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Super Vee is Groff's Ticket to Indy

October 11, 1985|DAVID KECK | Times Staff Writer

The urgency of the moment has made Sue Groff an instant mathematician.

Her son, Mike, is a super vee racer from Northridge who has won two of the last three events and is fourth in the Sports Car Club of America's national standings. And with one race left--this Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway--Sue has all the needed results figured out for Mike to take the title.

"Mike would have to finish first," Sue said. "(Carey) Bren would have to take second, Davey Jones would have to be fourth and (Ken) Johnson would have to be 12th. That's one of the possibilities. Now if Mike came in second . . . "

You get the idea.

For Groff, the SCCA national championship is important. The super vee is a sort of minor league for aspiring racers who want to get into more prestigious racing. The cars, powered by 190-horsepower Volkswagen motors, look like scaled-down versions of Indy cars and race many of the same tracks. The super-vee race at Laguna Seca--a nine-turn, 1.9-mile course--was run just before Sunday's CART Indy car race.

"It's a real serious kind of racing," Groff said. "You've got to dominate the circuit. You have to prove to them (the Indy car teams) that you're for real."

And for the 33-lap race, Groff tried to prove himself. With the underpowered motor, he made good use of passing slower cars to keep Jeff Andretti, the sixth qualifier, from gaining time. But the seat belts snapped on the fourth lap and Groff said later he couldn't feel the car.

Late in the race, Andretti moved right behind Groff and overtook him in the corkscrew turns on the final lap. Groff finished sixth behind winner Davey Jones of McGraw, N.Y.

The finish, which earned him $1,000, dropped Groff from third to fourth in the point standings.

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