In the SCCA SEDIV season opening round of A-Sedan competition this year, the qualifying effort of Steeda racer Tom Ellis put him on the pole, and he finished second on the tight track at Moroso Motorsports Park. At Roebling Road a few months later, he followed the Steeda-equipped Mustang of fellow Floridian Bob Eubanks across the line, giving Steeda the top two spots on the podium. Ellis also led the field by 25 seconds in Daytona until mechanical failure put the car back on the trailer earlier than expected. But in his fourth outing this year, it all came together for the rookie driver, who took his first checkered flag in the race at Road Atlanta.
The rain on Friday morning worked to the team’s advantage, helping to keep the revs down a bit as they finished breaking in a new engine. As the track dried, more power was applied, and the set-up seemed spot on, so no adjustments were made to the suspension. That balanced blend of power and handling was enough in Saturday morning’s qualifying session to earn Ellis the pole, his second this season. The engine continued to pull hard, and the new rear end ratio seemed perfect for the Georgia track. Between testing last year and the previous races this season, Crew Chief Sam Cory had little to do but make some subtle adjustments to tire pressure.
When the green flag dropped on Sunday, Ellis was off like a rifle shot, with Eubanks and Tony Broglin giving chase. But it was Tom’s turn to shine as he continued to build his lead, lap by lap, with times close to those he set in qualifying. He took the checkers a full 50 seconds before the second place finisher crossed the stripe, closely followed by Eubanks, giving Steeda a second outing with not one but two drivers on the podium.
Hard to believe this is a rookie driver, with two poles, one win and a second place finish in his first season behind the wheel. Tom is looking forward to showing this same type of performance at the Double National event at Roebling Road over the July 4th week end.