched the Mid-States Super Touring Lite and Northern Touring 4 titles, respectively, but both raced off to class wins on Sunday morning.
The weekend sweep by Tommy Boileau, in the No. 43 BimmerHaus/BFGoodrich/Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving BMW Z4, clinched the Mid-States Touring 3 title for the 19-year-old. Stan Czacki, in the No. 00 Whitehead/DGI/SchaafAuto/BFG/HPD/Summit/Hawk Acura RSX-S, ran second to Vandersluis to claim the T4 crown in the Mid-States.
A runner-up finish in STL by Bruce Andersen's No. 73 Senson Racing Grp/Autotechnik Racing Mazda Miata, coupled with Saturday's win, kept him in front of Kyle Webb for the Northern Conference title.
For the second consecutive day, Denny Stripling ripped away to a four-plus second win in Spec Racer Ford. His No. 4 Lightspeed Motorsports SRF was the class of the field, turning the race's fastest lap while running alone out front.
Keith Verges, while further back in the field, took care of his own business on Sunday afternoon. Verges was involved in a chain-reaction collision that ended the race of five different cars on Saturday, still needing points to earn the Mid-States Conference Championship. Verges borrowed a car, and then drove the No. 84 Apex Driving Services machine to a steady sixth-place finish to earn points and a crown.
Jim Daniels' No. 86 MazdaRacers.com Mazda Miata broke a control arm on Saturday, but, back in one piece, cruised to a dominating overall and E Production victory in Group 3. Behind him, however, Sam Henry was pushing hard in his F Production No. 37 Springfield Dyno/SafeRacer Mazda Miata, still in the Mid-States Championship hunt.
Henry's title odds fell considerably when he had to change a motor on Saturday, switching to a different car to salvage a seventh-place finish. Henry was back in his car for the win on Sunday, but Eric Prill followed him across the stripe on Sunday with a second place finish in the No. 7 Jesse Prather Motorsports/Hoosier/Hawk/Motul Mazda Miata. With the runner-up, Prill earned the big trophy.
Chris Albin swept the H Production weekend in the No. 3 Hoosier/247-parts.com/AMT Engines Volkwagen GTI and earned enough points for a share of the Mid-States Championship, but the drama came for Aaron Johnson. Johnson needed a finish to earn the Northern Conference Championship, but his No. 87 ReK Racing Triumph Spitfire pulled off track at lap 14. That was the magical halfway point, however, to score points, and Johnson collected his crown.
The single race excitement in the fast open wheel group came early from Jimmy Simpson, before the drama turned to Championship watch. Simpson started from the rear of the field after the gear shift lever in the No. 27 RacePro Marketing Swift/Toyota broke off in his hand on the opening lap of the qualifying race on Sunday morning.
It took just eight laps for Simpson, who lapped the entire field on Saturday, to get into the lead. Once he did, it was smooth sailing.
Five drivers in the group clinched Championships, though, even while Simpson was flying around the track. Richard Colburn clinched the Northern Conference Championship in the No. 97 Amari Metals NosTendo 2 with a win, but the weekend sweep also earned him enough points to share the Mid-States title as well.
In Formula Atlantic, Charles Duncan clinched the Northern Conference with a third-place finish in the No. 98 Circle D Racing Swift 016, and Gaston Kearby clinched the Mid-States title with a fifth in his No. 69 GK Motorsports Pro Star Mazda. Jacek Mucha finished second in class in his No. 01 Swift 016/Mazda, but had enough points to win the Northern Conference C Sports Racing title.
Henry Donohoo secured the Mid-States Formula Enterprises Championship with a win in the No. 10 Mazda of Lakewood/Drone Motorsports Formula Enterprises/Mazda.
Todd Napieralski drove to a very valuable Touring 1 and overall victory in the big bore group, completing a weekend sweep in the No. 3 Total Performance Racing Chevrolet Camaro. With two wins, Napieralski not only cemented the Northern Conference title, but backed into a share of the Mid-States crown as well. Keith Moody drove his No. 01 Bo-Daddy Shrimp/LionShare Marketing/Phoenix Engineering Chevrolet Monte Carlo to two GT-2 wins at Gateway as well, giving him a share of the Mid-States trophy in his class.
Natha Waldbaum swept the weekend in her No. 5 Hutter Performance/Hoosier/VetteSport/HARDBAR USA Chevrolet Corvette to earn her Touring 2 title in the Mid-States. While Chad Bacon swept the event in GT-3 with a pair of wins in the No. 18 FedEx Ground/GoodYear/Toyota TRD Toyota Celica, the Mid-States Championship went to Robert Herman. Herman had a pair of runner-up finishes in the No. 0 Herman Plumbing/Kim's Auto Repair Service Mazda RX-7.
The Spec Miata race mirrored yesterday's, with Jim Drago's No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata moving to the lead with Erik Stearn's No. 97 East Street Racing/Ed's 24 Hour Service/Dick's Auto Salvage Miata in tow. Drago stayed in front for all 28 laps to earn the win and a Mid-States Conference title.
When Michael Novak's No. 9 Roush/Caldwell Race Prep Miata moved around the No. 17 Senson Racing Grp/Autotechnik Racing Miata of Bruce Andersen for third on lap nine with a turn one pass, Novak moved into a season-long tie with Stearns for the Northern Conference lead. The two were declared co-champions with an identical 123 points, two ahead of Andersen in third.
CJ McAbee drove his No. 1 AJ's Import Garage/Hoosier AJ's 2012/Rotax to the overall win, that was only slowed by a black flag with 12 laps left when a Formula 500 machine slid into the tires in turn one. Brothers Cliff Johnson, driving the Formula F No. 4 Alpine Litho-Graphics/Farley Engines Piper DF-5, and Bill Johnson, driving the Formula Vee No. 42 Portable Work Tools, Inc Vortech/Volkswagen, got the jump after the restart and cruised to victory.
Bill Johnson got additional help with leader Brad Stout's No. 35 ACI Distributors Vortech pulled off course just after the restart.
Timothy Friest fell out of the race on lap 20, but managed to salvage third place in his No. 86 XTRacing/RodEndSupply/Mobile Reasoning KBS Mk VII/Rotax, which netted him the Mid-States Formula 500 Conference Championship by two points over second place David Vincent.
Bill Kephart's fourth place Formula F finish in the No. 37 Vestial 10F was enough to nail down his Mid-States Conference title.
The next stop for the Majors Champions, competitors, and all qualified SCCA Club Racers is the 50th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America, September 16-22.
More information is available at www.scca.com. Like SCCA on Facebook at Facebook.com/SCCAOfficial, or follow on Twitter @SCCAOfficial.
MADISON, Ill. - Provisional race winners from Sunday's SCCA Northern Conference and Mid-States Conference Majors Tour races at Gateway Motorsports Park. Drivers are listed by Class: name, hometown, and car.
American Sedan: Philip Smith, New Albany, Ohio, Chevrolet Camaro
D Sports Racing: Richard Colburn, Northbrook, Ill., NosTendo 2
E Production: Jim Daniels, Memphis, Tenn., Mazda Miata
F Production: Sam Henry, Republic, Mo., Mazda Miata
H Production: Chris Albin, Maryland Heights, Mo., Volkswagen GTI
GT-1: Michael Major, Collinsville, Ill., Chevrolet Camaro
GT-2: Keith Moody, Harrisonville, Mo., Chevrolet Monte Carlo
GT-3: Chad Bacon, Kingsport, Tenn., Toyota Celica
GT-Lite: Peter Zekert, Maryland Heights, Mo., Nissan 200SX
Formula 500: CJ McAbee, Topeka, Kan., AJ's 2012/Rotax
Formula Atlantic: Jimmy Simpson, Indianapolis, Ind., Swift 016a/Toyota
Formula Continental: Jim Victor, Davenport, Iowa, Firman RFR/Ford
Formula Enterprises: Henry Donohoo, Arvada, Colo., Formula Enterprises/Mazda
Formula F: Cliff Johnson, Stilwell, Kan., Piper DF-5
Formula Mazda: Alan McCallum, Houston, Texas, Formula Mazda
Formula Vee: Bill Johnson, Leawood, Kan., Vortech/VW
Spec Miata: Jim Drago, Memphis, Tenn., Mazda Miata
Spec Racer Ford: Denny Stripling, McKinney, Texas, Spec Racer Ford
Sports 2000: Rob Sherwood, Saint Louis, Mo., Carbir CS2/Ford
Super Touring Lite: Bob Schader, Longmont, Colo., Mazda Miata
Super Touring Under: Tom Kraft, Des Moines, Iowa, Mazda Miata
Touring 1: Todd Napieralski, Chelsea, Mich., Chevrolet Camaro
Touring 2: Natha Waldbaum, Omaha, Neb., Chevrolet Corvette
Touring 3: Tommy Boileau, Monument, Colo., BMW Z4
Touring 4: Greg Vandersluis, North Olmsted, Ohio, Ford Mustang