1998 Racing Season
The Quaker State, Racer's Wedge Racing Team came out of the blocks 25 points in the hole at the beginning of the year. By starting our first race of the season at the SCCA owned Roebling Road facility, the team was spotting the competition 3 races. This has been a pattern over the years, allowing the winter break to diversify into a bit of snow skiing and that all important 'honeydo list'.
The racing began with both good and bad signs. Although the team qualified on the pole for the first race, it was not to be. After taking the lead and pulling away from the field at Roebling, Stevan developed chronic car problems and was forced to retire. No points in that race effectively spotted the competition a full FOUR races for 1998.
Fortunately, things turned around at Charlotte Motor Speedway. There, a combination National SCCA event and a Pro Vee Series race presented by ADPAC Software, provided 2 opportunities to do well and the team made the most of it. A bit of rain on Saturday dampened the qualifying session, but Davis put on his best duck shoes and put the Racer's Wage on the pole by over a second for the National race. A blistering sun in the afternoon dried the track completely and Davis adjusted accordingly putting the 'Wage on the outside pole for the Pro Vee race. The last event of the day provided the first points of the season with a 2nd place finishing position - taking that position on the last lap by less than a car length over a scrambling group of competitors.
The Pro Vee race the following day required quite an effort to replace the transmission which had begun to bind up during the first race. The Pro Vee race was one of the best races seen in years. The final lead pack of 7 cars, each with a chance to win, were running around the track under about a 4 car footprint. With 2 laps to go, Davis was 7th. Beginning the last lap, he was 4th, and at the finish line, it was Davis in the lead by less than a car length.
A minor down side of the CMS event was that SCCA only allows points from ONE of the two races to be applied toward the Championship. At least the team was now on the books.
The next race was at the newly designed Road Atlanta track - the premier road racing facility in the south, if not the nation. Again, we qualified on the pole and pulled away from the pack - only to be bitten by racing luck once again. A large plug in the crankcase worked its way out and drained all the oil in about 10 seconds. Although the car could not complete the race, the subsequent tear down showed that there was no internal damage to the engine - the Quaker State synthetic had done its job.
A long tow was in between the team and the following race at Mid Ohio - that facility being the location of the SCCA National Championship RUNOFFs®. The RUNOFFs® are held each October to select a single team for each class to reign as Champion for the following year. The Mid Ohio race enlightened the team and pointed up some redesign that would be required in order to make the car more competitive in the tight, twisting hills of Ohio. A second place qualifying spot and a 4th place finish provided more points for the season and the team returned to the south with fresh ideas and a renewed determination.
The next event meant a trip down into Florida to Daytona International Speedway. Again the team put the car on the pole in the hot sun. A near breakaway from the field was not enough and a broken head stud kept the competition close. On the last lap, the 'Wage' was in the lead, but lost it to a last lap drafting effort by Mitchell Ferguson. Fortunately, Davis didn't give up and was able to pull off a rare double draft back for the win by mere inches.
Now back to Road Atlanta for another shot. Another pole position and a 2 car breakaway with Greg Bruns left Greg and Stevan to battle it out for the win on the last lap. With Davis leading, Bruns went for the last lap pass down the backs straight. Both cars went deep, deep into the last turn and both went off track as a result. Bruns recovered moments before Davis to take the win by less than a car length at the line.
The last event of SEDIV was July 4th weekend back at Roebling Road just northwest of Savannah. An unusually large FV field and some typically HOT HOT weather combined for a couple of excellent races. The Racer's Wedge team qualified 4th for the first race - less than 1/2 second off of the pole time. After a spirited race, broken down to a 3 car lead pack, Davis drafted by on the last lap to win by about 1 car length.
For the second and final race of the division, Davis was on the pole and established an insurmountable lead. Unfortunately, a major accident about 3/4 of the way through the race, bunched the field up behind the pace car for a sprint to the finish - all that previous effort for naught. Amazingly, Davis put 2 wheels in the grass going into turn 1 on the 3rd lap after the restart and passed for the lead. From there, he pulled away from the angry Vee bees behind him for the "easy" win by about 1 1/2 seconds. In doing so, the Racer's Wedge racing team both took the lead and secured the South Eastern Division Points Championship for 1998.
With a bit of car redesign yet to be completed, the team plans to test on a couple of occasions before trekking back up to Ohio for that final effort of the year - the SCCA National Championship RUNOFFs®. The team would like to thank Specialty Oil Company and Goodyear Tires for their contributions to this 1998 SCCA SEDIV Formula Vee Championship effort and we look forward to their continued participation in 1999.
1998 Racer's Wedge team stats
|Roebling, Savannah, Ga||1st||DNF||0|
|CMS, Charlotte, NC (national)||1st||2nd||0|
|CMS, Charlotte, NC (Pro Vee)||2nd||1st||12|
|Road Atlanta, Atlanta, GA||1st||10th||0|
|Daytona, Daytona, FL||1st||1st||12|
|Mid Ohio, Mansfield, OH||2nd||4th||6|
|Road Atlanta, Atlanta, GA||1st||2nd||9|
|Roebling, Savannah, GA||4th||1st||12|
|Roebling, Savannah, GA||1st||1st||12|
Points total for season - 63 - 1st in SE Division
The RUNOFFS® - The RUNOFFS® are the largest amateur racing competition in the world. The event is held each fall (currently at Mid Ohio racetrack) and brings together the best competitors from across the country (and a few from Canada). SCCA consists of 8 divisions across the country and each racer competes in his own local area for divisional championship points. The top contenders from each division receive invitations to the National Championship event each year.
There are currently 26 National classes and there are separate races for each class. The more highly subscribed classes practice and qualify on their own, but others are grouped together with classes of similar capabilities until race time. Starting position for the races is determined by the best time of each driver posted during the 2 days of qualifying.
Following the class competitions, individual drivers are selected for special awards. The SCCA Board of Directors selects a driver for the President's Cup which includes a plaque signed by the current President of the United States. The Road Racing Drivers' Club (RRDC) selects an individual to honor with the Mark Donohue award. Several other awards are also presented including Mechanic of the Year, and Race Worker of the Year among others.
The Champion for each class reigns for the following year until the next competition.
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