Oscar Jackson put on a flag-to-flag clinic while taking victory in the B-Spec class at the 55th SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway.
Jackson, of Chino, California put the No. 46 Jackson Racing/BFGoodrich/Ford Ford Fiesta on pole and set the pace from the drop of the green. But driving a flawless race wasn’t enough to make it easy. For most of the race, Jackson enjoyed a lead of around half a second, but Jake Pipal made a late race charge, pushing Jackson all the way to the checkered flag.
“Props to Pipal, he kept me honest for sure,” Jackson said. “We tested during the time frame of the race and we thought we had tire pressures dialed, but we didn’t. We decided to go one direction when we should have gone the other, but luckily I was able to manage the gap.”
Pipal, driving the No. 28 Carbotech/Zamp/Mazda Mazda 2, secured his first Runoffs podium at the age of 20 — in large part through race strategy, indicating a bright future for him in racing. Oversteer forced him to manage his tires and brakes until late in the race.
“I figured out where I could be really late on the brakes and I started reeling Jackson in when I noticed his tires were falling off,” Pipal said. “My tires were still there and I came charging up like a freight train. I think one more lap and things would have gotten crazy.”
Frank Schwartz, in the No. 24 AACS/Appalachian Tire/Hoosier Mini Cooper, and the No. 55 Mobil 1/Mr. Peel Chevrolet Sonic of Tony Roma came together on the second lap, resulting in Schwartz dropping to seventh. He made his way back through the field, finally making it to third with only three laps to go.
“I wasn’t going to race at all this year, but I bought a car in August, made one suspension and one tire pressure adjustment and put it on the podium,” Schwartz said.
Brandon Vivian, in the No. 25 Mobil 1/Flying Cork Racing Chevrolet Sonic, finished fourth. And the No. 43 PRP/Hoosier/Carbotech/KTune Honda Fit of John Phillips finished fifth. Robert Rodriguez Jr., driving the No. 6 Larry Oka Racing/Marvel Const Srv Mazda 2, earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award after starting 11th and finishing in the seventh position.
Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live. An audio race call, supplied by the Super Tour Radio broadcast team, is also available at http://www.SCCA.com/live , as well as live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.
Provisional results with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.
1, (1), Oscar Jackson, Chino, CA, Ford Fiesta, 19.
2, (2), Jake Pipal, Oakdale, CA, Mazda 2, 19.
3, (6), Frank Schwartz, Ann Arbor, MI, Mini Cooper, 19.
4, (3), Brandon Vivian, Milford, MI, Chevrolet Sonic, 19.
5, (5), John Phillips III, Sealy, TX, Honda Fit, 19.
6, (7), Fritz Wilke, Chelsea, MI, Ford Fiesta, 19.
7, (11), Robert Rodriguez Jr., Brentwood, CA, Mazda 2, 19.
8, (8), Cherie Storms, Langley, BC, Mazda 2, 19.
9, (9), Kent Carter, Houston, TX, Honda Fit, 19.
10, (10), Joseph Gersch, Conroe, TX, Mazda 2, 19.
11, (14), Jasper Drengler, Shawano, WI, Honda Fit, 18.
12, (4), Tony Roma, Beverly Hills, MI, Chevrolet Sonic, 2.
DNS, (12), Scott Lovewell, Modesto, CA, Mini Cooper,
DNS, (13), Clint deWitt, Sacramento, CA, Mini Cooper,
Length of Race: 48 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 40:04.567 (avg. 71.684 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.310 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:59.852 (75.693 mph)
Lap Leaders: #46 laps 1-19