KERRY ALEXANDER TAKES THE ARRC
Machavern, Amico & Arnold are Class Champs
The American Road Race of Champions was a fitting finale to the 2008 V8 StockCar season. The cool but clear weather, the incredibly challenging Road Atlanta circuit and thirty five very competitive race teams ensured big noise and big excitement. Racer's like California's Rudy Revak, travelled from all over the country to test the North Georgia track that can quickly humble even the most talented of drivers.
After two rounds of qualifying on Friday, former Trans Am competitor and SCCA A Sedan national champ Kerry Alexander stood a top of the overall order at a fast 1:24.8 clocking. Alexander's effort was just one tenth off of Jeff Emery's track record. Alexander's ride was the Larry Beebe Racing Mustang prepped and sometime driven by Tony Ave. In all three Ave Racing race cars were in the top six on the grid. Bill Smith was second in his winged stockcar with Zach Monette third.
V8 GT-1 points leader and seven time 2008 winner, Dave Machavern lost a motor in practice on Thursday, however the Riggins Competition crew had a new SB2 in place in time for qualifying. Machavern, who hadn't raced at Road Atlanta since 1983, and that a different configuration, was still getting reacquainted with the circuit and settled for fifth fastest just behind road racing legend Gene Felton's V8 SPO entry an ex Reed Sorenson Target Ganassi Dodge Cup car. Felton's 1:27 and change lap was his quickest lap ever in a stock car and took out Scott Murphy's class track record. All at 72 years young.
In V8 GTA, Bob Stretch put his Fix Rim, Wheels America Monte Carlo on the pole with record setting blast 1:29.xxx. Ron Fariss was second fastest with Butch Kummer gridding third.
Saturday's race went off under blue skies with the temperature around 60 degrees. Wild Bill Smith, sitting on the outside pole got the jump and out dragged Alexander to turn one. Smiths' lead didn't last long as he got the tranny stuck in third as he headed up the esses and Alexander was quickly gone. Smith retired, leaving Zach Monette, Felton and Machavern to give chase.
In V8 GTA, leader Bob Stretch was quickly extending his lead until he had a tire go down just three laps into the race. Ron Fariss inherited the lead, one which he would not relinquish.
Up at the front Alexander had a comfortable lead over Zach Monette and Machavern was now beginning to get the track figured out and was starting to reel in Felton.
Along about lap 8 Tony Amico ended up in the sand trap at the bottom of 12 and about the same time Zach Monette tangled with a stock car and a full course caution flag was flying. Just before the double yellow, Paul breehne caught Lee Arnold for second in the V8 SPO class which would prove to be significant a few caution laps later when class leader Felton had to pull off with tranny problems.
The pace car picked up the field and they lapped under caution until the checker flew on lap 13.
Alexander got the overall and V8 GT-1 win over Machavern and Bob Monette. In V8 SPO Breehne took the win over Lee Arnold and in V8 GTA Ron Fariss bested Bob Davis and Gregg Rodgers.
In the season Class Championships, Machavern took the V8 GT-1 title over Ray Webb, In V8 SPO Arnold edged Breehne, and in V8 GTA Tony Amico edged Tom Graham by four points.