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Great Lakes FFR Racers Return to Mid-Ohio


Lexington, OH - The weekend of July 12-13 saw the return of the FFR’s to Mid-Ohio. But the races actually started much earlier in the week. This weekend was to be the first with six cars, all in the Great Lakes Region. But a lot happened and this number dwindled. It all began as Greg Wellinghoff Jr. worked all week to get his new build ready for the weekend. Brian Sanders even traveled to Dayton to put in an 12-hour day helping Greg but it just didn’t happen. Wes Holiday figured out a brake issue he was having on Thursday morning and could not make the fix in time for the weekend. Peter LaRose had unforeseen commitments arise. So that left Brian, Gregg Wellinghoff Sr. and Ed Boothman. But being a great dad, Gregg Sr. brought his son, Greg Jr., and even allowed him to drive the car half the time. So Gregg and Greg both got their first races in this weekend.


We started the weekend on a Friday test and tune. Weather was beautiful and the sessions were pretty uneventful except for Ed and car issues. The car was overheating after only a few laps but this was the least of the problems. In the last session of the day, the engine started making noise that you knew were no good. Subsequent troubleshooting proved Ed had spun a rod bearing and his weekend was done.


So this left Brian to square off against rookies Gregg Sr. on Saturday and Greg Jr. on Sunday. Saturday started off dry and beautiful but this changed as time to grid approached. This reporter was asked to include, in this race report, a summary of the race as seen from a rookie’s perspective. So here it is…….verbatim.


“Crowd favorite Gregg Wellinghoff Sr. ran his inaugural race at Mid-Ohio on July 12, 2008. He scored a resounding win over a sizeable field in extremely adverse weather conditions. Gregg spent most of the race chasing the ever popular Brian Sanders, who also ran a marvelous race. In the late stages of the contest Gregg got by Brian to score his first victory.”  -- Gregg Wellinghoff Sr.


WOW!!!!! Now, that’s impressive………unless you were there! While the above does contain a fact, it was raining, the rest might be attributed to the over zealous imagination of a rookie. I feel it is my responsibility to report the facts.


Fact 1 - Gregg put on rain tires, Brian did not.

Fact 2 - It was a field of two cars.

Fact 3 - Brian retired from the race after 2 laps.


In all seriousness, Gregg and Greg are an incredible addition to the FFR family. We had a blast this weekend, on and off the track. The sense of humor exhibited above is just a small sample of what went on the entire weekend.


As for Sunday, Brian started the race with a poor handling car and Greg Jr. was able to keep pace for the first few laps. But then the car came to me and I lost sight of Greg. I just wasn’t going to beat by two different rookies in a single weekend.


I think the best part of the entire weekend was seeing the faces of the two rookies every time they came off the track. You couldn’t have removed the smiles with a crowbar.


The next stop for the Great Lakes FFR’s is Road America on August 2-3. Besides the sprint races, there will be a 2-hour Enduro.


Cya at the track!

--Brian Sanders

Page last updated: 07/15/2008

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