SCCA President and CEO Mike Cobb officially kicked off the 2023 SCCA National Convention Friday evening with a presentation that looked at how the Club is working to achieve its vision of being the preferred motorsports community in the U.S.; built on fun, shared passion, and access to an exhilarating motorsports experience.
SCCA’s mission remains the same, which is to fuel a safe, fun, and exciting motorsports experience for automotive enthusiasts. Cobb noted that this mission is achieved by focusing the organization, and by executing collectively and collaboratively against select core priorities across people, process, programs, partners, and performance. These five items are the gears that allow SCCA to engage with its current members and attract prospective members. So, it’s no coincidence that “Engage” is the theme of the virtual, online 2023 National Convention taking place Jan. 19-27, 2023.
“The way I’m looking at this is really how do we collectively build a competitive advantage by focusing on and improving our ability to engage those already in the Club and those outside of the Club that we would like to invite in,” Cobb said. “The ‘E’ word is the keyword.”
There is a lot that people can engage with in 2023 as far as Club activities. As proof, Cobb pointed to the full slate of events for road racers, autocrossers, Time Trials enthusiasts, or volunteers, and noted that a schedule for 2023 Track Night in America will be released sometime next week. He also provided an update on the RallyCross program.
“We are focused on improving our core program experiences while focusing on a limited set of new programs really designed to attract and engage new participants,” Cobb said of program plans for 2023.
But engagement is also happening in other ways. For instance, Cobb said the Member Account Portal (MAP) is being further developed to engage with members in an end-to-end process. In the future, the MAP platform will be used for event calendaring, sanction requests, event registration for drivers and workers, event check-in, incident reporting, and more.
“Process is the key to delivering a repeatable and scalable engagement experience inside the SCCA,” Cobb said. “We are always striving to drive continuous improvement through our processes, leveraging select technology partners to improve overall member experience. And we’ve made some pretty good advancements in the past couple of years in this space.”
Lots of other great news was shared during the presentation, such as the fact that SCCA membership is at its highest in many years, and the member retention rate is now a little more than 80 percent.
Cobb’s full opening video presentation will be available for on-demand viewing at a later date.
Following his opening presentation, Cobb then commenced the Hall of Fame and Awards Ceremony. “Tonight, we recognize and celebrate nine of our finest,” Cobb stated. “Members who have made incredible contributions to this Club and the broader world of motorsports, and who have a combined 200-plus years of SCCA membership.”
2023 Awards Ceremony
Woolf Barnato Award
Sports Car Club of America’s highest honor, the Woolf Barnato Award, is presented annually to a member who has made the most outstanding long-term contribution to the Club. First presented in 1948, past recipients include SCCA legends such as Mark Donohue, Bob Sharp and Carl Haas. Joining that illustrious list of luminaries is 2022 Woolf Barnato Award winner Rocky Entriken of SCCA’s Salina Region.
Rich Bireta, the previous Woolf Barnato Award winner, introduced this year’s recipient by noting how impactful Rocky has been on the Solo community. And those words meant much to Rocky, who is also a member of the 2023 Hall of Fame inductee class.
“It is just overwhelming to realize that two different committees of awards selectors gathered to choose recipients for two of SCCA’s most prestigious awards, and both of them landed on me at the same time,” Rocky said. “From deep in my four-cylinder heart, thank you. It is an incredible and utterly unexpected honor.”
More about Rocky’s history with the Club can be learned below in the Hall of Fame recap portion of this article, or check out the original 2023 Hall of Fame inductees announcement.
Member of Excellence
Selected by the SCCA Board of Directors, Member of Excellence recipients have shown great contribution to the Club overall regardless of competition area. The 2022 Member of Excellence is Lee Hill of SCCA’s North Carolina Region and Central Florida Region.
Cobb introduced the Member of Excellence, and laid out just a few of a myriad of accomplishments Lee has achieved over the years. Plus, Cobb noted that the Member of Excellence is awarded the opportunity to attend any motorsport event of their choosing – with an expense cap of $5,000 – anywhere on the planet.
Lee joined the SCCA and Central Florida Region in 1993, and has since displayed a tremendous history of service, leadership, and participation both regionally and nationally within the Club. He has played many roles with the Central Florida Region, was an Area Director, and served as the SCCA Board of Directors Chairman. In his spare time, Lee also competes in Spec Racer Ford Gen3 events.
“When Mike Cobb called to tell me that I had been selected for the Member of Excellence award this year, my first reaction was to check my calendar and make sure it wasn’t April Fools’ day,” Lee joked. “I’m just completely, completely floored to receive this award.
“I’m very much aware of the history of this award, the significance, and the outstanding member that was behind the creation of this award, as well as the members that have received this award in the past … and I’m honored to be joining them,” Lee continued. “The people I have encountered along the way … they have been just an outstanding group of people.
“This has been just such an important part of my life. I’m pretty much without words, which is a fairly unusual occurrence,” Lee said in conclusion. “Thank you so much. I am absolutely honored, and deeply appreciative of this award.”
2023 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Bill Scott’s racing career began with an SCCA school in 1964, and he went on to compete in more than 120 races nationally and internationally. He was the Formula Vee SCCA Runoffs champion and the European Championship Formula Vee winner in 1968, and the U.S. Professional Super Vee champion in 1971 and ’72.
Bill’s longest-lasting showcase was his care and service of Summit Point Raceway. He demonstrated that by utilizing the track seven days a week, it could become a financial success – a business model since used by other tracks. During his ownership, he expanded Summit Point from a one-circuit, 300-acre facility to its current four-circuit, 800-acre complex.
His relationship with Washington DC Region was strong; he was a long-time member and served for two years on its board. Perhaps most importantly, he created an accident-avoidance school for young drivers, and his teen driving program was a model for programs like Tire Rack Street Survival.
Bill passed away in 2009. His wife, Barbara Scott, formally accepted his induction into SCCA’s Hall of Fame.
“Bill Scott loved racing. It was such a passion that … after he received his Ph.D. from Yale in geophysics, he decided to go racing,” Barbara said. “He said when it came down to a choice between rocks and racing, he would choose racing any day.
“Yes, Bill had a passion for racing,” Barbara continued, “but also an amazing passion for all aspects of life. If he were here today, he would be very honored to be inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame. From our entire family, thank you so much.”
Kathy and Kent Prather
The Prathers epitomize the perfect racing partnership. While Kent was the face of Prather Racing, the business and at-track events would not have achieved the level of success it saw without Kathy’s crucial involvement.
Prather Racing grew to become the premier car and engine builders for multiple makes and manufacturers, but is closely aligned with British racing cars. Kent’s record as a car builder and driver is in SCCA’s top one percent. He competed in an impressive 32 consecutive Runoffs where he scored 15 podium finishes during his career.
Those National Championships were paired with two significant awards – the first being the Kimberly Cup in 1986 for most outstanding driver in SCCA Club Racing competition, and then in 2005 when he was presented with the President’s Cup.
Kathy was instrumental in organizing paddock events and providing hospitality to the team, clients, and friends. It was sometimes said that during race weekends, every British roadster within a 100-mile radius could be found near the Prather Racing paddock. The couple knew that the racing community is only what it is because of an openness to share and teach, spreading the gospel of the SCCA to whoever would listen.
Sitting together in the Prather Racing garage, Kent and Kathy accepted their entry into SCCA’s Hall of Fame, noting that it has been an incredible journey together for many, many years.
“First of all, I’d just like to say what an honor it is to become a member of the SCCA Hall of Fame. There’s no question that there are a lot of famous people in there,” Kent said. “Sports car racing … is just something that we’ve always done. We were fans of racing well before I bought my race car and started racing.”
Kathy added that she could hardly believe the two were now part of SCCA’s Hall of Fame, and got choked up as she thought about her life with the Club.
“Think of what I would’ve missed,” she said about the possibility of a life without her SCCA family. “I think of the friends I’ve made, the friends I have from coast to coast and all over this country. Thank you so much. I never expected this honor.”
A Milwaukee-area racer, Jim Jeffords began his racing career in Jaguars, where he reportedly won 14 of his first 17 races. His run in the 1956 June Sprints got the attention of General Motors’ Ed Cole, who told him after the race, “That’s the last time you drive against us.” That started the era of the Purple People Eater Corvette, the 1958 and ’59 B Production National Championship winning car made famous by both its color and Jim’s success behind the wheel.
Jim went on to help start the AMC Javelin racing team that ran in SCCA Trans Am competition. He also served on Road America’s Board of Directors until his passing in 2014. He is a member of the Corvette Hall of Fame, the Legends of Riverside, and the Road Racing Driver’s Club. He also earned Road America’s Governor’s Cup.
Jim’s son, Patrick Jeffords, spoke on behalf of his father during the SCCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He noted many of his father’s accomplishments, including the fact that Jim was the first editor of Milwaukee Region’s newsletter.
“His driving ability alone … would’ve got him into the SCCA Hall of Fame,” Patrick said of his father. “But he was also on the Board of Directors at Road America … for 56 years. He rose to be vice president, and was instrumental in the track expanding.”
“I know he’d be very, very proud of his selection to the SCCA Hall of Fame, and I thank you very much,” Patrick said to close his presentation.
Robert “Rocky” Entriken Jr.
Robert “Rocky” Entriken Jr. was made an honorary member of the Kansas Region in 1969, and officially joined the Club two years later. He immediately became involved in his Region’s planning, serving as the Regional Executive in 1974. In 1976, Rocky became a member of the Wichita Region and was one of the founding members of the Salina Region in 1990.
Rocky was assigned to cover the inaugural Solo National Championships in 1973 for SCCA’s publication, SportsCar magazine. He has competed in 100 percent of the Solo National Championships, and covered all but one year for the magazine (the year he was event Chair). His Solo Stats book, compiled annually, features the driving record of every competitor who has ever participated at the Solo Nationals and is considered the bible of Solo Nationals statistics.
In his career, Rocky has won the Solo Cup, the Vern Jacques Award for contributions to SportsCar magazine, a Solo 1 National Championship, and multiple Midwest Division Solo Championships. In 2016, Rocky was honored with the Dick Berger Perseverance Award, presented in his case for his continued support of the Solo National Championships. He was also the first recipient of the Dave and Jo Richards Award, established in 2019 as Salina Region’s highest honor.
From The Garage automotive museum in Salina, KS, Rocky reminisced about his involvement with the Club and commented on his induction into SCCA’s Hall of Fame.
“I am very aware that the SCCA Hall of Fame includes many immortal drivers, but my inclusion in this august group has almost nothing to do with my talent behind the wheel. It’s mostly for my prowess behind a keyboard,” Rocky noted. “But for me, this has been part of my fun with cars.
“It is quite a privilege today to join the Hall of Fame at the same time as some longtime friends,” Rocky continued. “It has been a great ride, and I’m not done yet.”
Wilma and Costa Dunias
Costa and Wilma Dunias have been active members of SCCA since 1967. Though many know the Dunias duo as members of the road racing community, the pair were also Event Chairs for the 1977 Solo National Championships, with Wilma holding that position again in 1979.
A recipient of the Woolf Barnato Award, David Morrell Award, and John McGill Award, Costa served early on as SCCA’s Senior Vice President. He was instrumental in establishing the race steward training program, wrote the Executive Steward’s Manual, and advised on the Stewards in Training Manual. He was also directly responsible for the establishment of Sports Renault, which carries on to this day as Spec Racer Ford.
At the Runoffs, Costa has been a driver, a Race Director, Assistant Race Director, and SOM Chair. Wilma has served a variety of road racing roles, including an incredibly challenging stint serving as gatekeeper for drivers who wish to meet with the Race Director at the Runoffs. In that role, she functioned as a good listener, a calming influence, and an information gatherer prior to meetings.
During their shared induction acceptance speech, Wilma recounted the trail that brought the couple to SCCA, and where the path has led more than 50 years later.
“We knew a lot of you before you married, and now your grandkids are racing and having fun with cars,” Wilma pointed out. “The bonds and friendships that we have made over the years have been inseparable.”
Costa also shared many memories, but specifically noted that “none of this would’ve been possible without my wife, Wilma Dunias. Throughout our marriage, she has supported every wild hair I’ve had.”
Relive the Ceremony
The entire 2023 Hall of Fame and Awards Ceremony is now available for on-demand viewing on YouTube.