24 DECEMBER 2019 scca.com
This year’s Prototype 1 Runoffs race can best be
described as one of redemption,
and the man seeking that
redemption was Todd Slusher.
In his two previous Runoffs
appearances, Slusher had
started on the front row only
to have his championship
bids ended with spins. To that
end, Slusher did everything
right from the get-go this
year, posting the quickest lap
every qualifying session and
securing his ability to lead the
field to the green from the
Tire Rack Pole position.
As the green flag waved,
Slusher put the throttle down
on the Hempsun Farms Elan
DP02 Mazda and never looked
back, controlling the race from
flag to flag, going seemingly
unchallenged for his first Runoffs
title. “This was a fantastic drive
today,” said Slusher following
his victory lap. “I have to give
it up for One Motorsports.
They are one heck of a team.
They’ve been with us all year
and have done a fantastic job.”
One of the intense on-track
battles was for the final step
of the podium. Defending
champion Jim Devenport made
a jump from his sixth starting
position to take third before
the field entered Turn 1 for
the first time. But Devenport
would not have an easy go of
it, as third-place qualifier Todd
Vanacore applied pressure
as he tried to retake the
coveted spot in the lineup.
Slusher and Chip Romer, driving
the Stella Artois Elan DP02
Mazda, continued to pull away
from the field, but as laps clicked
off, Romer struggled to match
Slusher’s pace, allowing Slusher
to build a comfortable gap.
Devenport soon fell victim
to Miller, who was gunning for a
podium finish – a place he last
visited at Road America in 2013
when he claimed the silver medal.
By Lap 12, the battle for third was
at a boiling point, but Vanacore
would not be passed easily.
As the white flag waved, Miller
made a move on Vanacore in Turn
1 but couldn’t make it stick – but
his persistence paid off on the
back stretch and he held the
spot to the line. “I didn’t see the
white flag – I didn’t know it was
the last lap,” Miller admitted.
Out front, Slusher took
the double checkers some 13
seconds clear of Romer, marking
Romer’s first visit to the Runoffs
podium in just his third start.
(RIGHT) Todd Slusher collected the gold medal that had eluded him
in his previous Runoffs starts. (BELOW) Slusher ( 62) led from green to
checkers, while Chip Romer ( 29) followed for second. (BOTTOM) Jason
Miller made his return to the podium, a place he last stood in 2013.
Jason Miller started seventh
in his Kohler/Hoosier/Millenium/
Redpaw WynnFurst, and was on
a mission, methodically working
his way forward. Miller’s quest
was aided on lap seven as Darryl
Shoff dipped a tire and spun
entering the Lower Esses while
chasing Miller. Close behind were
John McAleer and Jean-Luc
Liverato, both taking evasive
action and spinning off track, too.
Just when it looked like
Vanacore might have to shift
from offense to defense as
Miller closed in on the fourth-place runner, he found his way
around Devenport to claim third.
Now third through fifth place
were effectively nose-to-tail.
Back up front, teammates
RACE 3 | FRIDAY | OCT. 11, 2019 | 10: 15 A.M.
Las Vegas Region
Elan DP02 Mazda
Qualifying Pos. Driver/Region (Car)
Best Time; 1. Todd Slusher/LV (Elan
DP02 Mazda) 1: 42.674; 2. Chip
Romer/LV (Elan DP02 Mazda)
1: 43.486; 3. Todd Vanacore/CFR
(Elan DP02 Mazda) 1: 44.070; 4.
Darryl Shoff/NEP (Elan DP02
Mazda) 1: 44.172; 5. John McAleer/
Atl (Elan DP02 Mazda) 1: 44.180; 6.
Jim Devenport/SFR (Norma
M20FC Honda) 1: 44.383; 7. Jason
Miller/Milw ( WynnFurst Kohler)
1: 44.697; 8. Jean-Luc Liverato/Atl
(Elan DP02 Mazda) 1: 44.828; 9.
Greg Bell/FLR (Stohr WF1 Suzuki)
1: 46.043; 10. Garry Crook/GuCo
(Elan DP02 Mazda) 1: 48.324; 11.
Glenn Cooper/Atl (LSR2 P1 Suzuki)
1: 48.581; 12. Doug Piner/NCR
( West WR1000 Suzuki) 1: 51.406;
13. Jim Downing/Atl (Elan DP02
Mazda) 1: 52.266; 14. Keith Carter/
WNY (Stohr WF1 BM W) 1: 52.285
Race 15 laps, 49 Miles: Pos. Driver
(Laps); 1. Todd Slusher ( 15); 2. Chip
Romer ( 15); 3. Jason Miller ( 15); 4.
Todd Vanacore ( 15); 5. Jim
Devenport ( 15); 6. Greg Bell ( 15); 7.
Darryl Shoff ( 15); 8. Jean-Luc
Liverato ( 15); 9. Garry Crook ( 15);
10. Doug Piner ( 14); 11. Glenn
Cooper ( 8); 12. John McAleer ( 6); 13.
Jim Downing ( 3); 14. Keith Carter (0)
Overall Time of Race: 26:09.427;
Average Race Speed: 112.512mph;
Margin of Victory: 13.200sec;
Fastest Race Lap: Slusher
1: 43.498 (113.741mph); Lap
Leaders: Slusher laps 1-15; Sunoco
Hard Charger: Miller