BACK TO THE RUN-OFFS????????
In 1980 Reed made his one and only trip to the SCCA National Championships, commonly known as the Run-Offs. On Friday, July 18, 2003 David Pintaric purchased a Corvette C5 from Joe Aquilante. The car was prepped for the T-1 class. On that weekend David took the car to Nelson Ledges and completed his SCCA school requirements. During the weekend an idea was tossed around that Reed should attempt to qualify the car for the SCCA Run-Offs. Being a Novice classed driver, David would not be eligible until 2004. One thing lead to another and details were finalized.
This first hurdle was the remaining schedule of qualifying events and requirements to be invited to the Run-Offs. Drivers compete during the year in National level events to earn points. The top points positions are invited from each of the seven SCCA geographical Divisions to compete in the Run-Offs. Also, a driver must enter and start a minimum of four Nationals, three of which must result in a finishing position, and two of which must be within his Division. Sandi studied the remaining schedule. Only two full weekends and a Sunday only weekend were available. But we could fit four events into this schedule.
The first possibility was the weekend of July 26-27 at either Gateway (near St. Louis) or Elkhart Lake‘s Road America. Both events were outside Reed’s division (NEDiv). He also had a commitment in Columbus, Ohio on the 26th. Normally all qualifying needs to be done on Saturday, but the Gateway event had T-1 qualifying scheduled for 8 AM on Sunday. We drove from Columbus to Gateway on Saturday night, registered and went through Tech early Sunday morning, and put the car on the Pole in the qualifying session. Not bad considering Reed had never driven the car prior to that morning. The car qualified next to him was another T-1 Corvette and the track record holder in the class. Reed lost the lead at the start but retook it going into Turn 1 on the second lap and never looked back. Wow!
The next possibility was the following weekend. Pocono was the only remaining National weekend in NEDiv and Reed needed two “in-division” events. Again luck smiled on us. Pocono was the only NEDiv Double National, meaning there would be two separate events during the weekend. The competition would also be much tougher at Pocono. Several of the fastest drivers in the class, including the reigning National Champion, would be competing. On Saturday, Reed started fourth, ran as high as second, but finished sixth. On Sunday he qualified fifth, ran in third briefly, and finished fourth.
Following the Pocono weekend;
Reed has enough points to receive an invitation to the Run-Offs, he has
met his “in-division” requirements, but needs one more start in a National
race. The only weekend remaining open on his schedule aligns perfectly
with the last National race of the year. On Labor Day weekend Reed will
start the National at Mid-Ohio and qualify for the Run-Offs. So much has
happened in such a short time and the list of people we need to thank is
growing rapidly. We will get to everyone when the story is finished. But
for now we want to thank David Pintaric for this wonderful opportunity.
BILL PINTARIC ON THE RUN-OFFS TRAIL
Bill has qualified his Kryderacing
prepped GT-4 classed Datsun 510 for the Run-Offs. His latest National race
was at Nelson Ledges Road Course. Bill had to start last due to a small
problem, but raced his way to a Second Place finish. This result cemented
Bill’s invitation to the Run-Offs. Bill considered going to the Pocono
Double National to amass more points, but the decision was made to go to
a Double Regional at Mid-Ohio and test. Weather conditions at the Mid-Ohio
event put a hold on the testing, but Bill did win the Sunday event.
GARY MARTZ WILL FLY KRYDERACING COLORS AT RUN-OFFS
Gary has had a good year
so far. His E-Production Mazda RX-7 has been victorious at Nelson Ledges
and Grattan. At BeaveRun he finished second. He also picked up lots of
additional points with thirds at Mid-Ohio and Gingerman. Gary is waiting
on a new engine and should be a serious threat for a top finish at the
THE ADVENTURES OF DAVID PINTARIC
We mentioned David earlier. He is the owner of the T-1 Corvette Reed has driven recently. David is Bill’s brother and he decided to get into road racing this year. He is very eager (sometimes he’s too eager). His learning curve has been very steep and varied. This should bode well for the future. Prior to purchasing the Corvette, David attended his first SCCA Driver’s School driving an ITS classed front-wheel drive Nissan NX2000. The transmission broke mid-day, but his instructor allowed David to use his Olds Calais to finish the Gingerman Raceway school. David then bought the Corvette and completed his SCCA school requirements at Nelson Ledges. Due to the National program arranged with Reed the Corvette was not available for David‘s first Regional level race. At the Mid-Ohio Double Regional he drove the Kryderacing ITS class Nissan 240SX, a rear-wheel drive car.
As if driving three very
different cars at three different tracks on three separate weekends wasn’t
enough, the Mid-Ohio races also gave David his first experiences racing
in the rain. He qualified ninth of twenty-plus cars in the ITS class at
Mid-Ohio. Not too bad considering he had never driven the car before and
it is a rental vehicle (and as a consequence not prepped quite as radically
as some of the competition). His next event will find him back in the NX2000
at Nelson Ledges on August 16-17.
AUGUST 2-3 RESULTS FROM MID-OHIO DOUBLE REGIONAL
Bill and David Pintaric weren’t
the only persons running under the Kryderacing umbrella at Mid-Ohio. Mike
Olivier was back with his Kryderacing maintained SSC class Honda Civic.
Mike is in his first year of racing and shows improvement every time out.
He finished fourth on Saturday and fifth on Sunday. Matt Miller was handling
all the Kryderacing vehicles (and several others belonging to his friends)
at this event since Reed and Sandi were at Pocono and Matt Carson was enjoying
(?) a weekend of National Guard duty. Somehow Matt Miller found time to
finish eighth and seventh in the tough ITS class.
FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND AT MID-OHIO
There was another Double Regional at Mid-Ohio a month earlier. Virtually everyone and every vehicle from our shop was in attendance. We rented garage spaces for four cars while Matt Miller joined other competitors in the general paddock. Matt had good finishes in his Mazda RX-7 in both events. Mike Olivier found himself locked into one of those battles where he was out-driving a competitor though the turns, only to get passed on the straights due to a significant horsepower difference. Mike learned a lot at his first Mid-Ohio race weekend. Ron Bugh was sharing one of the garage stalls and competing in his Spec Miata. Ron does very well. It is interesting how important track position is to the Spec Miata competitors. The competition amongst these very equal cars is intense, but passing is rare. Another car sharing the garage was Ray Barnhart’s ITE class BMW. Ray was back racing after being gone for close to a year. Kryderacing had stored Ray’s car and done some routine maintenance while Ray was inactive. Ray’s weekend went pretty good, providing you ignore the fact a Corvette regional series was also in attendance. Normally there are 5-10 ITE cars at an event and Ray is near the front. When these 20-30 Corvette’s (and a few Vipers) show up for their own touring series they are put in the same class as Ray and his BMW. But he said it was still fun to be back racing.
Reed also raced at this Regional.
It was the second 2003 outing for the Nissan 240SX we rent to ITS competitors.
We had made a few adjustments, mainly to the suspension, over the winter.
The first outing had been at Nelson Ledges and we had seen some improvement
over last year. We were expecting the same level of improvement at Mid-Ohio,
but were amazed at what we found. During the weekend Reed lowered the car’s
best lap times significantly and finished fifth and third in the two races.
While the car has had many wins in the Showroom Stock B class, the ITS
class is a lot tougher both from a quality and quantity standpoint. The
third place was it’s first ITS podium finish in a sprint event (it has
had some high finishes in two-hour endurance races).
A DAY AT THE TRACK
Bill and David Pintaric (along with their father) own a company called WRP Investments. For many years they have held an annual golf outing for their employees and associates. For 2003 they added the option of spending the day at the race track.
It made good sense since not everyone plays golf and both Pintarics are involved in racing. David took the bulk of the people and headed for the country club. About 30 people joined Bill at Nelson Ledges Road Course. Sandi Kryder provided meals at the track while Reed and both Matts prepped and maintained cars along with a couple of other racers. The original idea was to take the guests for some hot laps in several types of vehicles. Mother Nature had other ideas. The rain started on schedule with the original program timetable. It stopped raining long enough to almost dry the track and give everyone hope for a thrill-filled afternoon. But the rain returned and this time decided to stay for the day. Bill gave rides in his NX2000. A couple of the other race cars were experiencing problems due to the weather. We had brought along Russ Wilson’s Corvette ZR-1 to check out some recent repairs and give a ride or two. When it started to rain we dropped those plans. But when the line for rides with Bill looked as if it was the only option for his guests, we decided to help. A 150 HP front-wheel drive Nissan is no match for a 600 HP rear-wheel drive ZR-1 on a dry track. But heavy rain can be a great equalizer. Eventually all the cars were running and everyone got their rides. From what we could tell everyone left happy.
Later that evening a big
dinner was planned. It was then we discovered the true size of the program.
Their were over two hundred people at the country club that evening. We
also discovered the golfers had their own problems during the day. Seems
the weather stopped their activities after only two holes. The good news
is Bill and David plan on doing both activities again next year.
NELSON LEDGES CHANGES
If you have not been to the track since the start of July you are in for a shock. No, it has not been paved. But the visual changes are dramatic and positive. The grass was shorter than anyone could remember, there was new fencing in many places (including the front entrance), and most of the old fencing had new coats of paint. Several of the broken-down trailers had been removed from sight and the restrooms had received exterior painting. Not as visible was a large undertaking to improve drainage. Anyone driving into the facility was immediately impressed by the improvements.
The big change was a switch in management. Long-time Track Manager John McGill retired in June and turned operations over to his stepson Scott. John had been in charge for many years and everyone had opinions on his handling of the circuit. Regardless of whether your opinions were positive or negative, one thing was for sure. Without John’s involvement, the track probably would have closed on several occasions in the past. We don’t know Scott’s agreement with the track owner (who has very little to do with the day-to-day operations of the track), but we do know he is an intelligent and practical individual. He was at the July Mahoning Valley Region meeting to discuss track issues and was well received. He is aware his biggest challenge is the same one John had: a lack of adequate funds. But he does bring fresh energy and instills hope for a better Nelson Ledges Road Course.
This change in management at the track has led Kryderacing to rethink some of our own plans for future involvement. But we are not going to rush into anything. We are targeting next spring as a time when people driving into the facility may find not only have the gas tanks returned, but there are other signs that Kryderacing will be around for a while. The delay is for Scott to come to a better understanding of which direction he wants to go with the track and Kryderacing to determine ways we can help.
Before we run out of space, we want to update everyone on the point standings for the 21st Annual Kryderacing Regional Championship Series at Nelson Ledges Road Course.