Sak claims Super Sweep with SRF3 Runoffs win

Image by Jay Bonvouloir

Sak claims Super Sweep with SRF3 Runoffs win

SCCA / SportsCar Magazine

Sak claims Super Sweep with SRF3 Runoffs win

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Two Californians led a field of nearly 60 competitors to the Spec Racer Ford Gen3 SCCA National Championship Runoffs start at Road America on Saturday. Tire Rack Pole Award winner TJ Acker was flanked by teammate Mike Miserendino in the No. 11 MBI Racing machine. But after the start, it was five-time champion Miserendino leading the kaleidoscope of colorful cars winding around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The 13-lap SRF3 event was expected to be filled with action, and the drama began early when a full-course yellow came out on the second lap. Danny Stripling had grabbed the top spot at that point and led the field to the restart. But Miserendino went back by him shortly after and the two continued to swapped the lead for a bit.

A group of as many as seven competitors found a home in the lead pack by the race’s halfway point. Franklin Futrelle looked strong and led a few laps, but slowed on the exit of Turn 5 late in the race. Unfortunately, Stripling looked to have tapped Futrelle at that point, ending his shot at a win. Bobby Sak, in the No. 19 Elite Autosport car, also moved to the front in the later portion of the race.

As is often the case in SRF3, especially at Road America, the race came down to the final lap. At the white flag, Sak was ahead with Miserendino tucked right up beneath him. Going into Turn 5 on the last lap, Miserendino took the lead away from Sak. Then toward the end of the lap after Canada Corner, Sak assumed the front spot and never relinquished it. That gave Sak, of West Bloomfied, Michigan, his very first Runoffs Championship by a 0.169-second margin over runner-up Miserendino, of Bakersfield, California.

With Saturday’s victory, Sak has earned SCCA Super Sweep honors. He was the 2020 SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Northern Conference champion, Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour SRF3 champion, and won at the Runoffs.

“I was definitely cool with being up front,” Sak said about leading to the white flag. “As soon as Mike (Miserendino) bumped me down the front straight to start the last lap, I knew he was in the same mental space as me and we’re just going to make this a him and I show.”

Before the final corner, Sak “backed up” his car a bit to slow Miserendino’s progress, and that was accomplished. “From there, it was foot to the floor as hard as I could, make your car as wide as possible, and it worked out,” Sak continued. “It was a drag race up the front straight … and it really couldn’t have gone much better.”

For Miserendino, this marks his 11th podium appearance at the Runoffs. Before the race started, he and Acker talked at length about how to work together to come out victorious. But those plans were foiled early on in the race.

“I can assure you that the rest of the top 10 wanted to break us up as quickly and fast as possible, and I don’t blame them. I would’ve done the same thing,” Miserendino said about the race’s start. “There were so many good guys in the lead pack. But in the end, it just came down to me and Bobby, and I came up just a little bit short today.”

In his first-ever Runoffs start, it was Grant Vogel, from St. Louis, Missouri, who brought his No. 46 Daikin Air Conditioning car home in the third and final podium position. Vogel, who has been racing with SCCA for two years, was only in his second-ever visit to Road America this week.

“For a majority of the race, I was probably in seventh at the rear of the lead pack,” said Vogel, who started in the 17th position. “I got up to fourth, then made one more pass for third, and then had to block for a couple laps. But at that point, I was surprised to be where I was, to be honest.”

Acker, of Saugus, California, finished fourth after starting on pole. Justin Claucherty, of Jackson, Mississippi, finished fifth. John Vogel, of St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded Sunoco Hard Charger honors for starting 42nd and finishing in the 21st spot.

Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live along with an audio race call—supplied by the Super Tour Radio presented by Hoosier Racing Tire broadcast team—and live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.

Provisional results for Saturday’s Spec Racer Ford 3 race at the 57th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from Road America, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.

1, (4), Bobby Sak, West Bloomfield, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

2, (2), Mike Miserendino, Bakersfield, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

3, (17), Grant Vogel, St. Louis, MO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

4, (1), TJ Acker, Saugus, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

5, (15), Justin Claucherty, Jackson, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

6, (12), Cliff White, Huntsville, AL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

7, (6), Charles Russell Turner, Montpelier, VA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

8, (9), Justin Hille, Waterford, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

9, (7), Scott Rettich, Columbus, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

10, (22), Mark Snyder, Southlake, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

11, (10), John Tipton, Lexington, KY, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

12, (14), Todd Vanacore, Ormond Beach, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

13, (21), Richard Baldwin, Covington, LA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

14, (25), Robert Reed, Uxbridge, MA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

15, (19), Jim Gray, Minneapolis, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

16, (28), Matt Gray, Chaska, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

17, (26), Paul Marino, Chatsworth, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

18, (20), Caleb Shrader, Tigard, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

19, (35), Tom Miserendino, La Quinta, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

20, (23), Thomas W Burt, Woodway, WA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

21, (42), John Vogel, Saint Louis, MO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

22, (16), Jeff Beck, Ingleside, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

23, (34), Robert Mumm, Elkhart Lake, WI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

24, (38), Steven Greenhill, Mundelein, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

25, (46), Russell King, North Oaks, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

26, (43), Charles Pigeon, Abilene, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

27, (41), Johnny Meriggi, The Woodlands, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

28, (39), Steven Rehkemper, Chicago, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

29, (49), Alejandro DellaTorre, Oak Park, MI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

30, (27), Mark Hutchins, Lincoln, NE, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

31, (40), Reid Johnson, Hamel, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

32, (45), Peter Jankovskis, Lisle, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

33, (53), Mark Goodman, Nashville, TN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

34, (44), Tora Bonnier, New Albany, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

35, (48), Scott Barr, Appleton, WI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

36, (31), Wade White, Vail, CO, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

37, (51), Dave Tatge, Glenview, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

38, (52), Craig Wheatley, White Bear Lk, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

39, (50), Greg Miller, Lancaster, OH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

40, (18), Scott Monroe, League City, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

41, (54), Dave Yahn, Erin, WI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

42, (57), David Jackson, Kenosha, WI, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

43, (58), David De Bolt, Cumberland, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

44, (59), Timothy Gray, Minneapolis, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

45, (55), Craig Froeter, Sterling, IL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 13.

46, (29), Nils Musaeus, Conroe, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 12.

47, (32), Bruce Myers, Greenland, NH, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 12.

48, (37), Justin Elder, Lakeville, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 12.

49, (5), Franklin Futrelle, Evans, GA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 11.

50, (3), Denny Stripling, McKinney, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 11.

51, (47), Lee Douglas, Portland, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 11.

52, (13), John Black, Olympic Valley, CA, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 9.

53, (36), Chris Jennerjahn, Hartford City, IN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 9.

DNF, (56), Andrea King, North Oaks, MN, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 5.

DNF, (8), Brian Schofield, Lakeland, FL, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 5.

DNF, (24), Gary Glanger, Dallas, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.

DNF, (33), Brian Grigsby, Austin, TX, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.

DNF, (11), Robeson Clay Russell, Spartanburg, SC, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.

DNS, (30), Steve Fogg, West Linn, OR, SCCA Spec Racer Ford Gen 3, 0.

Race Stats
Length of Race: 53 miles
Overall Time of Race: 37:34.130 (avg. 84.044 mph)
Margin of Victory: 00.169 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #96 Hille, 2:31.038 (96.484 mph)
Lap Leaders: #11 laps 1,4,6; #4 2-3, 5; #97 lap 7; #19 laps 8-13
Sunoco Hard Charger: #77 John Vogel

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