Hometown Hero On SCCA Majors Tour

Tom Smith leads David Fershtand in the GT-1 battle on Saturday at Hallett. (SCCA photo)
Tom Smith leads David Fershtand in the GT-1 battle on Saturday at Hallett. (SCCA photo)

JENNINGS, Okla. — A hometown winner and close racing highlighted round three of the SCCA Mid-States Conference Majors Tour on Saturday from Hallett Motor Racing Circuit.

A hometown racer provided the thrills in the opening group race. While Matt Reynolds was driving his Reynolds Brothers Racing/Jesse Prather Motorsports Mazda Miata away from the E Production field for his third win in as many Conference chances, John Saurino was stalking the F Production class leader.

Saurino, from Tulsa, fell behind class polesitter Sam Henry’s No. 73 Sprinfield Dyno/SafeRacing Mazda Miata by more than 10 seconds early in the race. Though it looked like Henry was pulling away, Saurino drove his No. 56 Goodyear/Red Line Oil MG Midget around Henry’s Miata on lap 18 and immediately created a gap. The hometown win was the first Majors victory this season, made extra sweet when he was joined on the podium by his son, third-place finishing Nigel Saurino.

C.J. McAbee, of Topeka, Kan., matched Reynolds in Group 2, gathering his third win of the season in Formula 500. McAbee led the second wave of starters in the group’s split start, weaving through the Formula F field and the Formula Vee traffic to take the overall win in the No. 15 AJ’s Import Garage/Hoosier AJ’s 2012/Rotax machine.

Denny Stripling, of McKinney, Texas, unofficially gained the Mid-States Conference point lead with his second win of the season, sprinting to a 12.833-second victory in the Spec Racer Ford class. Stripling’s No. 34 Lightspeed Motorsports machine left the entire field, including second-running Keith Verges’ No. 69 Apex Driving Academy Spec Racer, in the Oklahoma dust on his way to the checkered flag.

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