05.22.10 _ Herr Records His 8th Victory in World Challenge History with Exciting Race 1 at Mosport

05.22.10 Mosport, CA: Chip Herr, of Lititz,PA class win at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Victoria Day Speedfest presented by Optima Batteries.

The tightest race of the three classes came in the Touring Car battle, where the Scion tC machines of Robert Stout, of Brownsburg, Ind., and Tom Lepper, of Benecia, Calif., and the Irish Mike’s Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLIs of Herr and Greg Shaffer, of Harrisonburg, Va., looked poised for a four car battle early.

Polesitter Stout pulled out to an early lead in the No. 18 DG-Spec/Scion/TRD/Lucas Oil Scion tC, gapping the other three drivers through the first 12 laps. An off-course excursion by Shaffer in the No. 49 Irish Mike’s Racing machine sent him to pit lane to check for damage.

That left Herr, in the No. 50 Irish Mike’s Racing Volkswagen Jetta GLI, and Lepper, in the No. 36 DG Spec/Scion/TRD/Lepper & Associates Scion tC, to chase down Stout. Together, they caught the 18-year-old Touring Car Championship leader and, after hounding him for a handful of laps in a three-car nose-to-tail train, left themselves in position to strike.

When Stout ran wide in Turn Five, both Herr and Lepper got by and immediately pulled away from Stout. Lepper remained in Herr’s tire tracks for the remaining 12 laps, but couldn’t complete a pass for the lead.

At the finish, Herr was ahead of Lepper by just 0.224-second. The win was the third for Irish Mike’s Racing after Todd Buras’ sweep of St. Petersburg, and the seventh career World Challenge win for Herr in his first start of the season.

“I was worried what was going to happen in front of us, starting with the Touring Cars at the back of the field,” Herr, who started fourth, said. “We funneled into Turn One and I fell back to fifth. I just put my head down—I knew it was going to be a 50-minute race.

“When you’re in fifth, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. My teammate slid off. Robert [Stout] just went wide in 5B. I don’t know if he looked in his mirror, but he just went over the table-top and went a car width wide. I took my regular line and went by and I’m sure Tom did the same.

“Mike Flynn has worked hard to develop these Volkswagens and I feel like I had the easy job today to just jump in the car and drive. It was a great day.”

Herr’s advancement of six positions overall earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award for the race.

Lepper’s runner-up finish was his first World Challenge podium in five career starts.

Eric Meyer, driving the No. 32 XOWii/Samaritan’s Feet/Delvira Mazda RX-8, managed to catch and pass Stout on the final lap of the race for his second-consecutive podium finish.

Stout finished fourth, followed by Robb Holland in the No. 22 Track Pro/Emich VW Volkswagen GTI.

Including bonus points for pole positon and most laps led, Stout (460 points) was able to stretch his lead in the Touring Car Drivers’ Championship over Eric Meyer (376). Scion (31 points) now leads the Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship by four points over Volkswagen, ahead of Mazda (16) and Honda (13).

The World Challenge Championships Round Five takes place at Mosport on Sunday afternoon.

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