Above: Matt Reynolds, E Production winner at Hallett.
The Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour wrapped up an intense two-day event on Sunday, the weekend hosted by Ark Valley Race Group at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit — the fourth of 11 Super Tour events scheduled in 2019. All 25 races were 35 minutes or 27 laps in length, and there were hard-fought battles throughout the day.
Sunday’s racing was close. How close? Try 0.017s, the final margin of victory in Spec Miata, where Jim Drago narrowly edged Matt Reynolds following a side-by-side drag race out of the final corner. Drago’s No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata led the first 13 laps from the pole, before Reynolds took over, leading through lap 22, when the duo swapped positions once again as they worked through lapped traffic.
Drago was the official leader at the white flag, but Reynolds swooped past to the lead the final lap. On the gas, Drago moved to the inside in the final left-hander, and the two crossed the line in a photo finish.
“I really thought Matt had it with about three to go,” Drago said. “I made a little mistake and [he gapped me], but then he caught a lapped car at the worst time and allowed me to close up. We just put some pressure on at the end. I tried to get a couple of moves in and he shut them down pretty good.
“Going into 10, I take a little different line than Matt does, I’m a little tighter,” Drago continued. “He left me about a car and an inch and I stuffed it in there pretty good.”
That inch is all it took for Saturday winner Drago to sweep the weekend.
Reynolds nabbed his win just a couple of hours later. In what could be an early-season preview of this year’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Virginia International Raceway, Reynolds and Jesse Prather started the E Production race having qualified just 0.037s apart on Sunday morning. Reynolds took the lead from Prather on lap 13, then set a new track record with a lap of 1m20.896s (80.103 mph) on the 16th lap. One small mistake by Prather in his BMW Z3 gave Reynolds’ No. 71 Reynolds Bros. Racing/Hoosier/JPM/Vintage Connection/G-LOC Brakes Mazda Miata some breathing room, and that was the gap the three-time National Champion needed to take the win.
“I’m kind of beat up this weekend,” Reynolds said. “I had some close races. I was just trying to hang on Jesse’s bumper in the first half of the race and see what happened in the later half. Jesse ended up making a mistake going into turn two, and when you’re running that close, that’s all it takes.”
Mark Kirby and Don McMillon got the jump at the green flag in the big bore group, putting their GT-2 cars in the overall lead early on. Though eventual GT-1 winner David Fershtand, in the No. 05 Fershtand Race Prepared Chevrolet Corvette, was able to sneak by for the overall win, the GT-2 battle raged early. McMillon took the lead early in his Corvette, but Kirby stayed on his tail until taking the lead on lap three. McMillon stayed on his tail until a spin with five laps to go, ending his day early and allowing Kirby’s No. 21 Dodge Viper to collect the checkered flag.
“Don had me, no doubt,” Kirby said. “I started with higher [tire] pressures than he did, so I was quicker the first half. Then it flip-flopped, and he had me the second half and I was hanging on. It’s too bad for him that he spun, because he would have had it.”
Liam Snyder lowered his Formula Enterprises 2 track record with a lap of 1m12.775s, and took an overall win when Formula Atlantic leader Charles Peter spun with two laps to go. Peter’s misfortune also handed Paul Ravaris the FA win in his No. 5 Madhatter Golf/CR3 Capital Formula Mazda, while Snyder drove his No. 128 Snyder Brothers Racing Formula Enterprises/Mazda to the checkered flag.
“I didn’t have a great start,” Snyder said. “[Robert] Vanman got past me and I was like ‘heck yeah, this is going to be a great race.’ It was awesome competition. I got around him and set some track records. I kept pushing, and I saw some spun out cars. So, I just kept my foot in it.”
The Hoosier Super Tour continues in just a couple of weeks, April 12-14 at Virginia International Raceway for what many consider will be a preview of this year’s National Championship Runoffs in October. More information can be found at SCCA.com.
Below are provisional race results from Sunday’s Hoosier SCCA Super Tour from Hallett Motor Racing Circuit with Class: Name, Hometown, Region and Car.
-American Sedan: Tim White, Omaha, Nebraska, Nebraska Region, Ford Mustang
-B-Spec: John Phillips, Sealy, Texas, Houston Region, Honda Fit
-E Production: Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks, Texas, Alamo Region, Mazda Miata
-F Production: Eric Prill, Topeka, Kansas, Kansas Region, Mazda Miata
-H Production: Ralf Lindow, Bellevue, Nebraska, Nebraska Region, Volkswagen GTI
-Formula 500: David Vincent, Leavenworth, Kansas, Kansas City Region, KBS/Rotax
-Formula Atlantic: Paul Ravaris, Aledo, Texas, Texas Region, Formula Mazda
-Formula Enterprises: Mark Snyder, Southlake, Texas, Texas Region, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
-Formula Enterprises 2: Liam Snyder, Southlake, Texas, Texas Region, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
-Formula F: Cliff Johnson, Stillwell, Kansas, Kansas City Region, Piper DF
-Formula Mazda: Bryce Cornet, Norman, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Region, Formula Mazda
-Formula Vee: Hunter Phelps-Barron, Longview, Texas, Texas Region, Mysterian/VW
-GT-1: David Fershtand, Fort Worth, Texas, Texas Region, Chevrolet Corvette
-GT-2: Mark Kirby, Shawnee Mission, Kansas, Kansas City Region, Dodge Viper
-GT-3: Gary Grantham, Springfield, Missouri, Ozark Mountain Region, Datsun 240Z
-GT-Lite: Jonathan Goodale, Conifer, Colorado, Colorado Region, Mazda Miata
-Prototype 2: Jack Donnellan, Chickasha, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Region, Lola B07/90
-Spec Miata: Jim Drago, Memphis, Tennessee, Mid South Region, Mazda Miata
-Spec Racer Ford 3: Denny Stripling, McKinney, Texas, Texas Region, Spec Racer Ford
-Super Touring Lite: Cliff Ira, Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City Region, Acura Integra
-Super Touring Under: Chris Haldeman, Houston, Texas, Houston Region, Honda Civic
-Touring 1: Michael Pettiford, Louisville, Colorado, Colorado Region, Chevrolet Corvette
-Touring 2: Charlie Peter, Olathe, Kansas, Kansas City Region, BMW 235i
-Touring 3: Glen Morris, Fort Worth, Texas, Texas Region, Porsche Boxster
-Touring 4: Tyler Quance, Cypress, Texas, Houston Region, Mazda MX-5