28 OCTOBER 2020 scca.comRUNOFFS PREVIEW
Picking the winner of a Spec Miata race is like picking the winner of abar fight before it happens. Honestly,it depends on who’s the first to gethit with a chair. That being said, theman of the moment seems to bePreston Pardus. The Florida-baseddriver picked up second place atVIRginia last year and won the SpecMiata title at Indy two years before.
“I think it’s going to be hard,”Pardus admits. “I mean, it makesme feel good to be selected [asthe possible winner], but I think it’sgoing to be anybody’s race. Thereare several good drivers who have ashot at winning, just like every year.
I think Jim Drago, Chris Haldeman, or
Danny Steyn could win. Or last year’s
winner, Todd Buras. Any of us, on any
given day, can get the job done.”
At press time, there were more
than 60 entries in the Spec Miata
Runoffs field. Pardus believes that
20 of those have the ability to run upfront. “I think recent years’ resultsand qualifying show that usuallythe top 20 are all within a secondor so,” he says. We checked, andhe’s right. At VIR, 14 drivers werewithin a second of the fast racing lap,and another eight raced within anadditional half-second of the leader.
With a field so well matched, a
strategy is critical. As expected,
Pardus has one. “You can have a
lot of plans going into the race,
but it can all go out the window in
one corner,” Pardus says. “I think
especially coming to Road America,
you’re going to need good drafting
partners. I have two of the best in
Jim Drago and Todd Buras. We’ve all
worked well together in the past and
this year at the June Sprints, Jim
and I worked really well together.”
Two-time champion Drago agrees,
to a point. “Preston is a very good
pick, but I am still going to win,” he
laughs, with only a hint of humor.
With Drago’s record of back-to-back
WORDS Jeff Zurschmeide | MAIN IMAGE Dave Green
1. Preston Pardus 1
2.Jim Drago 2
3.Danny Steyn 2