Michigan's Brian Boccia (Roge Powercoating/Performance Plus), tied for 14th place in the TORC PRO Buggy class heading into RedBud, scored his first career and event win of the season, topping 2nd place Andy Zipperer (Cooper Tire/Loctite) and 3rd place John Frana (RCV Performance/Frana Group) in Sunday's opening PRO contest.
Late in the contest Boccia, running a strong 2nd place, inherited the lead when - on the white flag lap - series point leader Luke Johnson's (Red Bull/Under Power/BFG) buggy quit running.
"To be honest with you, I'm just glad I finished," said Boccia, whose buggy was belching steam itself for much of the contest.
JR Wheeler (Superchip/Edge/TKO Graphics) took the early lead in the contest and led through lap two before Johnson caught and passed him on the big left hand sweeper. While Luke Johnson opened up on his lead, Frana also caught Wheeler and took over 2nd place, making up some time on Johnson as well.
On the competition restart Boccia quickly moved up to 3rd, past Wheeler, while Zipperer moved up into the top seven. The Johnson/Frana battle would heat up further, with Frana all over Johnson's rear bumper. The two would separate from there rest of the field, with a good battle for 3rd going as well with Boccia and former AMA road racing great Larry Pegram. Pegram was then collected in a rollover wreck by Scott Schwalbe (Ballistic Batteries/BFG) - with Pegram's buggy resting precariously on top of Schwalbe's roof. This brought out a full-course caution, then eventually a race stoppage as they carefully freed Schwalbe from his wreck (Schwalbe was uninjured). Pegram would get going again after the restart, at the same time steam began to billow from the top of Boccia's buggy.
With two laps to go Johnson and Frana would again separate from the rest of the field, with Johnson up three seconds on 2nd place Frana. Moments later the unthinkable happened as Johnson, primed for the win, had his buggy come to a complete stop on top of the hill. Frana shot by, followed by the rest of the field, no doubt leaving Johnson with a helpless feeling after leading 90-percent of the race.
But the drama had yet to end as Frana slowed on the last lap, allowing Zipperer and Boccia to get by. Boccia then went to the lead over Zipperer (2nd) with Frana completing the RedBud PRO Buggy podium while Pegram (4th) and Wheeler (5th) rounded out the top five.
- Number of posts : 37
Age : 48
Location : freeland Mi
Registration date : 2008-09-30
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