Preston Pardus hadn’t won any big races. Although he’d been running his Spec Miata up front in the incredibly competitive Southeast Conference, he was still looking for that first SCCA Majors win. Whether he wanted to wait or not, when it finally came, it was the big one: the National Championship Runoffs.
Pardus, the son of former stock car racer Dan Pardus, wasn’t on anyone’s radar to win the thing. Even well into the race that featured a six-car battle for the duration, and even though he qualified second and had led some laps at two different times, a win looked like a long shot given the company he was running with. As the leaders went under the starter’s stand for the penultimate time, Pardus, running third, moved to the outside of Danny Steyn and leader Selin Rollan and braked late into Turn 1, taking the lead and holding it for the duration of the final lap.