Steve Sargis leads Friday’s H Production race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (photo SCCA)
INDIANAPOLIS – Steve Sargis won his ninth SCCA National Championship in the playoffs with a dominant victory in the H Production race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday morning.
Sargis, representing the Blackhawk Valley region, drove a 1975 Triumph Spitfire to a margin of victory of 8.1 seconds over a 1986 Volkswagen Golf driven by Christopher Schaafsma. Enrik Benazic completed the podium in a 1986 Honda Civic Si.
Sargis, the Tire Rack Pole Award winner, immediately took the lead, leaving the field more than three seconds into the first lap. But his seven-second advantage was wiped out in an incident involving Eric Vickerman and Vesa Silegren in the third lap that resulted in the race being marked with a black flag. The pair were vying for second place when the incident occurred entering the home stretch.
The race resumed with just over six minutes to go in what was transformed into a 40-minute timed race. Sargis was in charge again for the final laps, setting the fastest time of the race with a time almost two seconds faster than Schaafsma could.
Ralf Lindow took fourth place, while fifth place came in a finish photo by Jason LaManna on Bill Okell. Matthew Benazic was the Sunoco Hard Charger of the race, gaining 21 positions from 30th to ninth place.
Sargis’ most recent triumph gives him a total of 20 podiums in the second finals of the SCCA National Championship in three different categories, including back-to-back production H crowns.
“It turned out that getting pole was really important and I just wanted to have a good clean start,” explained Sargis. “Once I got through turn 1 it looked like everything was fine, and I swerved pretty quickly. Unfortunately we had the incident but once I restarted everything was fine after that.
“The last time I came to Indy I was in GT-Lite and it was a tough week to say the least,” he added. “It’s really good to have a smooth week, and I just feel bad that a lot of guys failed today.”
- (1), Steve Sargis, Frankfurt, Illinois, Triumph Spitfire, 9; 2. (5), Christopher Schaafsma, Wheaton, Illinois, Volkswagen Golf, 9; 3. (8), Enrik Benazic, Farmingdale, NY, Honda Civic Si, 9; 4. (6), Ralf Lindow, Bellevue, NE, Volkswagen Golf, 9; 5. (10), Jason LaManna, Rochester, NY, Volkswagen Rabbit, 9; 6. (11), Bill Okell, Victoria, BC, MG Midget, age 9; 7. (13), Scott Hileman, Johnstown, OH, Volkswagen Rabbit, 9; 8. (20), Chris Albin, Md. Hts, MO, Volkswagen Golf, 9; 9. (30), Matthew Benazic, Whitestone, NY, Honda Civic Si, 9; 10. (14), Robin Bank, Aliquippa, Pa., Volkswagen Golf, 9; 11. (19), William Trainer, Lake in the Hills, Illinois, Volkswagen Scirocco, 9; 12. (18), Andrew Wright, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Triumph Spitfire, 9; 13. (22), Greg Gauper, Hubertus, WI, Honda Civic Si, 9; 14. (16), Brayden Connolly, Columbus, OH, Fiat X-1/9, 9; 15. (12), Matt Brannon, Columbus, OH, Fiat X-1/9, 9; 16. (25), Edward Werry, West Deptford, NJ, Honda Fit, 9; 17. (15), Jason Stine, Stow, Ohio, Austin-Healey Sprite, 9; 18. (21), Jerry Oleson, Aurora, CO, Austin-Healey Sprite, 9; 19. (9), Mark Brakke, Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Mazda 2, 9; 20. (35), Leanna Wright, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Mini Cooper, 9; 21. (23), Vincent LaManna, Ontario, NY, Volkswagen Rabbit, 9; 22. (34), John Fine, Norcross, GA, Honda Civic Si, 9; 23. (31), Hayes Lewis, Alexandria, Virginia, Porsche 924, 9; 24. (27), Jack Schulz, Monett, MO, MG Midget, 9; 25. (26), Cory Markos, Riverside, Calif., Honda CRX, 9; 26. (40), Darryl Saylor, Mount Juliet, TN, Honda CRX, 9; 27. (32), Greg Amy, Middletown, Connecticut, Toyota MR-2, 9; 28. (37), David Oliveira, Moosup, CT, Mini Cooper, 9; 29. (33), Robert Bax, Cincinnati, Ohio, Mini Cooper, 9; 30. (39), Frank Schwartz, Ann Arbor, MI, Mini Cooper, 9; 31. (36), Charles Fullgraf, Philadelphia, TN, Honda Civic Si, 9. 32. (41), James Melady, Jefferson, TX, MG B, 9; 33. (28), Ron Copeland, Maumee, Ohio, Honda CRX, 9; 34. (42), John Faull, San Jose, Calif., Austin-Healey Sprite, 9; 35. (7), Jack Banha, Blue Bell, Pa, Volkswagen Rabbit, 7; 36. (4), Ben Valentine, Fullerton, CA, MG Midget, 7; 37. (17), Neil Verity, Gray Forest, Texas, MG B, 6; 38. (38), Robert E. Horrell Jr, Memphis, Tennessee, Honda CRX, 5; DNF, (29), Martin Burk, Summit Point, WV, Honda CRX Si, 3; DNF, (3), Vesa Silegren, Cleveland, TN, Honda CRX, 2; DNF, (2), Eric Vickerman, Howell, MI, Austin-Healey Sprite, 2; DNF, (24), Tom Broring, Derwood, MD, Triumph Spitfire, 1;