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Itís Formula V-aracins at Indianapolis Runoffs


Old 10-02-2017, 04:56 PM
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Default Itís Formula V-aracins at Indianapolis Runoffs

Itís Formula V-aracins at Indianapolis Runoffs

Sunday, 01 October 2017

SCCA / Image by Jay Bonvouloir

Michael Varacins, of Burlington, Wis., took his sixth SCCA Runoffs win driving the No. 65 Hoosier/Speed Sport Engineering Speed Sport AM-5 to be crowned National Champion at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Following Varacins was second place Andrew Whitston, of Neenah, Wis., driving the No. 12 Subway Protoform P2, and Brian Farnham, of Medina, Ohio, in the No. 15 Autowerks/Hoosier/Kearney Driver Development Silver Bullet SB1 coming to the checkered flag in third.

For Varacins, this championship was particularly special because some of his earliest racing memories are from when he chose to listen to the 1982 Indy 500 Ė at that time the closest Indy 500 finish in history Ė on the family van radio instead of playing at the park.

"Obviously, you can't beat the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," Varacins said, "It's one of those things I'm not sure words can describe when you see the history of this place and pull into the same area that so many legends have before."

Like Gordon Johncock at the 1982 Indy 500, Varacins didn't get to victory lane without a fight. For the first three-quarters of the race, he and Whitston challenged each other, swapping the lead multiple times on some laps.

"It was pretty exciting there for the first few laps," Varacins said. "I was trying to figure out where he was going to be on the last lap or where I was going to be on the last lap."

Unlike the 1982 Indy 500, Varacins' battle for the Runoffs win at Indianapolis would not come down to the finish. Whitston developed an issue which slowed his car, forcing him to give up the battle for the lead and focus on staying out of the clutches of a raging battle for third place.
"I was pushing very hard, I think even harder than when I was running with (Varacins)," Whitston said.
While the lead swapping and car drama went on at the front, the battle for third was intense between Farnham, Rick Shields, in the No. 77 ARS Inc/Vee Sport Racing/Autowerks FDF, and Roger Siebenaler, in the No. 72 Autowerks/Hoosier Mysterian M3.
On lap 17, the battle for third shook up when Farnham locked up and went wide in Turn 1, and Siebenaler pulled off a couple of corners later with apparent car trouble. Two laps later, lapped traffic enabled Farnham to get a run on Shields where the two made contact, leaving Shields in the gravel and Farnham with the Runoffs Bronze Medal.
"Unfortunately, (Shields) and I came together in the last corner," Farnham said, "We came through the last complex and in the braking, he almost went off the track and we both banged wheels coming around the next corner."
Completing the top five were Andrew Thomas Abbott, of Livonia, Mich., in the No. 2 Hoosier/Car-O-Liner/Autowerks Vector AM-1 in fourth and Jeff Loughead, of Darien, Ill., in the No. 8 Hoosier Vortech FV.
The Sunoco Hard Charger award went to Robert Posner, of Bellevue, Wash., driver of the No. 4 Protoform P3, who started in 32nd spot and finished 20th overall.
While the live broadcast of all 28 National Championships is available at and Motor Trend OnDemand, each race will be on demand in the coming weeks.

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