Up and Running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The 58th SCCA National Championship Runoffs officially got underway this morning at promptly 8 a.m., when the first of the many 18-minute qualifying sessions took to the 2.592-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
H Production was first on track. With the grid set by regular season Hoosier Racing Tire Super Tour points, Eric Vickerman had the honor of being first on track to open the event.
“As racers, we all talk about this being one of the hallowed grounds,” Vickerman, of Howell, Michigan said. “It’s definitely a privilege. Once I found out that I had the Super Tour points to be the first car on track, I immediately went to my wife, my mom and dad, my son, the crew, and I said make sure your cameras are on to get my number on the top of the pole when we go out on track. Who knows, it may not be there all week. It’s an opportunity. It’s great to be at the Brickyard for the SCCA Runoffs. H Production has been healthy for a lot of years and it’s a great class to be in right now.”
Vickerman led the opening session until the closing minutes. Eight-time Champion and 19-time podium finisher Steve Sargis recorded the fastest lap time in that first session, with two more chances to set the grid prior to Thursday’s Tire Rack Pole Day.
Fueling Up on Sunoco 260 Tuesday
The first qualifying day of the 58th running of the SCCA National Championship Runoffs marks the second year for Sunoco 260 Tuesday. The driver in each of today’s 26 classes whose best qualifying time comes closest to including .260 will get a complete fill-up of Sunoco race fuel for their car—which can be collected on Wednesday from the Sunoco fuel truck found in the garage area at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Why is it called 260 Tuesday? Because Sunoco’s 260 race fuel has been highly regarded for many years. Still available today, Sunoco’s 260 GT is a street-legal (in most states), oxygenated, unleaded gasoline designed for high performance street cars, muscle cars, classics, street rods, motorcycles, and the like. With a 100-octane rating, Sunoco 260 GT allows increased boost levels in supercharged or turbocharged applications as compared to lower octane “pump” gas. It is engineered to not harm catalytic converters or oxygen sensors, and contains a comprehensive additive package for greater engine protection and reduced fuel system deposits. It is compatible with two-stroke synthetic and mineral-based engine oils, and safe for carbureted and fuel injected engines.
Sunoco has been powering victories on and off the track for nearly 135 years, which is why Sunoco is trusted to fuel over 50 series of racing, driving, and winning—including the SCCA National Championship Runoffs, SCCA Pro Racing, NASCAR, NHRA and Trans Am. Since 2001, Sunoco has also been the Official Fuel of SCCA. Visit www.sunocoracefuels.com to learn more
While the official opening to the event came this morning when Vickerman pulled onto the track, the 870-plus drivers, more than 400 workers and volunteers, and hundreds of crew members and families gathered outside the famed IMS Pagoda for the event’s Welcome Party on Monday evening.
Participants enjoyed the buffet-style dinner and drinks in the outdoor courtyard while listening to classic cover tunes from the Indigos. The purple-hued musicians ran the gamut from classic rock to Motown, with strings and horns bringing the melodies.
An old-fashioned dance-off nearly developed between the grid workers and the victory circle team, but both immediately backed down when two-year-old Kash Start, son of GT-2 driver Jonathan Start, made his way to the dance floor to show off his moves.
Follow Along Live
Audio-only coverage of Runoffs qualifying continues this afternoon from the Racing Capital of the World—Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Longtime Runoffs broadcasters Gregg Ginsberg, Larry MacLeod and Tom O’Gorman are back in the booth once again this year. And, they'll be back at it tomorrow starting at 8:00 a.m. local time. Audio commentary can be heard trackside and on 103.9 FM for those lucky enough to be on site. For those elsewhere, follow Runoffs qualifying at SCCA.com.
Photo caption: The first green flag of the 2021 SCCA National Championship Runoffs waves for the H Production field.
Photo by Jon Krolewicz / SCCA Staff