A thundering herd of 24 V8StockCar racers descending upon the rolling hills of Road Atlanta to contest Rounds 11 & 12 of the 2010 series, and the hills certainly thundered in response. Not only was there great racing, but there was also a marriage proposal (which was accepted) to mark the weekend.
The overall winner was South Florida’s Charlie Wicht who returned from a five month hiatus while getting his ex-Kevin Harvick V8GT1 Monte Carlo back into top form, but his weekend was not a cakewalk by any means. Charlie had the second best time during Saturday’s qualifying session but was moved back to the tenth place starting position after a pass under yellow was reported by the corner workers. It took only two laps for Charlie to work his way back to second place before he took the overall lead ten laps into the fifteen lap affair. At the checkers V8SPO winner Larry Hoophaugh was three seconds back followed V8GT1 competitor Dave Machavern another two seconds in arrears. Texan Bob Stretch had a fairly easy run to win V8GTA over Kurt Roehrig while Atlanta’s Ed Lewis took the honors in V8GT2 with his Z-06 Corvette.
The biggest surprise (for at least one person) occurred during Winner’s Circle interviews. After talking about his race and thanking his crew (like all good drivers will do), Larry Hoophaugh dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend – happily she accepted!
Wicht again won overall (and V8GT1) on Sunday, but had to battle Machavern’s Corvette the entire time to pull it off. Machavern started on the pole and built a five second lead in the first half of the race, then Wicht slowly cut into that lead and pulled off the pass on lap 12, eventually winning by 2.2 seconds. Florida’s Paul Breehne rebounded from Saturday’s close encounter with the front straight wall to take V8SPO honors and Ed Lewis again took the V8GT2 after a tough race-long battle with Mike Attaway’s Panoz GTS.
The biggest battle was in V8GTA, however. Bob Stretch started from the back after changing tires after qualifying, but outside pole-sitter Kurt Roehrig must have felt sorry for him. Kurt was odd man out when three cars tried going through Turn One side-by-side on the first lap, and by the time Kurt got his Late Model Monte Carlo back underway Stretch was right on his bumper. Those two freight-trained their way to third and fourth overall and were never separated by more than a second over the first thirteen laps. Kurt seemed to have the upper hand in the high-speed parts of the track, then Bob would gather it all back in the Esses and Turn Six. The final outcome was decided when the two got together between Turns Six & Seven, and Kurt took Sunday’s V8GTA victory with Bob about ten seconds back (with his hood askew). Great racing between two excellent drivers in well-prepared cars!
The Atlanta Region SCCA once again did a super job handling the logistics of the event and Road Atlanta, which is celebrating its 40th year of racing this October at the Petit LeMans, is one of top racing venues in the USA. The V8SC series returns to North Georgia for our 2010 Finale’ the weekend of November 5-7 as part of the American Road Race of Champions presented by Grassroots Motorsports.
There’s a month-long break in the V8SC schedule, then next up for them is the historic Sebring International Raceway over Labor Day weekend. That event will be hosted by Central Florida Region SCCA and should be an exciting event with great racing.
V8 Series thanks its' partners for the event: Atlanta Region SCCA, SCCA, GoPro, RaceTalkRadio.com, Sunoco, Hoosier, Goodyear, Mo's Gold, Howe Racing, FiveStar, RaceCar Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Roehrig-Enders, GrassRoots Motorsports Magazine, Racing Limo's, SafeRacer, Randy Lajoie and Hess Racing Products
For more on the series check out http://www.v8stockcar.com