By the final lap, Ruck’s Acura didn’t want to go into fourth gear. Prill, in a reversal of fortune, pulled Ruck up the front straight and into second place with four miles to go. Prill also turned the Hawk Performance Hot Lap on lap nine, running a lap of 2:33.091 (94.062 mph).
The podium finish is the third for Prill, who also serves as the SCCA VP of Marketing and Communications.
“I really enjoyed myself,” Prill said. “I came here this year with two goals – one to win the pole, and that didn’t happen, and one to win the race, and that didn’t happen – but I still have a smile on my face, because I had a good time. I think I did the best I could do. And congratulations to these guys, because they did a great job.
“I’m in a unique position to see people win these things all the time, and I know the effort that goes into it. I don’t think Tony Kanaan, who won the Indy 500 this year, could even experience the same thing that a guy like Mark Carpenter could experience today, something that Kevin has experienced. You know, club racers are the chief engineers, the engineers, the driver, the guy that drives the truck to the track, that loads the trailer. We all have dirt under our finger nails and busted knuckles. This is truly something amazing to what Mark has accomplished today. I’d like to keep trying to do it.”
Ruck’s podium was a bit of a surprise, as he almost missed the event after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle crash in August.
“I wrecked my motorcycle about a month ago,” Ruck said. “I took a hard hit, and pretty much had a dead arm for a couple of weeks. I cracked a couple of ribs. Luckily, my doctor knew what my timeline was, and rather than do more MRIs on the shoulder that was damaged, we went straight to physical therapy. It was only about two or three weeks ago that I knew I would even have a shot at being here. But both of these guys were keeping in touch with me, asking if I would be there, so that meant a lot.”
After a big start where he moved ahead of Ruck, Campbell settled in and ran in fourth place for the entire race.
Bill Hingston’s No. 08 Little Bill Racing/MAZDASPEED Mazda Miata moved around Sam Henry’s No. 37 Springfield Dyno/SafeRacer/Hoosier Mazda Miata for the final time in Canada Corner following a back and forth battle for fifth.
1, (1), Mark Carpenter, Charlotte, NC, Acura Integra, 13.
2, (3), Eric Prill, Topeka, KS, Mazda Miata, 13.
3, (2), Kevin Ruck, Delaware, OH, Acura Integra, 13.
4, (4), Charlie Campbell, Corry, PA, Mazda Miata, 13.
5, (6), Bill Hingston, Aurora, CO, Mazda Miata, 13.
6, (7), Sam Henry, Republic, MO, Mazda Miata, 13.
7, (19), Joe Walker, Richland, MI, Lotus Super 7, 13.
8, (10), Gerald Lamb, Oswego, IL, MG B, 13.
9, (11), David Strittmatter, Akron, OH, Lancia Scorpion, 13.
10, (14), Michael Froh, Elkhart Lake, WI, Mazda Miata, 13.
11, (15), Michael Sturm, Grafton, WI, Mazda Miata, 13.
12, (17), Dieter Griesinger, Maple Park, IL, Mazda Miata, 13.
13, (23), Mark Weber, Saint Louis, MO, Mazda Miata, 13.
14, (22), Michael Hart, Mundelein, IL, Turner 1500, 13.
15, (25), Neal Frank, Santa Fe, NM, Mazda Miata, 13.
16, (26), Brent Louzon, Colorado Springs, CO, BMW 2002, 12.
17, (27), Robert Keller, Algonquin, IL, Volvo P-1800, 12.
18, (32), Paul Jensen, Colorado Springs, CO, Mazda Miata, 12.
19, (29), Rafer Chambers, Colorado Springs, CO, Mazda Miata, 12.
20, (31), Jeffrey Norris, Felton, PA, Mazda Miata, 12.
21, (33), Jerry Barker, Hesperia, CA, Triumph Spitfire, 12.
22, (28), Sid Collins, Apopka, FL, Porsche 356, 12.
23, (34), Richard Fohl, Richmond, VA, Morgan 4\4, 12.
24, (18), John Walker, Richland, MI, MG B, 11.
25, (24), Mike Gnadt, Kiel, WI, MG Midget, 8.
26, (21), Chris Patrick, Derry, PA, Triumph Spitfire, 7.
27, (13), Mason Workman, Reynoldsburg, OH, Mazda Miata, 6.
DNF, (12), Scott Lunder, Mentor On The Lake, OH, Honda Civic Si, 4.
DNF, (8), Rick Harris, Longmont, CO, Mazda Miata, 3.
DNF, (20), Steve Hussey, Capitola, CA, Mazda Miata, 3.
DNF, (30), Tony Machi, Greendale, WI, Honda CRX Si, 3.
DNF, (5), Ken Kannard, East Troy, WI, Mazda Miata, 1.
DNF, (9), Larry Funk, Oberlin, OH, Honda CRX Si, 1.
DNF, (16), Chuck Mathis