Scott Tucker, of Overland Park, Kan., escaped a multiple-car incident at the start of the Hawk Performance Touring 1 National Championship race and held off a race-long challenge from Scott Buttermore, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to win the T1 title at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs Presented by Subway at Road America. Buttermore finished second, followed by Chris Ingle, of Raeford, N.C.
As the Gumout Polesitter, Tucker was lucky enough to avoid a major incident on the front straightaway at the start. Behind him, second-starting John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., experienced transmission trouble just as the green flag waved, forcing the cars around him to take evasive maneuvers on cold tires. This caused the No. 98 Adventure Shooting Sports/HAVOC Dodge Viper SRT-10 of Jim Lynch, from Chesterfield, Mo., and the No. 99 Hoosier/Hutter Performance Center Chevrolet Corvette C5 of Tom Sloe, from Newbury, Ohio, to collide and collect numerous other cars in the process. A total of seven cars were involved in the incident, which brought out a red flag. All of the drivers involved in the incident were later cleared from the track medical center.
After a lengthy cleanup, it was determined by SCCA Officials that the race would re-start with a 15-minute time limit.
Driving the No. 55 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 430 Challenge, Tucker was able to defend his lead from the No. 37 Hoosier Tire/Carbotech/Angry Sheep Motorsports Dodge Viper of Buttermore on the restart, but was demoted to second in Canada Corner on lap two.
"Scott [Tucker] was good through One and Turn Eight," Buttermore said. "Through The Kink I was much faster every time except for the last lap where he was faster. In Canada I would run up on him and get alongside."
Tucker re-took the lead in Turn Five on the following lap, but lost too much momentum in the process, allowing Buttermore to sneak back by in Turn Six. The defending T1 National Champion repeated the Turn Five pass on the following lap, but this time made it stick.
Buttermore continued to fill Tucker's mirrors for the remainder of the seven-lap, 28-mile race and gave it one last shot on the closing lap, but it wasn't enough. Tucker took his second consecutive Hawk Performance T1 National Championship by 0.564-second, averaging 93.047 mph. He also set the fastest lap of the race, a 2:20.080 (102.798 mph).
"Turn Five is a tricky spot," Tucker said. "I was able to get a good exit out of Three and it was pretty safe. We were pretty strong in the braking zone. I took it. Then, he came back on me. It was a matter of who was leading the last lap. In Canada Corner I had at least two car lengths on him, just enough so he couldn't pass me."
"There was a plan," Buttermore recalled of the final lap. "I needed to focus on hitting marks for first part of the track. Then I came into the Carousel and he wasn't too far ahead, but I just couldn't get him into Canada as I wanted. Then I was sideways and just couldn't do it."
Though he qualified eighth, Ingle found himself fourth on the restart following the red flag. Ingle's first attempt to claim the final podium spot came on lap two as he moved his No. 7 Hoosier/Carbotech/Phoenix/Hardball Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 to the inside of David MacNeil's WeatherTech.com Ferrari 430 Challenge in Turn One. MacNeil, of Hindsdale, Ohio, held the position, but Ingle was able to take the spot on the following lap.
"I restarted fourth," Ingle said. " I battled with MacNeil. He was strong in some spots and I was strong in a couple others. I apologize to him as I gave him a little love tap going into Canada Corner. That's where we really brake hard. We went through Canada Corner side-by-side and in Fourteen once side-by-side and I got him going into Three. I out-braked him and he gave me plenty of room."
Crossing the finish line in third, Ingle captured his career-best Runoffs finish.
"I started eighth and really didn't even think I was going to race at all," Ingle added. "I cooked an engine on Saturday (in testing) and left. I called Mike Tracy and he said he would install an engine for free and those guys did a phenomenal job in one and a half days."
Oli Thordson, of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., finished fourth in the No. 22 Alvaka Networks Chevrolet Corvette C5 and won the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race award for advancing nine spots from his starting position.
Joeseph Gaudette, of Manassas, Va., completed the top five in the No. 86 Peko and Associates/Over1Gracing Chevrolet Corvette C5.
Norman Betts finished sixth, ahead of MacNeil, who crossed the line in seventh after a late-race spin in Turn Six.
Michael Waszak was eighth and Kyle Kelley was ninth.
The Hawk Performance Touring 1 National Championship race was run in conjunction with the Street Touring Over class. The category did not have enough entries to qualifying as an SCCA National Championship race and was instead run as a supplemental race. David Pintaric, of Canfield, Ohio, won in his No. 40 Kryderracing/Hoosier/Carbotech/WRP Dodge Viper, when the No. 70 Trim-Tex Drywall Products/Fall-Line BMW M3 E92 of Joe Koenig, from Glenview, Ill., shut off in Canada Corner on the final lap. Koenig re-fired and finished second ahead of third-place Jerry Onks, from Murfreesboro, Tenn., in the No. 96 VetteSport/Hawk/Wilwood/VanSteel Chevrolet Corvette.
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.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Provisional Results from Sunday's Hawk Performance Touring 1 National Championship Race, part of the 47th 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, Ferrari 430 Challenge, 7.
2, (3), John Buttermore, Bloomfield Hills, MI, Dodge Viper, 7.
3, (8), Chris W Ingle, Raeford, NC, Chevrolet Corvette C6, 7.
4, (13), Oli Thordarson, Trabuco Canyon, CA, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 6.
5, (11), Joseph Gaudette, Manassas, VA, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 6.
6, (15), Norman Betts, Ann Arbor, MI, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 6.
7, (7), David MacNeil, Hinsdale, IL, Ferrari 430 Challenge, 6.
8, (16), Michael Waszak, Glen Ellyn, IL, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 6.
9, (14), Kyle Kelley, Huntington Beach, CA, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 6.
DNF, (2), John W Heinricy, Holly, MI, Chevrolet Corvette C6, 0.
DNF, (4), Jim Lynch, Chesterfield, MO, Dodge Viper SRT-10, 0.
DNF, (5), Tom Sloe, Newbury, OH, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 0.
DNF, (6), Mike McGinley, Overland Park, KS, Chevrolet Corvette C6, 0.
DNF, (9), Aaron Quine, Medina, OH, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 0.
DNF, (10), Michael Pettiford, Louisville, CO, Chevrolet Corvette C6, 0.
DNF, (12), Jason Berkeley, New York, NY, Chevrolet Corvette C5, 0.
Time of Race: 18:03.321
Winner's average speed: 93.047 mph
Fastest race lap: #7 Scott Tucker 2:20.080 (102.798 mph)
Lap Leaders: 1, #55 Scott Tucker, 2-3, #37 John Buttermore, 4-7, #55 Scott Tucker
Sunoco Hard Charger: #22 Oli Thordarson
Attached image: Hawk Performance Touring 1 National Champion Scott Tucker
Credit: SCCA/Mark Weber