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Lunar Gravity


Year-end 2000

We're beginning to run out of superlatives to describe Chris Albin, now the Mid-Am Driver of the year for the fifth time in six years. 15 starts, 14 wins, one DNF. How does one describe dominance? How about impeccable preparation mated to consummate skill. Mark Donohue called it the Unfair Advantage. But for the first time since 1996, Albin's home Region is not the top dog in MiDiv, and you have to go back to 1992 for a season when St. Louis was not in the Top Two of listed champions.

KANSAS CITY - Seven champions are crowned including the DotY runner-up, Ron Lentz, with an 11-win season to take Spec Racer Ford for the second straight year. Also at 84 points was Sports 2000 champ Jack Platt. After several years of trying, Ken Raley finally got that GT1 crown with a 5-win season. Phil Hemes similarly won five to become the new Formula Ford champ. Randy Kent had just five starts in his Radical and all were wins to become D Sports Racing champ and rank seventh on the Driver of the Year list. Then there was ITC with an unbreakable tie for the championship and two KC drivers receiving the clocks. Both Mark Buffon and Dale Nelson had 45 points, three wins, and one second. First tiebreak is most wins. The second is to match the drivers' records against each other - Buffon and Nelson met twice, each accounting for the other's lone runner-up finish. Dead-even unbreakable tie. KC topped the runner-up award list as well with five - Kyle Ritter in EP, Jarold Boettcher in ITA, O.L. Kinney in SRF, Bill Tucker in AS, and Harlan Moore in Super Prod. An unfortunate DNF in the final race left Pasquale Trozzolo third in FC.

WICHITA - Ben Diringer was the top points-earner of four Wichita champions, claiming the Formula Vee crown. Four wins gave Chester Bailey the Super Production championship. Dave Wilcox gave his dad's Swift a ride, winning four and the F/Atlantic title. Dick Price won his second F Production championship by winning the season's final three races. Mitch Johnson finished the year 3rd in ITA.

ST. LOUIS - Three champions topped by Chris Albin's dominating run to his eighth straight ITB crown. Fred Tranbarger won two, including the season finale, to become the ITE champion. Donald Strathearn posted five wins to claim Club Continental again. Four drivers take runner-up honors and four more get third-place awards. Runners-up were Mary Daly in GT1, Jay Musgrave in F/Continental, Tim Blythe in FF, and Chris Flier in ITE but still sixth in the Driver of the Year rankings with five wins. Show money (figuratively speaking) goes to Gary Payne in ITS, David Bryson in SSB with five wins before he converted his Miata to ITS, Otto Roberts in GT1, Ed Smith in AS.

NEOKLA - Aaron Kelley is the ITS champion after four wins. Mickey Schreiner also won four to claim his seventh HP championship and his third in a row. Runner-up in ITS was Marty Wagner, and Frank Chambers takes the third-place award in Club Ford.

OZARK MOUNTAIN - Court Whitlock is GP champ for the fifth time in the last six years after four wins. Shane Bennoch won three races and is F/Continental champ by just three points. Chris Ingram is the runner-up in Club Ford.

NEBRASKA - 69-point scores brought championships to Ted Johnson in American Sedan and Hans Iwand in Club Ford, but Iwand's four outright wins ranked him fifth in Driver of the Year.

OKLAHOMA - Michael McBride is the SSB champ with a Bonus Race win and 72 points. Matt Duea won five and succeeds his dad as the GT4 champion.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - Texan Bob Stretch did the long commutes to win 6 of 6 in ITA and place fourth in the Driver of the Year tally. Bill Briggen is the runner-up in ITB.

KANSAS - Jesse Prather's rookie season resulted in seven EP wins, a championship, and third in the Driver of the Year list. Bill Allman finished the year third in SRF.

MID-SOUTH - Edward Hicks is the runner-up in SSB with four wins.

DES MOINES VALLEY - Harlan Donaldson won the last race of the season to claim third place in ITB.


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