Scott Tucker, of Overland Park, Kan., captured his first SCCA National Championship on Saturday, winning the Hawk Performance Touring 1 race at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Lance Knupp, of Fenton, Mich., and John Buttermore, of Pontiac, Mich., completed the podium at Road America.
Starting from the pole, Tucker led the T1 field through Turn One in his No. 55 Ferrari 430 Challenge, but lost his lead in Turn 12 to a hard charging Buttermore in the No. 52 Nearbrook Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Withstanding pressure from then-third place Knupp, Tucker kept with Buttermore and capitalized on a mistake by the Corvette driver in Turn Five to re-take the lead on lap four in Turn Six. From there, Tucker cruised to a 1.42-second victory in the 13-lap, 52-mile race, his first-ever Runoffs win. He set the fastest lap of the race in the process, turning a 2:22.000 (101.408 mph) around the 14-turn, 4-mile road course.
"John [Buttermore] was really strong in the Kink and I was asleep at the wheel a bit there," Tucker said. "I looked in my rear-view mirror coming into the braking zone [for Turn 12] and he was already past me. That's where he got me. A couple laps later, I got him up in Six. I think his brakes were starting to fade and he got a bit wide in Turn Five. Lance [Knupp] was driving strong and consistent, so it could have gone anyone's way at the end. It was a good race. I knew if I made a mistake that Lance was going to be there. I was doing everything I could.
Shortly after Buttmore lost the lead to Tucker in Turn Five, his car wiggled under braking for Turn Eight, allowing Knupp in the No. 37 Hoosier/Carbor Tech/Moton/IEC Dodge Viper to grab the runner-up spot. Buttermore fell off the pace of the leaders from that point forward, but still crossed the finish line in third.
Jim Lynch, of Chesterfield, Mo., finished fourth in the No. 98 Adventure Shooting Sports Dodge Viper SRT-10. Lynch spent the second half of the race defending his fourth-place from the No. 64 Hoosier/Zip Corvette Chevrolet Corvette of Johnny Miller, from Gray, Tenn., who finished fifth.
John Stracensky, of Medina, Ohio, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race award for advancing five positions in the race to finish 11th in his No. 97 Hoosier/Mallett Cars/Stupid Fast Chevrolet Corvette C5.
The Hawk Performance Touring 1 National Championship Race will be available on demand at www.speedcasttv.com/scca shortly after the conclusion of the 2009 SCCA National Championship Runoffs.