September 27, 2010—Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Richard Cullen, in his debut with RealTime Racing, drove an Acura TSX to victory in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. It was the inaugural year for the STU category, the newest of 28 National classes which crowned a 2010 Champion this past weekend at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin road racing circuit.
Cullen, an energy-efficient home builder from Marshfield, Massachusetts, qualified for the Runoffs by competing in four National races in a different vehicle earlier in the year, with the intention of securing a seat in a more competitive package for this winner-take-all shootout that determines the National Champion.
“I knew if I could find the right World Challenge car, I’d have the best shot to win the Runoffs in STU,” Cullen said. “And RealTime clearly has the best record over the past several years in that series, so they were the obvious choice. They did not disappoint!”
In dicey conditions with a light drizzle falling, Cullen started the 13-lap event from the outside of the front row. Polesitter Joel Weinberger, in a turbocharged Audi Quattro, missed a gear at the start and fell back to fifth, but within a few laps, he had caught back up to the leading Acura.
The Audi took the lead on lap four and seemed to be able to inch away for a time. But as lapped traffic on the scenic four-mile track began to affect the new leader, and as the track surface began to dry, Cullen’s Acura was able to mount a charge.
On the long straight preceding turn five, the Acura had the run in the slipstream of the Audi and Cullen was able to pull off the winning pass under braking at the famous turn five in front of a cheering crowd.
The Acura held off the Audi’s advances for the final few laps and took the checker by a scant 0.417 seconds. It was 56 year old Cullen’s fourth career Runoffs attempt and his first National Championship title.
The RealTime Racing team is sponsored by Acura Motorsports, Acura Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Red Line Oil, Eibach Springs, Sparco, Hawk Performance, Brembo, A-SPEC, BOSCH, and Total Auto Body.