ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Jim Drago, of Memphis, Tenn., secured the Gumout Pole Position in Spec Miata and three classes set new track records on Friday following five National Championship races at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America.
Drago turned a flying lap of 2:43.063 (88.309 mph) in the No. 2 East Street Racing Mazda Miata on Thursday, then saw his time hold up through Friday morning’s 30-minute final qualifying. His lap was only 0.006-second faster than his teammate and drafting partner, Craig Berry, in the No. 29 Berry Marble and Granite/East Street Racing Miata, who will start Saturday’s race on the outside of row one.
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Drago also turned the fastest lap in the opening Super Touring Lite session, the first time the class has been invited to the Runoffs. Drago turned a lap of 2:36.620 (91.942 mph) to lead the class debut.
In their first qualifying session this week, Super Touring Under saw the existing qualifying record shattered by Rob Huffmaster, of Clarkston, Mich. Huffmaster drove the No. 7 VirSecServices.com/Hoosier Pontiac Solstice GXP to a lap of 2:24.264 (99.817 mph), breaking the existing record of 2:27.829 (97.410 mph) by more than three seconds. Joel Weinberger, who held the previous record and is the defending class National Champion, also went under that time with a 2:27.556 (97.950 mph) in the No. 1 Continental Audi/Castrol/BFGoodrich Tires Audi A4.
Three drivers took over the top spots in their respective classes after the second of three qualifying sessions this week. Don Knowles turned a lap of 2:27.938 (97.338 mph) in the No. 32 Phoenix/Hawk/Hoosier Ford Mustang GT to take the Touring 2 top spot.
Michael Varacins topped Formula Vee with a Runoffs qualifying record of 2:41.112 (89.379 mph) in the No. 65 Speed Sport/Veetech/Hoosier Speed Sport AM-5/Volkswagen.
Chris Albin moved to the top of H Production chart after two sessions with a 2:41.165 (89.349 mph) in the No. 3 Hoosier/247-parts.com/AMT engines Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The final 11 Gumout Pole Awards and six more National Champions will be earned on Saturday in the new-for-2012 rolling schedule that includes both qualifying and racing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and a full day of races Sunday.