Spicer Takes Sunday Morning Pro Spec Racer Ford Win At Atlanta
Nov. 6, 2011 - BRASELTON, Ga. - Richard Spicer, of Laurel, Md., started third and raced to the front of the SCCA Pro Racing Spec Racer Ford Round Nine race on Sunday morning at Road Atlanta, the first of two Sunday races to finish the season. Franklin Futrelle, of Augusta, Ga., and Tray Ayres, of Woodstock, Ga., completed the podium.
Spicer (65) leads Futrelle, Ayres (7) to the checkered flag.
Spicer’s No. 65 Spicer Race Engines/Hagerman Engineering Spec Racer Ford moved from third on the grid and into the lead by lap four, just in time for a long caution period after the No. 90 Apple Motorsports Spec Racer Ford of Bob Gilbert and the No. 81 Dinosaur Racing Spec Racer Ford of Mark Vultaggio made contact, knocking both out of the race and spreading debris across the race track.
The field stayed under caution for seven laps for the clean-up, shortening the race to the 40-minute time limit from the scheduled 20 laps. Futrelle, running on his home track, moved to second on the first green lap and into the lead position in front of Spicer one lap later. Spicer followed, moving past Futrelle’s No. 97 Meco Inc. of Augusta/Comprent Spec Racer on lap 17 and holding the lead past the white flag and the final 2.54-miles to the checkers.
Spicer earned his series-best fourth win of the season by just 0.172-second over Futrelle, averaging 68.289 mph over the 45.72 mile race.
“All weekend the car’s been great,” Spicer said. “I would have liked to get the pole and the extra points for the pole, but I was happy with the car so I knew we were going to race well. I thought as well as Tray and I ran yesterday in qualifying that maybe he and I could get together and maybe pull away, but nobody wants that to happen so we’re all racing.
“I saw Franklin coming, I know it’s a local track for him and he’s going to be great here. He’s a nut behind the wheel, but he’s also in control enough that you don’t have to worry about him. When he caught me and he got ahead of me, to be honest with you, I actually picked up a little in a couple of the corners because of how well he was driving. We just hooked up on that first lap after the restart and took off.”
Futrelle moved to second after qualifying seventh.
“It’s really a testament to Comprent Motorsports,” Futrelle said. “I blew a motor getting ready for this event in my car, and they put me in their rental car. Apparently their rental car is really quick! It’s also a testament to SCCA Enterprises, making these things so even that you can jump in a rental car and go just as fast as your personal car that you spend countless hours perfecting. It was a great run, clean race, a competitive race and I’ve never been so happy to finish second.
“I’m friends with basically the top 10 guys, so I didn’t want to mess up the points. I was a little tentative to start the weekend when it’s not your car, but once the green flag drops you’re in the zone and you just do what you do.”
Ayres, the polesitter, fell as low to fifth position on lap 11 after restarting in second after the caution, but had pulled just behind the lead battle by the final laps. The No. 7 Ayres Racing Spec Racer Ford finished just 0.838-second behind Spicer for the podium position.
With just a Sunday matinee race remaining in the season, the Championship point battle grew for leader Scott Rettich when Brian Schofield’s No. 61 PM Racing Spec Racer Ford fell out of the race with a transmission issue on lap 12. Schofield led the opening three laps and was still in the lead group when he suddenly pulled off in Turn One. Rettich, right behind Schofield at the time of his incident, brought his No. 17 Alliance Autosport/Springboro Car Wash Spec Racer Ford to the checkers in fourth position.
Cliff White finished fifth in the No. 58 Thompson White Racing Spec Racer Ford.
Ayres’ fast lap of 1:39.733 (91.684 mph) also earned the pole position for the afternoon race, with the grid for the season finale set by fast laps during the morning race. Rettich will start second, followed by Spicer, Futrelle and John Greene in the No. 29 Jacky Jones Ford Lincoln Mercury Spec Racer Ford.
With the afternoon race remaining, Rettich leads the championship with 873 points, ahead of Spicer (808 points) and Schofield (772 points).