LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2004) – Robert Stallings, of Dallas, Texas, captured his first National Championship Friday, taking the Formula Atlantic class win at the 2004 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Ashen Yelken, of Canfield, Ohio, and Keith Lively, of San Francisco, Calif., completed the top-three.
Driving the No. 33 Blackhawk Motorsports/Gainsco Swift .014, Stallings captured the National Championship in his first-ever visit to the SCCA Runoffs. At the start of the race, Stallings fell back to third, while contact in esses brought out the full-course caution. Following a waved-off restart, racing resumed on lap six. Turning some of the fastest laps of the race, he began to close on the leader Dan Cobb. On lap 14 Stallings inherited the lead, when Cobb went off-course and retired. Once in the lead, Stallings pulled away from the field, taking the checkered flag by 19.410 seconds and an average speed of 78.256 mph.
“We had a Cinderella week,” said Stallings. “This is my first time here and my second year in the car. My car was absolutely perfect all week. I was fastest in every session but final qualifying. My objective at the start was to get through turn one okay. That worked well, and I missed the crashed cars. I was reeling Cobb in and then he must have lost concentration because all of a sudden he went off. All in all, I had a terrific two weeks.”
Randall Cook, of Palo Alto, Calif., finished fourth, and Mirl Swan, of Platte City, Mo., completed the top-five.
Now in its 41st year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America Champions. More than 700 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 24 class titles this year, with eight races being run each day from Friday through Sunday.
Celebrating its 60th Anniversary, Sports Car Club of America is a 60,000 member motorsports organization that sanctions and promotes grassroots and professional motorsports events of a variety of disciplines, including road racing, autocrossing, road rally and performance rally.
Link to story: http://www.scca.com/News/News.asp?Ref=153