Runoffs Prep Finished and it's Time To Begin
The most difficult award for a Club Racer to receive is the Super Sweep, which requires a driver to lead the National points, win their division, win one of the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour races, and with the Runoffs, all in the same class.
A whopping 20 drivers have clinched the first three legs of the Super Sweep, but the hardest – a National Championship – will be decided this week. On that list are previous National Champions Jesse Prather (E Production), Scott Rettich (Formula Enterprises), Lewis Cooper III (Formula F), Kevin Ruck (F Production), Tom Patton (GT-2), Greg Gauper (H Production) and Toby Grahovec (Showroom Stock B). David Pintaric (Super Touring Over) won at the Runoffs in 2010, but the class was run as a supplemental class that year in its first season as a National Class.
Breaking That Elusive Two Minutes
Last year, the Chicago Region SCCA pledged a permanent plaque at Road America and a contribution to the SCCA Foundation for the first SCCA Club Racer to break the two-minute mark in an SCCA race. Many, especially in the C and D Sports Racing class, have come close, but the barrier has yet to be broken.
A number of cars are on the watch list this week at the Runoffs. Steve Forrer’s CSR no. 84 K-Hill Motorsports/Hoosier/Forrer Supply Ralt RT-41 has been near the mark, and Lee Alexander was the DSR polesitter last year at just over two minutes in the No. 48 Factory 48 Motorsports/APE Raceparts Stohr WF-Zero. The wild card is expected to come from Scott Tucker’s D Sports Racing No. 55 West WX10, which many have predicted to set the fastest time of the week.
Streaming Live With A Pro Crew
Once again, every race at this year’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs will be streamed live from Road America on www.SpeedCastTV.com. The broadcast crew in the booth is world-class, with Greg Creamer and Dorsey Schroeder on the call for Thursday and Friday’s races. Creamer and Randy Pobst will split Saturday and Sunday’s action with Jim Tretow and Schroeder, while John Bisignano will be on pit lane for every race.
The broadcast crew has their own history at the SCCA Runoffs. Pobst is a two-time National Champion and finished as the runner-up three times in six appearances. Pobst crossed the finish line first in another appearance, but lost the race win in the tech shed post-race. Schroeder is a former Trans-Am champion, but could only manage a silver medal at the Runoffs driving in Sports Renault. Bisignano made just one appearance as a driver, and scored the dreaded DNF.
Crowning The Nation’s Best Since 1964
The country’s best amateur road racers have been gathering each fall for 49 years at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs®. In 2012, more than 500 drivers in 28 classes are competing for the title of National Champion.
Ordinary People, Extraordinary Feats
The racers at this week’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs are a unique mix of talented drivers. Most are “weekend warriors,” mixing it up on the track on the weekends before heading home to their day-to-day jobs through the week. Some are youngsters with an eye on a professional driving career, honing their craft while looking to the future. The common theme to an SCCA competition is that these are seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things with racecars.
How prolific can these drivers become? Start with the motorsports legends – Bobby Rahal, Mark Donohue, Roger Penske, Michael Andretti, and actor/driver Paul Newman got their start in SCCA Club Racing. More recently, you could have seen current stars Boris Said, Graham Rahal, Sam Hornish, Jon Fogarty or Scott Sharp at a Club race.
Four Years At Four Miles
The SCCA Runoffs are visiting the four-mile Road America for the fourth time, and will remain at the track at least through next year’s 50th running of the event. It’s just the sixth track to host the event, following Riverside International Raceway (1964, 1966, & 1968), the road course at Daytona International Speedway (1965, 1967 & 1969), Road Atlanta (1970-1993), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (1994-2005), and Heartland Park Topeka (2006-2008).