30 DECEMBER 2018 scca.com
American Sedan is a perennial thriller. The cars are big
and heavy, and the 40-minute
format of a Runoffs race always
poses a special challenge for the
driver: can you keep your tires
and brakes working to the end?
Coming into the Runoffs,
eight-time AS Champion Andy
McDermid was the prohibitive
favorite to win – and for a while, it
looked like the race was going to
play out that way, despite the fact
next to McDermid’s Tire Rack pole
position sat 13-time champion
John Heinricy on the outside.
Even at the drop of the green flag
when a couple of cars tangled in
Turn 1, that happened behind
the frontrunners, with McDermid
taking the lead in his Weather Tech/
Felice Performance/Lane Ford
Mustang, followed by Drew Cattell
in the Hoosier/G-Loc/AEM/Hagan
Cadillac CTS-V, Heinricy in the
Camaro, and Daniel Richardson
in the Hoosier/GT/PAW/Auto
Gear/Anze Chevrolet Camaro.
Cattell quickly settled in
to chase McDermid while
Richardson dogged Heinricy for
third. “I was trying to pressure
Andy for a while and trying
to get him to run his tires and
brakes off,” Cattell says.
And, ironically, that’s exactly
what happened in the fifth lap.
McDermid lost his back, right wheel
under braking with the wheel and
tire bouncing high in the air; Cattell,
meanwhile, watched and wondered.
“First, I wondered if there would
be a full course caution,” he
recalls. “Then I thought it might
be a little bit easier now because
I wouldn’t have to pass Andy.”
Cattell took over the lead
with a solid gap back to
Heinricy, now in second place.
“The safety car came out,
and I was looking in my mirrors
and I didn’t see John anywhere,”
Cattell says. “Then we got bunched
back up and I knew it would be
a heck of a race from there.”
Richardson was more than seven
seconds behind Heinricy as the
yellow flags came out to retrieve
McDermid’s car, but the gaps closed
up and put Heinricy and Richardson
back in the hunt. Meanwhile, Pratt
Cole had taken up the fourth
spot, with Lynne Griffiths in fifth.
A new green flag flew in the
eighth lap, allowing Cattell and
Heinricy to show what they had.
The two leaders began pulling away
from Richardson and the balance
of the field. Heinricy filled Cattell’s
mirrors, made a few tentative
moves, and waited for his moment.
“It was pretty textbook for
me,” Heinricy notes. “I could
sit there and watch what was
going on up front. I had a chance
to go on hitting my marks and
keeping my tires under me and
keeping the brakes there. As
long as I could stay in touch,
that was what I wanted to do.”
Heinricy made his pass for
the lead in Turn 11 on the 15th
lap, diving to the inside of the
right-hand hairpin under braking.
However, Cattell did not retire
gently, staying right on Heinricy’s
bumper through the next laps.
“John drove a great race
and made a clean pass,” Cattell
admits. “I tried to stick with him
and pressure him, but I didn’t
have the speed to stay there.
I was hoping for some lap traffic
at the end, but that didn’t work.”
By the 18th lap, the leaders
were encountering that lap traffic,
but it balked Cattell instead and
allowed Heinricy to pull ahead
into clear track. At the finish line,
Heinricy led Cattell by 1.928sec.
“At the end of the race the tires
were still working, the brakes were
still working, and the engine was
pulling like crazy,” Heinricy says.
Richardson finished third,
about 26sec behind Cattell.
“For a majority of the race,
I was just trying to stick with
these guys,” Richardson says.
“I can’t thank everyone enough.
SCCA runs a great program. I love
these guys and I love A Sedan.”
RACE 7 | FRIDAY | OCT. 19, 2018 | 3: 40 P.M.
Hoosier/Hawk/Mobil Chevrolet Camaro