SCCA Western Tour Completes Stop At Inde

Michael Lewis posed with Lois Peterson, Gene Peterson’s widow, in front of his race-winning memorial to Gene. (Photo: Jean Willis Munn)
Michael Lewis posed with Lois Peterson, Gene Peterson’s widow, in front of his race-winning memorial to Gene. (Photo: Jean Willis Munn)

WILCOX, Ariz. – Sunday was a long hard day of racing for the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour Western Conference at Inde Motorsports Ranch.

Six race groups, consisting of 25 Runoffs-eligible classes, each ran 22-lap races around the 2.22-mile, 18-turn permanent road course for the fourth round of the season. The weather was beautiful and the racing was clean, with each Sunday race finishing without a full course caution.

This event carried special significance to many at the track. The name of the race was changed to the Geno Peterson Memorial Arizona Majors, after Gene “Geno” Peterson, who passed away in January from complications related to cancer. Peterson was a long-time Club member who was known for helping anyone out who could use it. Peterson was named as SCCA Southern Pacific Division BFGoodrich Tires Worker of the Year just a year ago.

Spec Miata, a class known for good, tough racing, lived up to its billing by producing some of the most competitive racing action during the day. Joey Jordan, of Fallbrook, Calif., would emerged with a hard-fought victory in his No. 47 BFGoodrich Tires/ Mazda Miata.

Jordan was part of a four-car group that broke away from the remaining 13 entries in the class. Elliott Skeer, Steven Powers and Dean Busk were the remaining three drivers that were battling for the win.

Busk started the race off by taking the lead and trying to put as much time between himself and the rest of the pack. On lap five, Skeer had reeled Busk in and made his pass stick coming out of turn two. On lap seven, Powers followed by Jordan got around Busk. Jordan then got around Powers for second, determined not to let Skeer run away with a win.

By lap 12, Jordan was on Skeer’s bumper, working to get a draft down the backstraight into turn three. Skeer was able hold the lead until Jordan made a daring outside pass in turns 14 and 15. From there, Jordan ran consistent laps allowing him to maintain his gap to Skeer for the remaining 10 laps and take home the win.

After an early checkered flag during Saturday’s race, the Spec Racer Ford drivers of race group two were eager to settle things at speed. Todd Harris, of Portland, Ore., came away with the win in his No. 24 Pro Drive Racing/HMS Spec Racer Ford.

Mike Miserendino was the polesitter and jumped to an early lead, setting the fast lap for the race at that time. On lap three, Harris and John Tipton got around Steve Fogg for second and third respectively. Harris started taking huge chunks out of the lead of Miserendino and was able to get around him by lap nine.

While this was going on for the lead, Tipton and Fogg were locked in battle for the final podium spot. By lap 13, Fogg had gotten around Tipton for third, and secured the position by stretching the gap back to the fourth-place car.

At the front, lapped traffic slowed Harris and allowed Miserendino to close the gap and almost get past on lap 18 when Harris carried too much speed into Turn One and slid wide. Miserendino got up right beside Harris, but Harris had enough momentum to regain control and fend off the challenge.