RUBBIN’ IS RACIN’
excursion, momentarily handing the lead
to Brian Linn, who’d started the race in
second in his Honda. In short order I was
able to work my way back to his bumper.
As the white flag flew, Linn ran deep into
Turn 1, opening the door for me to retake
the lead. As I worked to complete the pass
in Turn 2 we had side-to-side contact, Linn
fell to third, and I looked good for the gold.
Little did I know that my right-rear wheel
had suffered a crack from the contact and
the tire was losing pressure. I discovered
this upon entry to the Bus Stop for the final
time, as the now compromised Yaris got
very loose. A quick jaunt through the grass
and then back on track, still in the lead, but
my exit speed suffered. I could see Alan
Hulse and Linn coming fast. Hulse,
incidentally, was enjoying a fantastic race,
coming through from seventh on the grid.
Transitioning from NASCAR Turn 4 to
the relatively flat front straight, I was once
again reminded of the ailing rear tire as
the Yaris drifted around beneath me. I
fought to control the car, wrestling it to the
bottom of the track, and held my breath as
we approached the checkered flag.
In a finish like something out of the
Daytona 500, Hulse and Linn had made
contact as they caught me just shy of the
finish line. The contact left Hulse backward
in the outside wall, while Linn collected
me on his way to the infield grass. When
the dust settled, Linn was credited with the
win, I survived for second place, and Hulse
had enough momentum to slide across the
finish backward for third. Crazy stuff, but
unforgettable for everyone involved.
TRAding pAin T, dAy TonA s TylE!
In a moment fitting of a NASCAR race at Daytona, the H Production win came down
to the wire with an action-packed finish. When the dust settled, Brian Linn (No. 37)
was scored as the winner, with Jason Isley ( 99) second and Alan Hulse (137) third.
spec Miata (BElo W) got the full
Rolex 24-style experience, as the class
held its sCCA Runoffs championship
race under the lights in daytona.
Since 1964, the Sports Car Club of
America National Championship
Runoffs have been the crown jewel
of amateur road racing.
Initially the event spent a
number of years alternating
between Daytona International
Speedway, Fla., and Riverside
International Raceway, Calif.
By 1970, the Runoffs settled at
Road Atlanta, Ga., where they
would stay until 1993. From
1994-’05, the event called
Mid-Ohio home, followed by three
years at Heartland Park Topeka,
near the SCCA’s HQ in Topeka, Kan.
Road America took over hosting
duties in 2009, with the famed
Wisconsin track hosting the 50th
running of the storied event in ’ 13.
That same year, it was
announced that the SCCA Runoffs
would go on the road, with a
rotation that would bring the event
to different parts of the country,
and to venues that did not work for
it under the previous format.
First on the list was Mazda
Raceway Laguna Seca in 2014,
followed by the world famous
Daytona International Speedway
in ’ 15. For ’ 16 the Runoffs returns
to a sentimental favorite, Mid-Ohio,
and SCCA recently announced the
legendary Indianapolis Motor
Speedway will host the ’ 17 running.