ROAD ATLANTA 2006
By: Robert "Bosco" Logsdon
With one of North America's most challenging road courses providing the back drop, the
V8 StockCar Series came to Road Atlanta to settle the Championship in the four classes.
The well planned and executed American Road Race of Champions (ARRC) was the venue.
With more than forty stock cars, GT-1/TA types and SPO's in the field, the ground just had to shake.
Jeff Emery, the ex ASA series oval track and sometime Trans Am racer was on the pole in his incredible late model stock car converted to Trans Am type racer by master crew chief Fred Strube. Emery's fast lap was nearly two seconds under the ARRC track record.
Sitting next to Emery was Joe Hooker in his wicked Johnny Miller built Trans Am Corvette.
Third fastest was Gene Felton the I.M.S.A. Icon and Georgia Motorsports Hall of Famer in his strong running ex Kevin Harvick Nextel Cup road race Monte Carlo.
On race day, at the green Emery leapt from the pole to a comfortable lead with Hooker in pursuit. Any hope of an upset of Emery went up in smoke on lap seven when Hooker's Vette caught fire.
With Hooker out, Emery sailed on to the overall and V8 GT-1 win, erasing a three point deficit to Corvette racer Jeff Bailey for the season class championship. Emery's best lap of 1.24.7 was nearly three seconds under the record. Bailey managed a fourth in V8 GT-1 and the runner up spot in the points battle.
Second overall and first in V8 SC was Atlanta's "Wild Bill" Smith, the popular driver of the worlds fastest tube frame 55 Chevy Bel Air. Third overall and first in V8 GN was the ageless Felton running smooth, consistent laps in the big stock car.
Former Factory Five Challenge Champion Bryan Dobyns came home sixth overall and first in V8 LM in his ex ASA car, just behind George Kirchner (V8 GT-1) and Lee Arnold (V8 SC).
Contingency awards from Goodyear, Sunoco, DRP, Hoerr Racing Products and Racecar Engineering will be awarded.
The 2007 Champs are: V8 GT-1 Jeff Emery
V8 SC Bill Smith
V8 GN Willie Mullins
V8 LM John "Boo" Morgan
The rapidly growing V8 StockCar Series will start 2007 with its first two races at the Sebring and Homestead SCCA nationals. All GT-1 and stock car competitors are welcomed to the series.