SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — The Northern Conference Majors Tour season took yet another step closer to completion on Sunday at GingerMan Raceway, ticking off yet another point scoring day on the way to crowning 28 class champions.
After a season that started in January with the Eastern and Western Conference, only a joint event between the Northern and Mid-States Conferences remain on the U.S. Majors Tour schedule.
The action on Sunday climbed as high as the temperatures, which approached 90 degrees under humid, sunny skies at the West Michigan track.
Jeff Beck opened Sunday with the best drive of the weekend after showing up late to the grid in the No. 31 Lindell/Ryan Spec Racer Ford.
Beck missed the call to the grid, pulled onto the track from pit lane after the field went by at the green flag, then set his sights on the front of the field. The multi-colored car carved up the back of the field until he caught the battle for third place between the No. 6 Elite Autosport/OakBrook Investments SRF, the No. 7 Flat Black Racing machine of Saturday winner Adam Gottlieb, and the No. 71 Plaza Auto Auction of Mark Greb on lap eight.
With Beck in their mirrors and the battle raging, Gottlieb spun and scattered Greb – where the two actually made contact – letting Beck into the fourth position. He moved around Jankovskis on the next lap between turns two and three, and still had 11 laps to make up the eight seconds between him and the leaders. Running 1.6 seconds per lap quicker around the 2.14-mile circuit, Beck closed the gap quickly and used an outbraking maneuver into Turn 11 to go around Steve Kohli’s No. 52 machine for second.
Still over a second behind then-leader Rick Bartuska, Beck closed the final gap in a hurry. On lap 16, Beck and Bartuska’s No. 15 M/K Industries SRF exited turn three side by side, and Beck pulled into the lead as the pair went through the left-handed turn five. From there, Beck held the pace to the stripe, with Bartuska second.
Gottlieb recovered from his spin to track down Kohli for third going into turn 11, just before taking the one lap to go sign.
Group Two featured a field of repeat winners on Sunday, beginning with Tom Sloe walking away from the field in the No. 97 Hutter Racing Eng/Hoosier/Russell Auto Center Chevrolet Corvette for a Touring 2 victory. The battle behind him for second was anything but easy, however, as the No. 33 Chevrolet Perf/TPR/BackStreet Perf/SKF Chevrolet Camaro of Todd Napieralski ran down the No. 00 Trianon Porsche 911 of Andrew Longe on lap 18.