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Contact: John Whiteman                                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tel. 310.781.6532





Matthew Staal earned two top five finishes at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania to join fellow Team Honda Research-West racer Sage Marie in qualifying for the 2009 SCCA National Runoffs.


TORRANCE, Calif. – August 18, 2009 - Team Honda Research-West took another step toward realizing a national championship dream when Matthew Staal became the second THR-W driver to qualify for the 2009 Sports Car Club of America National Runoffs.  Driving a showroom stock SSB class Honda Civic Si, Staal battled a large field to finish 5th and 4th respectively at Pocono in national qualifying races on Saturday and Sunday.  Staal’s strong weekend allows him to join fellow THR-W regular driver Sage Marie, who qualified for the runoffs in a T3 class Honda S2000 with a second- place finish in the Southern Pacific Division championship .  The drivers, who are running in conjunction with Honda Performance Development’s newly created Honda Racing Line, will race at Road America in September at the 2009 SCCA National Runoffs.


Staal, who focused on endurance racing in 2007 and 2008, quickly got up to speed by qualifying 4th in class on Saturday.  During the race, mechanical issues slowed the Civic Si forcing Staal to focus on smooth and consistent laps, and saving the car for the second race.  On Sunday, Staal improved his qualifying to 3rd position.  He was able to utilize the Civic Si’s strong acceleration to move into second place before contact interrupted his challenge for the lead.  In turn one, Staal was hit on the passenger side causing him to nearly spin in front of the field of cars.  Staal kept his foot in the throttle and managed to recover the severe over-steer, staying with the front runners to finish fourth. These two strong finishes following Staal’s second-place run at Nelson Ledges Raceway in Ohio in July earned him a starting position in the national runoffs.


Matthew Staal is looking forward to representing Honda Racing/HPD along with fellow drivers Lee Niffenegger, Chad Gilsinger, Inness Eisele, Sage Marie and Bob Boileau at Road America for the SCCA National Championships on September 24-27, 2009.


Team Honda Research-West is proud to represent, test and use products from the following companies: Honda Research & Development Americas, Inc., American Honda Motors Corporation, Honda Performance Development, Toyo Tires, The Westside Group, H&R Springs, Brembo Sport, Baja Designs, Inc., AEM, Traqmate, Hondata, APR, Exedy, Recaro, Red Line Oil, Tyga-Box Inc., HMS Motorsport and Schroth Racing safety harnesses, Goodridge, ASR, Porterfield, King Motorsports, Aquapel Glass Treatment by PPG Industries, Inc and K1 Speed Karting tracks. 




If you would like more information about THR-W please contact John Whiteman at (310) 781-6532 /  You can also find the team at or on Facebook.

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