2013 RunOffs – Piner wins Hard Charger award, Cooke makes the show despite his injury…

Most of our members received e-mail updates from the National Office about the many races that comprised the 50th Anniversary RunOffs, October 16-23, but for those who did not, here’s a run down of how our local drivers fared. No, we didn’t crown any National Champions this year, but that doesn’t mean we were not well-represented.

In DSR, the Triangle’s own Doug Piner of Chapel Hill finished 6th after qualifying 9th in his Dauntless MX-1, powered by Suzuki. Since he gained all those positions on his own, Doug was presented with the Sunoco Hard Charger award. Way to go, Doug!! BTW, the race winner was Chris Farrell of Salt Lake City, Utah in a Stohr WF1.

Two NCR members competed in the GT2 race, which was won by Andrew Aquilante of Chester Springs, PA in a Corvette. Our own Russ Snow of Eden, NC, finished a respectable 7th after qualifying 13th in his Corvette, but Dr. J. Kurt Roehrig, of Lexington, NC, was unable to start in his Camaro after qualifying 11th. Good showing, Russ! And here’s to better luck next time, Kurt! Another familiar local driver, Pete Peterson, of Lumberton, NC, a member of Central Carolinas Region, finished 14th in his Toyota Celica.

The Triangle’s Robert Noell of Cary took 3rd in Formula Mazda, behind race winner and now National Champion, Darryl Wills of Houston, TX. Great showing, Robert!

In F1000, NCR’s Richard Franklin of Wilmington qualified 21st but finished 15th in his Stohr F1000 Suzuki. Good going, Richard! The race was won by Lawrence Loshak of Grafton, WI, in a JDR F1000 Suzuki, who led from the pole.

And in Touring 2, Don Knowles of Pittsboro (I forget — is he a 6-time National Champion or a 7-timer?) finished seventh in his Mustang GT, behind race winner Andy Wolverton of Papillion, Nebraska in his Z06 Corvette. Better luck next year, Don!

CJ Moses, though he lives in Gainesville, Virginia, is also one of our own, too. He switched to NCR a couple years back so that he could run SARRC races and was the Region’s National Driver of the Year in 2012. He finished 15th in his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO. He had horrible luck getting to and competing in the 2012 RunOffs. Good to see you made it through this year’s in better shape, CJ! Even better luck next year!

In Saturdays’ FV race, local racer Donnie Isley of Fletcher managed a next-to-last finish of 41st out of 42 finishers in his Agitator 16. That’s not so bad when you consider how crowded the field was and that 6 competitors failed to finish at all. Some never even started. Keep the faith, Donnie! Perseverance pays off.

No NCR members competed in GT3 this year, but Sam Fouse, Dennis Shaw, and Dan Robson all crewed for Chad Bacon of Kingsport, TN, who finished 6th in his Toyota Celica; one position up from his qualifying spot of 7th. Nice try, guys! The race was won by Rob Warkocki of Frankfort, IL, in a Mazda RX-7.

The sad news for the home team in E Production was that long-time member and racer Dwight Cooke of, Greensboro retired his Triumph TR4 after only 2 laps. But wait till you hear the rest of the story. It’s a classic!

It wasn’t just Dwight’s car that was hurting. The day before the race, Dwight had his hand injured rather severely while being flat towed off the grid (blown head gasket in the TR4). Apparently the flat tow driver didn’t wrap the strap correctly. When he turned a corner it rode up, and Dwight reached up with his right hand to keep his left from being entangled, and the right got entangled instead. Ouch! Double ouch! The ER docs stopped the bleeding and got him splinted, but there was no time to repair the Triumph. Dwight had come all that way to be part of the 50th anniversary RunOffs, jut as he had for the 25th, and now he wasn’t going to be able to compete. But the next day, Doug Piner donated some old gloves, they cut the fingers off one glove so it would fit over the bandage, covered everything with a Nomex sock to provide fire protection, pumped the TR4 full of water, and Dwight took the green. He only made 2 laps before he had to pull in, but he made the show. Never give up! That’s the spirit, Dwight! Better luck next year!

Hats off to all the NCR drivers who made the long trek to Elkhart Lake and represented us so well!

James Shanks
NCR Membership Chair