One Way or Another – Fighting Your Way Into The Runoffs Field

TOPEKA , Kan. (Sept. 2, 2008) – Kent Prather has been to the last 24 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, winning six titles and never starting the race outside of the top 10. But heading into the final weekend of 2008 SCCA “regular” season competition, Prather found himself in unfamiliar territory and on the outside of the top 10 in his division, looking in. Luckily, or perhaps a karma product of years of goodwill toward other racers, it all worked out, but it was in a most unconventional fashion.

Entering the weekend, Kent sat 12th out of 12 drivers in F Production Midwest Division point standings. It’s been a rough season for the six-time G Production winner. Moving to F Production after the demise of GP following 2007, Prather Racing’s venerable MGA, which has traditionally been bulletproof, has been hit by what could only be described as bad luck. Kent needed solid finishes in the final weekend of the season to secure an invite to his 25th-straight Runoffs.

The weekend started off well enough, with the MGA running quick times in practice and qualifying before a freak crankshaft failure sidelined the car for both races of the Double National at Heartland Park .

Not to be deterred, Kent accepted an offer from fellow F Production racer Brian Linn to drive his newly-acquired Mazda Miata in Sunday’s race, in which he ran from the back of the field to finish third. A similar offer from Prather stablemate Bob Bramlage for Monday’s race resulted in a similar result, putting Kent into 10th place in the division, one point ahead of 11th place and into Runoffs eligibility.

The amazing sportsmanship from Linn and Bramlage allow an SCCA tradition to continue on in 2008.

Kent wasn’t the only one needing to score points to be secure in his Runoffs qualification. In F Production, Ron Davis (MGB) and John Steflik (Mazda Miata) both needed strong runs to solidify their eligibility, which they produced.

Prather Racing cars swept the race wins in both E and F Production. Jesse continued his E Production Miata motor development and won both days, beating former EP National Champion Jon Brakke in the process. Rick Harris (Miata) clinched the FP Division title with a win on Sunday, and Eric Prill (Lotus S7) took Monday’s race and set the track record in the process.

Prather Racing is now in full Runoffs prep mode on the SCCA side, while still attending to the Vintage program with Andy Hauck’s Lola and Bramlage’s Chevron (at Watkins Glen Sept. 5-7). The 2008 SCCA Runoffs take place at Heartland Park Topeka Oct. 6-12, with the E Production race on Friday, Oct. 10 and the F Production race Sunday afternoon, Oct. 12.



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