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Kevin Boehm and BFG Win SCCA STL Title, Keane finishes 3rd

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 26, 2015) – A last lap pass to reclaim the lead gave Kevin Boehm, of Marysville, Ohio, his first SCCA National Championship in Super Touring Lite at the Runoffs Presented by Garmin VIRB on Saturday in dramatic fashion around Daytona International Speedway. Boehm topped the defending champ Cliff Ira, of Kansas City, Missouri, while Deuce Keane, of Cocoa Beach, Florida, led a pack of three for third.
Boehm’s No. 79 BFGoodrich Tires/Honda Racing/HPD Honda Civic Si led the most laps, but saw it all evaporate with two to go when Ira’s No. 36 Fira Motorsports Acura Integra GS-R closed the gap on the banking and zoomed around Boehm.
The race to the checkered flag didn’t materialize when Ira made a mistake, handing Boehm his first Championship after averaging 87.744 mph in the 14 lap race that was slowed for four laps for a lap two caution when John Schmitt’s No. 22 Hoosier/Red Line/HPD Honda Prelude spun in Turn Two, had contact, and hit the infield barrier.
“I wish I could hit the rewind button,” Ira said. “I made a giant mistake. I missed a shift in the bus stop, and went from fourth to second. It is what it is, I couldn’t recover after that. I told myself, you’ve got this, don’t make a mistake, and maybe that’s why I made a mistake. But congratulations to Kevin, he drove a great race. It was really fun, being able to pull up behind in the draft, and I think that’s what Daytona offers. That was really, really fun.”
Boehm saw an initial lead erased for that first caution, and nearly got a gap again when Oscar Jackson’s No. 90 Jackson Racing/Hasport/BFGoodrich Tires Honda CRX and Andrew Salzano’s No. 25 HART/BFGoodrich/HPD Honda Civic made contact and ended their days on lap seven. Ira slipped just to the inside of that incident, however, and the race was on.
“I hated to see the yellow flag,” Boehm said. “I got a great start and got a good gap, and my game plan was to try to get a huge gap at the start and get the draft out of play. The yellow kind of ruined that, and I tried again after the restart and saw a bunch of carnage in the rear view mirror and I was glad I was ahead of that.
“It was pretty clear that Cliff had a great car and that he was going to catch me, so I started to plan in my mind what I was going to do when he got to me. In the end, a little bit of luck worked out.
“I was trying to find the way, one way or the other. The last two laps, it seemed I was a little better under the brakes than Cliff was, so I tried to use that to my advantage. It seemed I was getting a little better run through the bus stop, so my last ditch effort was to not lead the last lap and try to be close enough to use his draft. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that. I hate it for Cliff that I have to win that way, but I’ll take it for sure.”
The win was the first podium for Boehm at the Runoffs.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” the new champion said. “It’s been 16 months since I had this idea to run STL this year, and it’s been a riot. We’ve been developing the car for the whole year, trying to make it faster and faster, and the work paid off. It feels great to be sitting here right now. “
Keane earned a podium finish in his maiden Runoffs race after a three car, race long battle in his No. 45 KBR Performance/Weis Insurance Honda Civic Si. Keane went back and forth with Darin Treakle’s No. 70 Carbotech/Ahhprods.com/Treakle Ins Honda Civic and Nick Leverone’s No. 31 Flatout Motorsports/DrillMasters Mazda Miata. Keane and Treakle were quicker in a straight line, with the Miata quicker through the corners, giving the Civics the advantage in the run to the stripe.
Keane and Treakle each took turns on the point of the battle, and when the three crossed the stripe just feet apart, Keane’s Civic was in front, followed in order by Treakle and Leverone.
“It was crazy,” Keane said. “Probably about lap six, I was bump drafting the Miata and I got lose in the ‘toilet bowl’ in Turn One out in the marbles. That’s what got me behind, and we were just swapping spots every lap because the draft is so important. If you don’t have a dancing partner, they’ll run all over you. It really was a great time, and luckily I was in the right spot on the last lap.
“I entered into the chicane in fourth, coming through, and [Treakle] got a good run on me. I didn’t know if I could reel him back in, so I just stayed tucked behind him, and the Miata was behind me. Prior to the start/finish line, I had a couple of miles per hour on him, and I just pulled out and got by him, just barely at the line.”
Eric Thompson earned the Sunoco Hard Charger after improving from 37th on the grid to 21st in the No. 91 Flatout Motorsports/Kevin Thompson Mazda MX-5.
The 52nd SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Daytona International Speedway, Friday, September 25 through Sunday, September 27.
The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at SCCA.com, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Provisional results for Saturday’s SCCA Super Touring Lite National Championship at the 52nd SCCA National Championship Runoffs presented by Garmin VIRB at Daytona International Speedway, with finish position, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car and laps complete, BFG drivers in bold.
1, (1), Kevin Boehm, Marysville, OH, Honda Civic SI Coupe, 14.
2, (2), Cliff Ira, Kansas City, MO, Acura Integra GS-R, 14.
3, (7), Deuce Keane II, Cocoa Beach, FL, Honda Civic SI Coupe, 14.
4, (8), Darin Treakle, Broad Run, VA, Honda Civic Coupe, 14.
5, (5), Nick Leverone, North Smithfield, RI, Mazda Miata, 14.
6, (14), Richard Walke, Hawthorn Woods, IL, Mazda RX-7, 14.
7, (10), Greg Amy, Middletown, CT, Honda Civic SI Civic SI, 14.
8, (13), David Palfenier, São Paulo, , Mazda Miata, 14.
9, (16), John Hainsworth, Marlton, NJ, Mazda RX-7, 14.
10, (22), Conor Flynn, Eustis, FL, Mazda MX-5 Miata, 14.
11, (20), Tim Estes, Lyme, NH, Mazda RX-7 GTU, 14.
12, (27), John Paul Keane, Cocoa Beach, FL, Honda Civic Si Coupe, 14.
13, (11), Stephen Wheeler, Geneva, NY, Acura Integra, 14.
14, (19), Bernard Naegele, Geneva, NY, Acura Integra R, 14.
15, (18), Thomas Smith, Evesham, NJ, Mazda RX-7 GTU, 14.
16, (24), Luis Rivera, Angleton, TX, Mazda RX-7, 14.
17, (23), Mike Taylor, Roswell, GA, Honda Civic EX Coupe, 14.
18, (26), Raymond Philibert, Boynton Beach, FL, Mazda Miata, 14.
19, (25), Thomas Lepper, Benicia, CA, Honda Civic DX Coupe, 14.
20, (36), Jon Sewell, Tallahassee, FL, Acura Integra GS-R, 14.
21, (37), Eric Thompson, Aberdeen, NJ, Mazda MX5, 14.
22, (28), Rick Benazic, Brooklyn, NY, Honda Civic SI Coupe, 14.
23, (32), Ken Kannard, East Troy, WI, Mazda Miata, 14.
24, (31), Bruce Bannister, Novi, MI, Mazda Miata, 14.
25, (33), Amy Mills, New York, NY, Mazda Miata, 14.
26, (29), Maxwell Kittleson, Brookfield, WI, Ford Focus SVT, 14.
27, (30), John Elder, Bloomington, MN, Mazda Miata, 14.
28, (34), Whitfield Gregg, New York, NY, Mazda Miata, 14.
29, (35), Brian Bogert, Schnecksville, PA, Dodge Neon Sedan R/T, 13.
30, (12), Mike Van Steenburg, Winter Haven, FL, Mazda RX-7 GTU, 8.
31, (15), Breton Williams, Clinton, IA, Mazda RX-7, 8.
32, (6), Bob Beede, Northampton, MA, Honda Civic Coupe, 7.
33, (21), Peter Keane, Cocoa Beach, FL, Civic SI, 7.
34, (17), Paul Whiting, Pahrump, NV, Honda CRX, 7.
35, (4), Andrew Salzano, Marysville, OH, Honda Civic SI Coupe, 6.
36, (9), Oscar Jackson, Chino, CA, Honda CRX Si, 6.
37, (3), John Schmitt, Sunbury, OH, Honda Prelude, 1.
Length of Race: 50 miles
Overall Time of Race: 34:04.857
Average Speed: 87.744 mph
Fastest Race Lap: #79 Boehm, 2:10.269 (98.381 mph)
Lap Leaders: #79 Boehm, 1-11, 14; #36 Ira, 12-13
Sunoco Hard Charger: #91 Eric Thompson
Image: Kevin Boehm Leads Cliff Ira through the infield at Daytona.
Credit: Mark Weber