Peter Shadowen, of Loxahatchee, Fla., captured his first National Championship after a fierce battle with Jim Dentici, of Oconomowoc, Wis., in the GT-Lite class race at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway at Road America. Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., finished third.
Starting from the Gumout Pole Position in the No. 72 Road n Race/Goodyear/HPD/Red Line Oil Honda CRX, Shadowen watched second-starting Chris Bovis, of Lawrence, Kan., take the lead around the outside of Turn 1 in his No. 4 Honda/Goodyear/Red Line Oil Honda CRX. From there, the pair, plus Dentici's No. 77 JDM Group/Raglin Racing/Goodyear Honda CRX waged a fierce battle for the lead, trading the top spot several times.
Bovis' race for a second Championship ended after six laps when he pitted to clear his grill of leaves that were blowing around the track due to 40mph winds. One lap later, he retired.
One lap later, Shadowen took the lead for good according to the lap chart, but his position was never comfortable. On the 13th, and final, lap, Dentici got a run out of the Carousel and tried to make a move for the lead in the Kink. The pair went side by side through the fast corner and Shadowen was able to hang on to take a 0.211sec win.
"On the start, I got passed by a couple cars," Shadowen said. "I certainly didn't have a drag race into Turn 1. The car on the Goodyear tires was perfect. It was a little loose, but that's the way I like it. Everything went well for us. We had a rough start early in the week and in the test days. We lost our Runoffs motor on the first test day. We had to piece together something with other year's Runoffs motor and this year's motor and it turned out to be an excellent package and everything was just right for this race.
"The first thing I thought was 'I hope we both make it,'" he added about his trip through the Kink with Dentici. "But he's a former National Champion and I've seen this guy race before. If there was anyone I'd feel comfortable doing that with, it'd be one of these guys up here (on the podium) with me today. That was a sight. A lot of adrenaline there at the end."
Dentici took his shot at the lead when he could on the final lap.
"I got a pretty good run on him coming out of Eight coming through the Carousel and I actually pulled up next to him coming into The Kink, which is always interesting," Dentici said. "Each of us just breathed off a little bit and he took the spot into 12. I got a little run coming out of Turn 14, because I changed the line a little bit. I thought I'd get a run on him and I finished right next to his door.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed that I didn't win, but we had an absolutely great race and a great week. To run a race like that; 13 laps, nose to tail, with two or three guys; it was a really great race."
Behind the Honda CRX battle, Kent Prather overcame two trips off the course at the exit of the Kink to finish third in his No. 26 Prather Racing/Moss Motors/Mazdaspeed Mazda Miata.
"The race went really well," Prather said. "I was right up on those guys and then it looked like they started to get away from me a bit. The guy behind me started passing me in Canada Corner and slowed us up, so then I decided I needed to do something to get away from him. Once I got away from him, I was able to try and catch up. Then, all of a sudden, the water temperature went way up. Apparently I had some leaves in the grill. From that point on, it was just don't make any mistakes and get on the podium."
Rob Macfarlane, of Portland, Ore., was fourth in his No. 27 Loyning's Engine Service Toyota Celica. Jim Hargrove, of Surrey, B.C., completed the top five in his No. 38 Analytic Systems/RaceEnergy Honda Civic.
Robert Bax, of Cincinnati, Ohio, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award in his No. 0 GT-5 Time Capsule Nissan 1200 after advancing seven positions throughout the race.
Now in its 47th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway annually crowns Champions in the Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing classes. The live broadcast of all 28 National Championship races will be available throughout the weekend at www.Speedcasttv.com/scca and later available On Demand from the same site.
Follow the action on Twitter @SCCAOfficial or the SCCA, Inc. Official Facebook page at facebook.com/sccaofficial.
More information is available at www.scca.com/runoffs.
Image: Peter Shadowen leading Jim Dentici at Road America (Weber Image)