Going into the last race weekend of the Midwest / Great lakes CMC season, five racers had a play for the podium for the season-ending points in the Midwest Region. Derek Wright and Kent Owens were tied for first and Bob Denton was 7 points back, followed by Bryan White and Pete Loftus. The scenario was clear for Wright and Owens: Win and you win the championship. Denton needed a pole point and two wins to win the championship. Loftus and White needed a DQ of one or more of the top three and he would end up on the podium.
Denton got the pole at 1:40.6 and Wright 1:40.9, respectively. Owens wasn’t able to make a qualifying time and would have to start last in ninth position.
As snow flurries fell, Wright pressured Denton from behind on the outside going into the Keyhole, but Denton powered out of that turn and led the rest of the race for the win. Or so he thought. More on that later.
Behind them, Owens charged through the pack and was in third place by lap two, eventually taking second. Johnston got past White in the first lap at the Keyhole. Mayer, Loftus and Johnston were nose to tail for two laps before Loftus made a move down the back straight on Mayer. Johnston saw an opening and made it three-wide before he out-braked Loftus and Mayer going into China Beach. Johnston and Loftus ended up finishing .21 seconds apart, with their fast laps being .001 seconds difference and on the last lap of the race!
Denton’s jubilation and his win was short lived. With the low temperatures, Denton and Owens were DQ’d on the dyno for going over on horsepower and torque. This immediately dashed all hopes for a regional podium finish for Owens and Denton. Wright passed on the dyno, needing to weigh 3,390 to match his 266 horsepower. Wright weighed 3,390 exactly and was at 310.47 pound-feet of torque, only .04 of a foot-pound away from being over and DQ’d.
The official results were Wright, Caudle, Johnston, Loftus, White, Mayer, Clegg and DQs for Denton and Owens. This gave Derek Wright the Midwest regional championship. Johnston picked up the Great Lakes regional championship. Bryan White got second in Midwest, and Jim Mayer took second in Great Lakes. Pete Loftus finished third in both regions.