15-Year Old Rayhall Overcomes Injury to Win SCCA Pro Formula Enterprises Title at VIR
ALTON, Sept. 15, 2010: Sean Rayhall, of Winston, Ga., overcame what he called the “most pain in his life” to win the SCCA Pro Racing Formula Enterprises Championship finale at VIRginia International Raceway Sunday. At 15, Rayhall became the youngest-ever SCCA Pro Racing series Champion.
Driving the 1st Action Services/Advanced Environmental Formula Enterprises machine, Rayhall started second behind chief rival Scott Rettich, of Oxford, Ohio, in the No. 17 HIPPI Racing/Springboro Car Wash entry. Rayhall got the jump on Rettich at the start and never looked back, winning the 18-lap, 58.86-mile race by 4.341 seconds.
What turned Rayhall’s outstanding accomplishment heroic was the fact that he drove this weekend with a broken right foot after an incident on his bicycle in the paddock on Thursday. On crutches, Rayhall accepted his race win and 10-race Championship trophy looking obviously exhausted.
“This by far was the most pain I’ve ever been put through in my life,” Rayhall said after the victory lance celebration. “The adrenaline helped, but it didn’t help enough. It was a lot of pain but we made it through it.
“Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. I just have to thank everyone for putting me in this position. I can do a lot on my own, but I wouldn’t be here without Kevin, Brandon, Andrew Davis and my father. As much as the Championship trophy is going to my house, it’s all owed to them.”
“We’re extremely proud to crown Sean Rayhall, a true up and coming 15-year old driver, our inaugural SCCA Pro Racing Formula Enterprises Championship,” SCCA Pro Racing President & CEO Bob Wildberger said. “He and Scott had a great battle all season long and to cap it off with a win today—on crutches—is a great way to finish off a Championship.”
Rettich held on to finish second in both the race and the Championship. He closed the gap on Rayhall with a win Saturday over Paul Schneider, of Charlotte, N.C. Rayhall was running second when his throttle cable broke, dropping him to 11th in the final results.
Brian Novak, of Dearborn, Mich., completed Saturday’s podium.
Matt Schneider, of Lexington, Ky., finished third in Sunday’s race, but it wasn’t enough for him to overtake Paul for third in the overall standings.
Rayhall’s six wins propelled him to 1134 points and the Championship. Rettich was second, with three wins and 1090 points. Paul Schneider was third, with 866 points, followed by Matt Schneider (856) and Novak (826).
Immediately following the race, Rettich jumped into his SCCA Pro Racing Spec Racer Ford to clinch that Championship with a fourth-place finish.