Scott Tucker, of Overland Park, Kan., raced flag-to-flag in the Super Touring Over class at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America to claim his third-career title and first in the class. David Pintaric, of Canfield, Ohio, and Gary Kachadurian, of Hindsale, Ill., joined Tucker on the podium.
Tucker started from the Gumout Pole and led flag-to-flag in his No. 55 Microsoft Porsche 996, but a long caution just after the opening lap erased any early gap he had managed.
The yellow flag flew when the No. 70 DrywallArt.com/Hoosier/Fall-Line BMW M3 of Joe Koenig spun going into Canada Corner after a tap from Pintaric's No. 40 Kryderacing/Carbotech/Hoosier Dodge Viper ACRX and was collected by Jerry Onks' No. 96 WilwoodBrakes/VetteSport Hoosier Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
After circulating under yellow for six laps, the restart saw Tucker's mirrors filled with Pintaric's Viper. Tucker held off Pintaric's advances, including a side-by-side move on the final lap, to take a 0.728-second win in a race shortened to 12 laps from the scheduled 13 to fit into the 40-minute time limit. Tucker set a new Runoffs race record with a Hawk Hot Lap of 2:15.047 (106.630 mph), the fastest lap of the race.
“I'm still sweating right now,” Tucker said. “He drove one hell of a race. I've raced with him for seven years now, and his game is just on top. He put pressure on me everywhere. He took advantage of every mistake I made. It could have gone either way. It was an impressive drive by him. Probably, if it would have gone a little longer, I don't know what would have happened. I was very impressed. Great job.”
“The competition here is great. This is collectively the biggest group of road racers in America. These guys are the heart and soul of road racing in America. I do race in some other series and I have raced in Europe and anybody knows winning a national championship in the SCCA is an incredible achievement and something that we've worked hard for and I'm very proud of it.”
Pintaric, who won the STO race last year at the Runoffs when the class ran as a supplemental class, moved ahead of Tucker briefly on lap nine, but couldn't make the pass stick.
“Scott drove a real good race,” Pintaric said. “I was concerned seeing Joe Koenig over there in the incident. I feel pretty bad about it. I touched him and I caused the spin. It was just a racing incident, but I do feel bad about him.
“Scott made that car wide. If anybody is going to beat him, they're going to earn it. That's what he wants and that's what we all want. Yes, I'm disappointed being second place, but it's still an honor to be up here on the podium.”
Kachadurian earned the Sunoco Hard Charger Award after improving from seventh place to the final podium spot in his No. 02 Grey Fox Racing BMW M3 at his first Runoffs appearance.
“It's totally exciting,” Kachadurian said. “I've got to thank Fall-Line. I've been Fall-Line now five years and they've supported the car. It is absolutely, totally mentally draining watching your friend on a stretcher as you pass by Canada Corner 10 or 12 times. Our thoughts are with Joe Koenig. I hear he's alert. It's hard to throw down some good laps after that, but that's what we did. We just kind of concentrated on keeping it on the track. I don't have close to the car that these guys have, but they threw down some fabulous, unbelievable laps.”
Marty Grand finished fourth in the No. 34 AMSPerformance/TRE/Hoosier/Carbotech Mitsubishi Evo IX.
Now in its 48th year, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs 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.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Provisional Results from Friday's STO National Championship Race, part of the 48th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.
1, (1) Scott Tucker,Overland Park/KS, Porsche 996, 12
2, (2) David Pintaric,Canfield/OH, Dodge Viper ACRX, 12
3, (7) Gary Kachadurian,Hinsdale/IL, BMW M3, 12
4, (5) Marty Grand,Manassas Park/VA, Mitsubishi Evo IX, 9
DNF, (3) Joe Koenig,Glenview/IL, BMW M3, 0
DNF, (4) Jerry Onks,Murfreesboro/TN, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, 0
DNS, (6) Sean Maloney,Saint Charles/MO, Chevrolet Corvette, 0
DNS, (8) Steve Zink,Fort Worth/TX, Ford Mustang, 0
DNS, (9) Lance Stewart,Miami/FL, Ford Mustang, 0
DNS, (10) CJ Moses,Gainesville/VA, Mitsubishi Evo X, 0