When you have a racetrack within driving distance, a fun car sitting in the parking lot that’s begging to be driven and a Track Night in America driven by Tire Rack event scheduled, what do you do? The answer for two SCCA staff members was simple August 20th. You go to Track Night!
Eric Prill and Deanna Flanagan are best known in the SCCA universe as the lead staff on the Summit Racing Equipment SCCA Road Racing program, the Hoosier Super Tour and the Runoffs®. When the August TNiA at Heartland Motorsports Park approached and the SCCA’s 75th Anniversary Chevy Camaro was in town instead of canvassing America at Tire Rack National Solo events, Prill saw an opportunity to get out to the track.
“I’ve been trying to get my neighbor Travis out to Track Night with his Corvette,” SCCA VP & COO Prill said. “It looked like the schedule would work for him, and with the Camaro in town, it was a great opportunity to get Deanna back out to an event and back behind the wheel as well.
“Back in 2017, we shared the Camaro for a couple Track Nights—but neither of us have been to one since then. And with no Solo Nationals this year, it was a perfect opportunity to fill the gap between now and the Runoffs in October.”
Prill and Flanagan put the SCCA Camaro, frequently used at Tire Rack SCCA National Solo events in conjunction with VET Motorsports as well as serving as a pace car at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs (October 6-11 at Road America), through double-duty service. Flanagan would complete each Novice on-track session, with Prill jumping in immediately afterward for the Advanced group.
“My time and focus is usually centered on event operations and supporting our regions, drivers and workers,” SCCA Director of Road Racing Flanagan said. “To be able to put on a helmet and get behind the wheel is such an important part of my role in the SCCA. It quite literally gives me a different perspective and helps us, as a staff, provide a better event experience and overall program.”
“The thing I love about Track Night is the concept that it’s one big team with the goal of enjoying your car on the track, rather than a competition,” added Prill, who won National Championships at both Solo Nationals and the Runoffs in 2019. “You go at your pace, whether that’s to try to hustle a 3,400-lb four-cylinder turbo Camaro at the limit of adhesion, to work on improving your lines in your daily driver or to let your 500-horsepower sports car rip without a speed limit for the first time. In the end, success is measured by the smile on your face and driving your car home afterward.”
“I like to drive fast, I’m competitive and love team activities,” Flanagan said. “Track Night checks all those boxes for me. I’m able to challenge myself each session to push a little harder and go a little faster. As I walk through the paddock to our team session debrief, I see smiles, people giving each other thumbs up, and compliments on nice driving lines. It’s an awesome way to spend 4 hours and I definitely won’t wait another 3 years to do it again!”
Photo by: Brian Cervantez