Joe Moser, of Wilmette, IL, made his move to Super Touring Under pay off with his third career SCCA National Championship on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 58th SCCA National Championship Runoffs. Chip Herr, of Lititz, PA, and Axel Cabrera, of Windermere, FL, joined Moser on the podium, both in their respective Runoffs debuts.
The race was in Moser’s control from his start as the Tire Rack pole sitter to his finish on the second Hagerty Race Day at this year’s event. Moser led all 19 laps, including three under full course caution, on his way to a 20.824-second victory.
The victory adds a second career STU title to Moser’s resume — following a class victory in 2016 at Mid-Ohio — alongside a Super Touring Light class victory a season ago at Road America. The car was the same as the STL winner, with a more powerful motor and additional aero, amont other things.
“This one feels great because it was an idea that we hatched on the back of a napkin last summer,” Moser said. “We were going through weights and estimated power. This is the same car we won STL with last year and my crew chief, Chad, pulled his two-liter out of his Honda CRV and said, ‘what do you think if I build this up for STU, you think we got a winner?’ The car was a little pocket rocket out of the box.”
Behind Moser, the battle raged for the final podium spots. Anthony Geraci and Axel Cabrera moved around Chip Herr on the lap five restart and the three mixed it up to the finish.
Herr moved around Cabrera for third on lap nine and worked his way around Geraci on lap 13. Geraci kept his Lotus Exige on the tail of Herr’s No. 18 Carbotech/MCS/Roux/Hoosier Audi A4 until lap 16, when the two made side-to-side contact on the front straight and again in Turn 1. Herr’s Audi continued but the lighter Lotus spun, which left an opening for Cabrera just behind.
Herr held to the finish, however, claiming a Runoffs podium in the same Stassis-build Audi he used to win four SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge races in 2006 and 2007, complete with dents on the roof from standing on it after his first win at Mid-Ohio.
“It’s awesome to be here,” Herr said. “I started my racing in SCCA and when you’re a pro driver that’s getting paid to drive a race car, you have a responsibility. I started driving touring cars in the Dominican Republic and I realized how much fun I was having just downright street racing. Those guys are good, and they race close. I bought my old race car and we put a plan together and have had so much fun. The only time I ever came to the Runoffs was when I was hired to announce the event (for tv) in 2010. I’m just glad to be here. Indianapolis is great. I want another shot at Joe, to be honest with you. I’m in a good spot in life and having fun, and I’m happy to be on the podium.”
Cabrera had enough in his No. 86 Eight-Six Racing Honda Civic to hang with Herr, but not enough to push by. His team and crew swapped motors on Wednesday evening, giving him more power but eliminating his earlier qualifying times and giving him just two laps to test the setup under the new weight requirements. Still, the young racer was happy with his podium finish.
“It feels pretty awesome,” Cabrera said. “I never imagined anything like this, I feel like a Formula One driver. I come from go karts, some grassroots stuff and this is definitely a step up. We started fourth, just hung in there the whole race waiting for something to happen. We didn’t have enough pace to pass anyone, but just held in there.”
Geraci crossed the line in fourth place followed by Jose Osiris Pena in fifth. Peter Federlin earned the Sunoco Hard Charger, improving from 28th on the grid to 20th at the finish.
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.
1, (1), Joe Moser, Wilmette, IL, Honda CRX SI, 18.
2, (2), Chip Herr, Lititz, PA, Audi A4, 18.
3, (4), Axel Cabrera, Windermere, FL, Honda Civic, 18.
4, (6), Anthony Geraci, Glen Head, NY, Lotus Exige, 18.
5, (9), Jose Osiris Pena, Miami, FL, Toyota GT86, 18.
6, (8), Seth Huntley, Rancho Cordova, CA, Honda S2000 CR, 18.
7, (3), Kip VanSteenburg, New Smyrna Beach, FL, Porsche 944 S2, 18.
8, (11), Darin Treakle, Marshall, VA, BMW 325, 18.
9, (10), Ian Barberi, Pleasanton, CA, Honda CRX, 18.
10, (13), John Weisberg, Webster, NY, Mazda MX-5, 18.
11, (18), Raymond Philibert, Pompano Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 18.
12, (15), Whitfield Gregg, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 18.
13, (20), Enrique Gelpí, Guynabo, PR, Honda Civic, 18.
14, (17), Robert Verenna Jr, Zelienople, PA, BMW 325i, 17.
15, (21), Jorge Nazario, San Juan, PR, Mazda MX-5, 17.
16, (22), Thomas Wiegner, St. Charles, IL, Subaru WRX STI, 17.
17, (19), Mark Johnston, Hedgesville, WV, Nissan 240SX, 17.
18, (16), Kevin Lachance, Blackfalds, AB, Honda S2000, 17.
19, (25), Alan Orban, Hazelwood, MO, Dodge Neon SRT-4, 17.
20, (28), Peter Federlin, Austin, TX, Toyota Supra, 17.
21, (29), Scott Peterson, Parkville, MO, Mazda RX-7, 17.
22, (27), Dinah Weisberg, Webster, NY, Mazda Miata, 17.
23, (26), Morey D. Doyle, Indianapolis, IN, Dodge Neon SRT-4, 17.
24, (7), Mark Liller, Alexandria, VA, Dodge Neon SRT-4, 15.
25, (24), Tim Hunter, Corona del Mar, CA, Volvo C30, 15.
26, (23), James Slechta, Moab, UT, Nissan 300ZX, 10.
27, (12), Jorge Ortiz, San Juan, PR, Honda Civic, 9.
DNF, (14), Patrick Lipsinic, Oklahoma City, OK, Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, 7.
DNF, (5), Dominic Starkweather, Cave Creek, AZ, Subaru BRZ, 0.
Length of Race: 47 miles
Overall Time of Race: 40:09.091 (69.720 mph)
Margin of Victory: 20.824 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: #36 Moser 1:47.441 (86.850 mph)
Lap Leaders: #36, laps 1-19
Sunoco Hard Charger: #20 Peter Federlin