Rookie Keenan Runs Away With B-Spec Win

In his first ever trip to the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Kyle Keenan, of Vancouver, Wash., ran away from the B-Spec field. Travis Washay, of Milford, Conn., and David Daughtery, of Fortville, Indiana, tried their best to reel him in, but ended the 20-lap affair in second and third, respectively.

Starting second behind Tire Rack Pole winner John Heinricy, of Clarkston, Michigan, Keenan held his position through Turn 1 in the No. 44 Kia Motors of America Kia Rio, but with a hungry Washay in his mirrors.

 The B-Spec class was run in conjunction with the Touring 4 category and on lap three a full-course caution was issued for a T4 car off at Turn 10. As the B-- field came out of Turn 10 under yellow, race leader Heinricy pulled his No. 35 Matick Chevy/Hoosier/Hawk Chevrolet Sonic into pit lane, his car apparently stuck in limp mode.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Keenan said. “I didn’t know if I’d missed a full course black flag. I was scanning and then I looked in my mirrors and Travis was looking at me, so we just assumed we should keep going and my crew told me T4 was still out. I don’t know what happened to John. I was bummed. I thought I had something for him. It would have been fun to battle, but I’ll take it how I can get it.”

Keenan was the new leader, but on the lap-six restart, Washay caught him sleeping and briefly took over the lead.

“When we’re coming up on Turn Eight is the only place where our radios aren’t working,” recalled Keenan. “Of course, that’s right when the green flag is thrown. I was able to figure that out, because he (Washay) was already inside and passing me. He drove it in a little bit deep in 11, so I was able to draft back by him on the front straight. I’ll take full responsibility for that. I should have been on it. I certainly felt like I did much better job on the second restart.”

Keenan took control of the race from there, even through another full-course yellow and restart. Washay was threatening at times, but by the checkered flag, he had the B-Spec title in hand by 3.570 seconds.

“I have so much to be thankful for and so many people who have given me opportunities in life,” Keenan said. “It’s something very special when it dawns on you, with probably three laps to go, that you’re leading the Runoffs with a 10 or 12 car advantage and it’s honestly really humbling. Then you get in the typical driver mindset of hearing things go wrong, or smelling certain smells.

“Today would have been my aunt’s birthday and she lost a battle to cancer just under two years ago. When I found out that I was going to be racing for the National Championship on her birthday, it made me fight just a little bit more all year long. It means a lot to me, to be able to do this for her.”

Taking the green flag fifth on the grid, Washay had a tremendous start, moving up to third through Turn Two. The move earned him the Go Pro Hero Move of the Race Award. He immediately had to defend his position from Daughtery, but a full-course yellow put that battle on hold.

“I didn’t do so hot on the last day of qualifying because we went out just to scrub tires and I came in after two laps and all of sudden everyone was faster,” Washay said. “That was haunting me the last couple of days. Starts are sometimes my real strong point, so I was timing it just right and made it work. That was able to keep me with the lead pack for awhile.”

Washay made his best attempt for the lead on the first restart when he got around Keenan, but couldn’t win the drag race to Turn Two. From there, Washay was able to hang with Keenan for awhile, but eventually faded into the grasp of Daughtery.

“I tried to do what I could to conserve and then I decided to go as hard as I could to catch Keenan, which I did, but at that point I’d used up a lot of the car,” Washay said. “I thought I’d be right there. I didn’t make any moves, because I knew we had six or eight laps left, but then I saw David coming. I raced with David years ago and I knew he was going to be a late-race factor. I just had to go into conservation mode and make sure I wasn’t overdriving the car.”

Washay’s No. 30 Indian Summer Racing/Northern Cross Mini Cooper crossed the line in second, his first Runoffs podium.

“David’s car is a little lighter and more nimble so he could catch me in the tight turns and we’d pull him on the high speed stuff. In the Corkscrew, the Mini I think was phenomenal. The Mini works really well there. That’s the cool thing – you had to think about every corner and who could do what, where. That’s what this class should be about.”

Starting third, Daughtery admitted he could have had a better start, but made up for it by pressuring Washay to the very end. Any thoughts on making a dive-bomb move in the final turn were brief though.

“Maybe I could have caught him if we’d had one or two more laps, because I wasn’t falling off, but he was,” Daughtery recalled. “We came down the last turn bumper-to-bumper, but he’d led me 19.9 laps, so there was no reason to crash us both out on the last lap.”

Daughtery actually loaned Keenan the set of Hoosier tires that carried him to victory, but didn’t regret his generosity.

“He ran perfect,” Daughtery said of Keenan. “We’re both on the same Hoosier team. The goal was to get three Hoosier cars on the podium. One of them pulled off at the beginning, but the other two made the podium, so I’m happy about that.”

Michael Tsay, of Irvine, California, finished fourth. Brian Kelm, of Plymouth, Wisconsin, completed the top five.

Derrick Ambrose, of Vancouver, Wash., was awarded the Sunoco Hard Charger Award, for advancing his No. 71 CorkSport Mazda Performance/Monarch/BFG Mazda2 from 11th to seventh.

The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.

The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on

MONTEREY, Calif. -- Provisional results for Sunday’s B Spec National Championship at the 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.

1, (2), Kyle Keenan, Vancouver, WA, Kia Rio, 20.
2, (5), Travis Washay, Milford, CT, Mini Cooper, 20.
3, (3), David Daughtery, Fortville, IN, Nissan Versa, 20.
4, (4), Michael Tsay, Irvine, CA, Honda Fit, 20.
5, (6), Brian Kelm, Plymouth, MI, Ford Fiesta, 20.
6, (8), James Wilson, Kyle, TX, Mazda Mazda2, 20.
7, (11), Derrick Ambrose, Vancouver, WA, Mazda Mazda2, 20.
8, (10), Scott Lovewell, Modesto, CA, Mini Cooper, 19.
9, (7), Thomas Grosart, Santa Clarita, CA, Honda Fit, 19.
10, (1), John Heinricy, Clarkston, MI, Chevrolet Sonic, 19.
11, (9), Bobby Beyer, Mission Viejo, CA, Toyota Yaris, 17.

Overall Time of Race: 40:01.580
Average Race Speed: 67.096 mph
Margin of Victory: 3.570 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:50.171 (73.130 mph)
Sunoco Hard Charger: #71 Derrick Ambrose
Lap Leaders: #35 laps 1-3; #44 laps 4, 6-20; #30 lap 5