The 2012 Crane Cams V8 StockCar season is history and for the record we have four first time champions. In the Porterfield Enterprises V8 GT-1 class, Simon Gregg took home the crown driving his Derhaag Motorsports number 59 Corvette. Gregg, the son of one of the greatest drivers in American sports car racing history, the late, great Peter Gregg. During the 2012 season, Simon won seven of eight races he contested with his sole loss to Charles Wicht at Palm Beach. At the ARRC, Gregg won both the sprint qualifying race and the ARRC feature while closest competitor Wicht was sidelined after crashing in practice on Thursday.
Gregg had the race fast lap, with a 1:23.465. Despite his problems at Road Atlanta, Wicht finished second in points with Zach Monette third.
In LG Motorsports V8 GT-2, fifteen year old Nick Hazelwood of Georgia, took the title in his CrossRoads Motorsports prepped C6 Z06 Corvette. Hazelwood, who started in quarter midgets and bandolero’s, then progressed to late model stock cars and recently to road racing. Hazelwood edged out Randy Kinsland in a C5 Z06. Season long class leader Keith Goldin was unable to make the ARRC in his ex Rolex Series Mazda RX8 and fell to third place in the order. Hazelwood needed only to have solid finishes in the ARRC races to bring home the championship while Kinsland would need help in the form of bad luck for Hazelwood in either the sprint race or the ARRC feature. Kinsland did all he could do winning both races, but young Hazelwood, urged by crew chief Sam Power to race smart, position himself to win the championship first and only then make a run at the ARRC race win, did just that. Kinsland was super fast all weekend, but Hazelwood hung close, finishing second in both races and taking home the Crane Cams Champion ring. Duluth, Georgia’s Tom Brooks, while not in the running for the championship, put on a sterling run to the front from his back of the pack start in his LS2 powered Corvette. Mechanical gremlins in qualifying and the sprint race relegated Brooks to his back row starting spot. Brooks charged through the field to finish third in another Crossroads Motorsports Corvette. The LG Motorsports V8 GT-2 class has been the personal playground of Sam Power and Crossroads as Power won three championships with Bob Mayer and his fourth with Hazelwood.
Pitboxes.com V8 SPO competitor Mary " Mickey" Wright had led the points race for most of the second half of the season with solid finishes in her Competition 101 Ford Fusion. With 72 points available at the ARRC races, Bob Mitten in his ex Tony Stewart Nascar Cup Monte Carlo and Tad Segars in his Kimrey Racing/Smith Living late model stock car were well within striking distance. Mitten a veteran Road Atlanta competitor is always fast there and 2012 would be no different. In the ARRC feature, Mitten led wire to wire, cut the race fast lap and came home second overall to Gregg. Grant Leadbetter had a fine run, chasing Mitten to finish while clocking a fast 1:29.903 in his ex Nascar Dodge Charger. Lee Arnold was third in class just in front of Cameron Lawrence (GTA Impala) and Kyle Shields in his Monte Carlo. Virginia’s Rich Koehler grabbed the fifth spot, with AJ Henriksen sixth, Segars seventh.
Wright’s eight place finish was not enough to hold onto the lead for the points championship and Mitten took home the ring. Wright held onto the second spot in the points with Segars third. Wright made a valiant effort to become the first woman champion in the series, coming up just a bit short. Wright and crew chief Stuart Lysett plan to be back in 2013 for another shot at the ring.
Going into the ARRC Cameron Lawrence held the Howe Racing V8 GTA points lead 140 to 129 over Ricky Sanders, with Randy Walker not far back at 125. Business took Sanders out of the running as the former Nascar Craftsman Truck driver was not able to make it home in time from the SEMA show. Walker was in his new Howe Camaro and running well after getting the car sorted out late this year. Lawrence took the pole and the sprint race in his familiar Regal Boats Impala, with Walker coming up second. In the ARRC feature race Lawrence pulled out an early lead and cruised home to a class win and fifth overall finishing position. Walker ran strong but his pace was about one second a lap off of Lawrence’s and he settled for second in the race. Eighteen year old Bobby Kennedy moved up from his mid pack starting position to grab the third spot in GTA with Butch Kummer soldiering home fourth. Marshall McLeod, Randy Haney, Preston Fowler and Eugene Copeland grabbed the fifth through eighth spots in the class.
In the final tally Cameron Lawrence won the Howe Racing V8 GTA championship with Walker second, Sanders third, Kummer fourth and Mike Attaway fifth.
The Crane Cams V8 Series thanks the Atlanta Region SCCA, the ARRC committe and all the workers and volunteers for their effort in making this one of the best club racing events on the calendar.
The V8 Series wishes to also thank its’ partners for their support in 2012 and they are: Crane Cams, SCCA, Porterfield Enterprises, LG Motorsports, Howe Racing, PitBoxes.com, GoPro, RaceTalkRadio.com, Sunoco, Hoosier, Goodyear, FiveStar, RaceCar Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Roehrig-Enders, GrassRoots Motorsports Magazine, SafeRacer