April 27, 2014 Braselton, Georgia
Jody O’Donnell wins the Mitty; Alan taken out by Fritz Seidel
Duntov customer Jody O’Donnell qualified on the pole and won the Mitty, ahead of a field that was short two notable cars.
Unlike last year, the Mitty weekend was blessed with perfect weather. This race was not on our 2014 schedule, as we intended to race exclusively with SVRA, but at the last minute we brought two cars for long time customers Jody and Clair Schwendeman.
The Saturday schedule had almost back to back races, with Feature Race 1 being followed an hour later with the International American Challenge Race. Jody won the first race and decided not to run the Challenge event. Clair also chose to skip the second race and asked Alan to drive his car.
Clair’s qualifying position was 6th, so Alan started on the third row, inside. Directly ahead was the Porsche of Fritz Seidel, and to the outside of Seidel was the Mustang of Curt Vogt.
At the green flag, Fritz initially got a slight jump on the Mustang and drifted left, but inevitably the V8 Mustang powered by the Porsche after which Curt immediately swerved to the right and hit the brakes. Seidel reacted by also swerving to the right, but Alan was already there. The impact was on the left rear fender of the Corvette, causing the Corvette to spin, hit the Mustang and eventually hit the wall almost straight on.
What came next was somewhat bizarre. Fritz Seidel, who had started the melee by ramming the Corvette, climbed out of his car, threw a fit and had to be restrained by the corner workers. He remained aggressive the next day, so it was clearly not just a heat of the moment loss of composure.
The wreck was fairly spectacular, with three cars spinning in the middle of the straightaway in front of a field of 60 cars. Fortunately no other cars were involved.
HSR’s new Competition Director, Dorsey Schroeder conducted an investigation that included a review of several in-car videos along with the video from one stationary camera positioned outside turn one, looking back up the straight.
Dorsey also had the video from Seidel’s roof mounted Go Pro that caught both the wreck and the tirade.
Seidel was sanctioned by HSR; the only driver involved who was found at fault.
The damage to Clair’s car was significant, and it came only a few weeks before the biggest race of the year, the inaugural Brickyard Invitational at Indianapolis. The Duntov team will be working 7 days a week to get things fixed up for Clair.