SONOMA, California (October 20, 2018) – The largest Runoffs field this year, the nearly 50-car Spec Miata (SM) class was led to the green flag Saturday by a Trans Am 455 Super Duty, the Official Pace Car of the 55th SCCA® National Championship at Sonoma Raceway. After that, Mark Drennan led the field for the next 20 laps to the checkered flag.
Drennan, of San Jose, California, qualified second but got a great start, moving around pole-sitter Ken Sutherland, in the No. 94 Wyatt Fire Protection/Miatacage.com Mazda Miata, before Turn 2. Wasting no time, he immediately started gapping the competition. Drennan, piloting the No. 10 TFB Performance/WRR Mazda Miata, didn’t put a wheel wrong the remainder of the race, cruising to his first Runoffs victory.
“I’m just so happy it finally came true. I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Drennan said. “This is my track, this is my home. I’m going to win in my house, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Tristan Littlehale, in his No. 8 TC Design Motorsports/Red Line Oil Mazda Miata, started sixth -- but took only five laps to work his way into third place. On lap six, he made a strong dive into Turn 11, slipping past Sutherland for second place. Littlehale ran wide into the dirt in Turn 2 on lap seven, but managed to hold on to it and not lose any positions. For the remainder of the lap, Sutherland continued to harass him nose to tail, but eventually Littlehale pulled away to a comfortable margin he maintained for the remainder of the race.
Littlehale explains, “Mark says this is his track, but it’s also my track. It was really clean racing out there. I was trying to chase after Mark but had to dial it back because we were struggling with the car a little bit.”
As Drennan and Littlehale slowly gapped the field, as many as six cars behind them battled for third, with it eventually going to the No. 28 X-Factor Racing/Sunoco/G-Loc/Mazda Miata of Chris Haldeman. After starting fifth and running as high as third, Haldeman found himself back in fifth on the last lap. After a hard push, including a four-car battle to the flag, Haldeman earned himself a spot on the podium.
Fourth went to Justin Casey in the No. 185 SBGarage/HaagPerformance/MiataCage Mazda Miata. Preston Pardus, in the No. 42 Danus Utilities/5X Racing/ESR/PR Mazda Miata, took fifth.
The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to David Biggar, in the No. 57 NBC 4 Los Angeles/Vintage Point Mazda Miata, who started 40th and finished in the 28th position.
The 55th SCCA® National Championship Runoffs®, the Pinnacle of American Motorsports, crowns Sports Car Club of America’s Road Racing National Champions this year at Sonoma Raceway in California Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct 21.
Live, online video coverage of Runoffs races, presented by Mazda, is available throughout the three days of competition at SCCA.com/live. An audio race call, supplied by the Super Tour Radio broadcast team, is also available at www.SCCA.com/live , as well as live timing and scoring for each National Championship race.
SONOMA, Calif. -- Provisional results for Saturday’s Spec Miata at the 55th SCCA National Championship Runoffs from Sonoma Raceway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps completed.
1, (2), Mark Drennan, San Jose, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
2, (6), Tristan Littlehale, Saratoga, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
3, (5), Chris Haldeman, McKinney, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
4, (9), Justin Casey, Santa Clara, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
5, (10), Preston Pardus, New Smyrna Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 20.
6, (3), Matt Reynolds, Fair Oaks, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
7, (4), Jason Rawlins, Gaston, OR, Mazda Miata, 20.
8, (8), Austin Newmark, Sierra Vista, AZ, Mazda Miata, 20.
9, (1), Ken Sutherland, Sherwood, OR, Mazda Miata, 20.
10, (17), Michael Carter, Savannah, GA, Mazda Miata, 20.
11, (7), Marc Cefalo, Swoyersville, PA, Mazda Miata, 20.
12, (11), Cole Ciraulo, Scottsdale, AZ, Mazda Miata, 20.
13, (13), Nick Leverone, Mendon, MA, Mazda Miata, 20.
14, (15), Justin Crickenberger, Liberty Hill, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
15, (19), Phillip Holifield, Sonoma, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
16, (21), Jason Kohler, White Lake, MI, Mazda Miata, 20.
17, (14), Clark Cambern, Dewitt, MI, Mazda Miata, 20.
18, (20), Brandon Sloan, Morgan Hill, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
19, (18), Tommy McCarthy, Mountain View, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
20, (23), Joseph Federl, Austin, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
21, (22), James Wetter, Bainbridge Island, WA, Mazda Miata, 20.
22, (31), Cole Gibson, Los Gatos, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
23, (16), Stephen Jeu, Houston, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
24, (25), Tim Ferrick, Underwood, WA, Mazda Miata, 20.
25, (28), Nils Musaeus, Conroe, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
26, (33), Mike LaBouff, Los Gatos, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
27, (27), Brendan Hermalyn, San Francisco, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
28, (40), David Biggar, Napa, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
29, (24), Lee Thomas, Austin, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
30, (29), Joe Boyd, Richmond, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
31, (32), Juan Graziosi, San Jose, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
32, (37), Joe Schubert, Woodmont, CT, Mazda Miata, 20.
33, (36), Amy Mills, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 20.
34, (39), Whitfield Gregg, Bellevue, WA, Mazda Miata, 20.
35, (41), Gregory Hoff, Oakland, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
36, (35), Alan Gjedsted, San Francisco, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
37, (42), Ryan Gutile, Madera, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
38, (43), Jesse Singer, Miami, FL, Mazda Miata, 20.
39, (34), Joe Alan Stubblefield, Tomball, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
40, (38), William Keeling, Houston, TX, Mazda Miata, 20.
41, (44), Jennifer Isley, Coto de Caza, CA, Mazda Miata, 20.
42, (45), John Harms, Plano, TX, Mazda Miata, 19.
43, (46), Mark Hazboun, Nipomo, CA, Mazda Miata, 19.
44, (47), Ward Rose, Modesto, CA, Mazda Miata, 19.
45, (48), Dan Harding, Dover, OH, Mazda Miata, 19.
46, (26), Jon Davies, Hood River, OR, Mazda Miata, 11.
47, (12), Danny Steyn, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Mazda Miata, 6.
48, (30), Charlie Campbell, Corry, PA, Mazda Miata, 1.
Length of Race: 50 Miles
Overall Time of Race: 38:45.563 (avg. 78.020 mph)
Margin of Victory: 09.625 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:55.278 (78.697 mph)
Lap Leaders: #10 laps 1-20
Sunoco Hard Charger: #57 David Biggar
Photo: Mark Drennan scores a victory in the Spec Miata Runoffs at Sonoma Raceway.
Photo Credit: Jay Bonvouloir