SCCA Road Racing isn’t just about the end result – with changing conditions, quick but safe thinking, and perseverance required at every event, it’s a metaphor for life. Maybe you’ve never thought of it that way, but one young third-generation SCCA member and racer did, taking it to a new level by explaining those qualities in the form of his college application essay.
Zach Introne, running B-Spec races in the Northeast Division along with his father Steve (the 2022 B-Spec National Champion) turned the family hobby into a compelling story.
For his college admissions essay, Introne harkened back to his first appearance in a race car as a 15-year-old – where he mis-shifted and blew a motor. And then to his second race, where he backed into a wall. Not the storybook start that he was hoping for.
Two bad outings isn’t a great start, however, and Introne had a choice to make. He could walk away and decide to do something else, or roll up his sleeves to fix the car and get back out there. The family has a motto – “Intrones Never Quit” – so that decision was easy.
“My fourth race marked a turning point,” he explained in his college admissions essay. “Those past errors had brought hard lessons, but they were learned. I began embracing the opportunity to grow and evolve into a more resilient and adaptable driver. Each session on the track brought opportunities to develop skills, enabling me to learn greater car control, master race lines, and make split-second decisions under intense pressure. The challenge of those initial failures required me to dig deep and find whether I had the will to overcome obstacles on my racing journey. I did.”
It's a real-life consequence and benefit for the college-bound youngster, who has no aspirations of going pro. He just wants to race in his Club, like his grandfather and his father.
That’s not to say he doesn’t have big hopes for his racing program – but mostly, he just wants to enjoy it.
“The racing life is a gift my grandparents began, and I’m proud to be the third generation carrying on that tradition,” his essay concluded. “Because it teaches more than racecraft, it develops character.”
And oh, by the way – it worked. His college choices have loved the unique approach to his application, along with his grades and test scores. And while he’s yet to make his final decision for next fall, the New Hampshire native and New England Region member may get to expand his list of tracks that he’s raced at.
“I’ve yet to be denied,” Introne said of his college acceptance letters. “I’ve gotten into six colleges and am waiting on two more. One of my top colleges right now is Michigan State, and I’ve gotten into there and have been looking at it more. For the racing side, I’ve been looking at tracks around Michigan like Grattan and GingerMan, so maybe I can do that while I’m in college as well.”
Tell Us Your Story
Are you a young (or simply young at heart) SCCA member with an interesting story to tell? If so, we’d love to hear from you – e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo caption: Zachary Introne and his father, Steve, bond at an SCCA event.
Photo courtesy Introne family