Shadowen scores third National Championship with GT-Lite win at VIR

Image by Jay Bonvouloir

Shadowen scores third National Championship with GT-Lite win at VIR

Peter Shadowen, of West Palm Beach, Florida, started from the Tire Rack pole position and led the final nine of 14 laps to win the GT-Lite (GTL) class at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs on Friday from VIRginia International Raceway (VIR). Jonathan Goodale, of Conifer, Colorado, and Graham Fuller, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, earned their third and first podiums, respectively.

Shadowen’s No. 72 Road N Race Auto/Goodyear/HPD Honda CRX fell behind Bill Ball on the opening lap as a congested start and contact wiped out defending class champion Troy Ermish and 10-time champion Joe Huffaker, starting third and fourth. That brought out a full course caution on the opening lap, but Ball again ran off ahead on the lap three restart.

Ball, still leading, ran wide in Turn 10 on lap six and turned the lead over to Shadowen. From there, Shadowen stretched his lead to more than 20 seconds until the race ended under a final full course caution after 14 laps.

The championship is Shadowen’s third of his career, and his sixth career podium.

“It feels good,” Shadowen said. “It wasn’t as much of a battle as some of mine in the past, but it was a good race. If Bill had not gone off, it would have been a hell of a battle for the first place position. He got by me on the start, and I was happy to be there. I’m better in the chase. I was able to size him up in those couple of laps and he can throw that car around. I was hoping if I could pressure him a little bit, he would throw it around too much. That’s kind of what happened.”

Goodale also drove his No. 04 Mazda/Hoosier/Hawk/Summit Racing Mazda MX-5 past a slowing Ball on lap six to move into second place after a being a part of the contact in the opening corner. He nearly lost his second position on lap 12 when, entering Turn Two, he slid wide and off course. Goodale recovered, re-entering the course just in front of Fuller, and remaining in front until the full course caution came out.

The runner-up finish is the best of his career, and the first outside of the state of California after bronze medals at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Sonoma Raceway.

“It feels great,” Goodale said. “Unfortunately, when the green came out, cars two rows behind me were already by me. We funneled down into one, and I kept getting pushed over. I’ll need to look at my video to see for sure. It was not what I wanted.”

Fuller started seventh, moved to fifth following the opening incident, and picked up an additional position on the lap three restart by moving around Ryan Downey’s Nissan 200SX SE-R. When Bell began to drop, on lap seven, Fuller had found his way to his first podium position.

“It’s amazing,” Fuller said. “I’ve been at this for five years and climbing up the class. I followed Downey into Turn One and I just had a better run. Coming up to Turn Two, I was right beside him and outbroke him into Turn Three. I never really slowed down and went right around him.”

Taz Harvey got the best of a long battle with Downey to finish fourth, one position ahead of Downey. Harvey’s finish and his 12th position on the grid also earned him the Sunoco Hard Charger award.

Provisional results for Saturday’s GT-Lite race at the 56th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from VIRginia International Raceway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.

1, (1), Peter Shadowen, West Palm Beach, FL, Honda CRX, 14.
2, (5), Jonathan Goodale, Conifer, CO, Mazda MX-5, 14.
3, (7), Graham Fuller, Martinsburg, WV, Honda CRX, 14.
4, (12), Taz Harvey, Danville, CA, Mazda Miata, 14.
5, (9), Ryan Downey, Paris, VA, Nissan 200SX SE-R, 14.
6, (8), Ryan Kristoff, Farmington Hills, MI, Honda CRX, 14.
7, (15), Chris Kopley, Easton, CT, Mini Cooper, 14.
8, (11), James Gregorius, Lakeville, NY, Mazda RX-7, 14.
9, (6), Paul Mevoli, Treasure Island, FL, Nissan Sentra, 14.
10, (14), Roy Lopshire, Blue Springs, MO, Toyota Tercel, 14.
11, (16), Bryan Scheible, Bowmansville, NY, Volkswagen Fun Cup Beetle, 14.
12, (19), Robert Pharr, Hickory, NC, Nissan PL510, 10.
13, (2), Bill Ball, West Chester, PA, Nissan Sentra SE-R, 7.
14, (17), Edward Nicholson, Kansas City, MO, Nissan 200SX, 5.
15, (20), Peter Zekert, Maryland Hts, MO, Nissan 200SX SE-R, 4.
16, (10), Charles Leonard, Palmetto, FL, Nissan 200SX SE-R, 4.
17, (13), Rick Haynes, Hebron, OH, MG Midget, 4.
18, (18), David Stephens, Owens Cross Roads, AL, Nissan PL510, 2.
19, (3), Joe Huffaker, Petaluma, CA, MG Midget, 0.
20, (4), Troy Ermish, Tracy, CA, Nissan PL510, 0.

Length of Race: 46 miles
Overall Time of Race: 35:42.573 (76.921 mph)
Margin of Victory: 0.895 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #60 Bill Ball 2:07.837 mph (92.086 mph)
Lap Leaders: #60 laps 1-5; #72 laps 6-14
Sunoco Hard Charger: Taz Harvey

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