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Podium effort at SCCA Runoffs in Daytona for Smith & RSRT
2014/10/20 17:00

PhillipSmithframe2.jpgPodium effort at SCCA Runoffs in Daytona for Smith & RSRT

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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (October 20, 2015) – Phillip Smith scored one of his biggest performances yet, piloting his blue 1991 Chevrolet Camaro to third in the 2015 SCCA Runoffs at Daytona International Speedway.  The runoffs were making their return to Daytona for the first time since 1964 and Smith participated in the American Sedan division.

Smith's performance wrapped up a 2015 season that included wins at Road America and Watkins Glen this year, along with three third place finishes and a fourth place effort in seven starts.

"The car was amazingly solid this year," Smith said.  "All the work in the off season and having Ron Sutton’s help.  We are doing stuff no one else is doing and a lot of the pros are noticing.  I can see every race next year will be fighting hard for the win."

One of the big challenges facing Smith was the diversity of the track at Daytona, where the SCCA teams raced the full international road course used by races such as the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours.  With banking that "looks like a 90 degree wall" along with at least four second gear corners, the track is both the fastest and one of the slowest on the American Sedan season.  Smith recorded highest trap speeds at 171 miles per hour and his lowest speeds were near 40 miles per hour.

PhillipSmithlg2.jpgSmith found throughout 2015 that longer and faster tracks such as Daytona, Road America, and Watkins Glen suited his driving style from a mental standpoint but Daytona was the toughest test yet.  After feeling uncomfortable in the first practice session, Smith found a knack for the track and was prepared for qualifying.

Qualifying threw a curveball with wet weather but Smith still managed to qualify fourth with a 2:03.255 lap around the 3.56 mile speedway.  Another competitor encountered trouble on the grid which moved Smith to third for the race start.  Smith jumped out to second after avoiding an early race crash in the bus stop. 

A tangle with the third place car in the international horseshoe dropped Smith back to fifth, but he was able to regain focus on hard, consistent laps.  Smith mounted a strong comeback to make the pass for third coming out of the bus stop onto turn three of the oval on the final lap.

The successful season already has Smith looking at expanding his schedule next year to begin in March at Road Atlanta.  One of the benefits of working with RSRT is the chance to get a stable and consistent race car, allowing a driver more time to focus on racing success. 

"There is so much hearsay in racing and there are a lot of ways to skin a cat," Smith said.  "If you don't know what you're doing you can get frustrated.  (After working with Ron Sutton Race Technology) I have so much better understanding about the car than ever before.  So I can't help but help others who are struggling around me."

Smith was able to use his base Watkins Glen setup to take home a podium in the SCCA Runoffs.  Philip Smith would like to thank Ron Sutton Race Technology, Hoosier Tire, and Phil Harper at Ilmor Engineering for their support in 2015. 

For more information on Ron Sutton Race Technology, visit them online at


Ron Sutton Race Technology is a one-stop resource for winning car building or improving performance for Autocross, Road Course Track Days & Pro Touring Cars. Ron offers suspension, brake & aerodynamic optimization services, complete chassis/suspension designs, cutting edge suspension packages, consulting services, books, workshops & an online store with 600 brands & over 90,000 parts. 

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