Lexington, Ohio (Sept. 25, 2005) – Brad Stout, of St. Louis, Mo., traded the lead several times during Sunday afternoon’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but he held on when he had to, earning the fourth Runoffs title of his career and his second SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown. Jeff Loughead, of Darien, Ill., followed up his 2004 Runoffs-winning performance with a second-place finish, and Stevan Davis, of Powder Springs, Ga., was third. -30-
Stout flashed signs of veteran know-how throughout the 20-lap race on the 2.258-mile course, starting from the pole then relinquishing the lead on several occasions to Bob Neumeister, of Pueblo, Colo., through the middle portions of the race.
As the two battled each other in addition to Loughead and Davis, the four-car pack separated from the rest of the field, weaving in and out of each other as the top three jockeyed back and forth, using famous Formula Vee drafts to bolt past one another virtually every lap as the group entered the Esses.
Sitting in third, Neumeister darted past both Stout and Loughead on Lap 19 after the Keyhole, only to be taken back over by both drivers as they entered the Esses. After he regained the lead, Stout held off a last-lap charge to get the win.
"These are the same three guys on the podium as last year, only the top is changed, thankfully!” Stout said. “To be successful here in Vee, you cannot make any mistakes. I just missed the Triple Crown a couple times before, but this year I am happy to bring it home.”
Stout said that the win meant more after he lost someone special earlier this year.
“My crew chief, Bland McCoy, passed away last June. When I visited him one last time I told him I would win this for him. He was with me today looking over my shoulder. I was talking to him on the last lap and felt his presence. This win is for him."
In the Carousel, Neumeister was squeezed just a bit and dropped to fourth. Steve Oseth, of Leesburg, Va., the 2003 FV Champion, finished fifth after starting 13th. Brian McCarthy, of Sacramento, Calif., held the fifth spot for most of the race, but as he was exiting the Carousel, he spun, crossed the track and hit the wall, coming to a stop just before the start/finish line – helpless as he watched the rest of the field pass him by.
Douglas Sontag, of Georgetown, Ky., won the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 27 positions to finish 13th after starting 40th.
Now in its 42nd year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs annually crown the best amateur road racers in North America as Champions. More than 750 competitors have gathered this year to battle for 23 class titles this year, with eight races being run Friday and Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Celebrating its 61st 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 rallycross.
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