Todd Buras has won a lot of races, but at the 2019 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, the Spec Miata title he left with was the one he really coveted
“I’ve won in World Challenge, IMSA Continental Tire, MX-5 Cup … I’ve been on the podium on all of those stages, and this really was one of the most special,” says Todd Buras of winning the SCCA Spec Miata National Championship. “To win a race where nine other guys could have won is pretty outstanding. Nine guys had all of the qualifications to win, and everybody felt they could have won. It’s pretty cool to have won in such a competitive field.”
Buras has been competing in Spec Miata off and on for nearly two decades, with his other racing happening from about 2006 to 2014. Since returning to Spec Miata, he’s been a consistent front-runner, but in a couple of previous attempts at the Runoffs, he had come up short. This time he didn’t, but he’s quick to praise his teammates, Jim Drago, who was on his rear bumper for most of the race, and Preston Pardus, who was just 0.185sec behind Buras at the finish.
“It’s so much bigger than an individual – it’s all about the team,” Buras explains. “I’ve always been with Jim, and three years ago I started working with Preston a lot with the data and racing. He won the [Spec Miata] championship in 2017. We took that momentum and went to Homestead and learned how to drive bumper to bumper, on the radio, talking to each other. Jim and Preston and I talk to each other every lap.”
The drivers sort through the data, and when one of them hits the right setup, they all run that setup. At the Runoffs, they went out in qualifying together at the back of the pack all by themselves and worked together without interference from anyone else. As a result, they qualified one (Buras), two (Pardus), three (Drago).