Fun In The Sun, Kudos To The Corners, and 50 Years of Road America Runs for Froh: The June Sprints and the Hoosier Super Tour

Today’s headline – sunshine at the WeatherTech Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints, the final Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour of the season prior to this fall’s Runoffs presented by Sunoco back at Road America.

Although it was the 69th consecutive year of the event, it was a very nice record entry – the largest in the June Sprints history. Here’s what we learned:

The Real MVPs

Mother Nature was the ultimate junk pitcher this week, tossing curve ball after curve ball in the Kettle Moraine. Heavy rain, just enough time to dry the track, light rain out of nowhere, misting, thunder, lightning, and finally mid-80s and sunny on Sunday afternoon.

With all of that in mind, the heroes of the event were the more than 50 volunteers who gave up a weekend of watching the live stream to stand trackside and put the event on, waving flags to keep the drivers as safe as possible while they raced. Even with the advent of technology like the new Flagtronics system, the event doesn’t happen without them and they faced it all.

At least four of those flagging and communications workers were here for the first time. While we can’t promise them we’ll never see a weekend with weather like that again, we can tell them that it gets better and everyone – from staff to drivers to fans – appreciate the work they do.

Golden Anniversary

Mike Froh embarked on a significant milestone this weekend at the Chicago Region June Sprints, as the local racer made his 50th June Sprints start.

"When I turned 21 in 1971, I borrowed a friend's race car and went to two driver schools," Froh recounted. "After that, I bought an Elva Courier in Wichita, Kansas, brought it up to Wisconsin, and raced it at Road America."

His debut at the June Sprints in 1972 remains a cherished memory, marked by the thrill of competing at a circuit steeped in history and tradition with his family and friends in attendance.

"Just being part of something that I had grown up with was one of the biggest thrills of my life,” Froh said. “I also use car number 72 because it symbolizes the year of my first June Sprints at Road America."

But lest you think Froh, now 74 years old, has done it on his own, many of his crew members have been with him for nearly as long – crew like Dale Gueldenzopf (47 years), Joe Walvoord (32 years), Chris Donlon (29 years), Bob Hoopman (19 years) and Jim Dagley (11 years).

Froh finished fifth in F Production driving his Mazda Miata.

Not Even a Minor Setback

By nature, a record crowd brought out a number of drivers who may not have been at the June Sprints for a couple of years.

Count Tim Minor among them. The 2019 Formula Continental National Champion hadn’t been to the June Sprints – or any event at Road America – since 2008. It was meant to be a preview of the Runoffs later this fall, but the rain and conditions gave him a little more than he had bargained for.

Still, Minor walked away with the victory on Sunday. And he liked it so much he’s staying in Wisconsin for the week to participate in the Formula Race Promotions pro race with his car here next week.

June Sprints Champions

Sunday featured 28 race winners in the 25-minute timed races on the 4-mile Road America. Provisional race winners, with class, name and car are below (* denotes a weekend sweep):

*American Sedan: Evan Pecore, Ford Mustang GT
B-Spec: Joe McClughan, Mazda2
*E Production: Tyler Ladd, BMW Z3
*F Production: Mason Workman, Mazda Miata
*H Production: Jesse Prather, Mazda2
Formula 600: Calvin Stewart, Novakar Blade F600
*Formula Atlantic: Dudley Fleck, Swift 016/Mazda
*Formula Continental: Timothy Minor, Citation
Formula Enterprises 2: Caleb Shrader, Formula Enterprises/Mazda
*Formula F: Sebastian Mateo Naranjo, Mygale SJ2014
Formula Vee: Zachary Whitston, Protoform P2
*Formula X: Ken De Nault, Formula Mazda
GT-1: Adam Romito, Dodge Challenger
GT-2: Jonathan Start, Dodge Viper
*GT-3: Peter Cunningham, Honda Civic Type R TCR
GT-Lite: Chris Bovis, Honda CRX
GT-X: Brian French, Ligier LMP3
Prototype 1: Jim Devenport, Elan DP02/Mazda
Prototype 2: Greg Gyann, Stohr WF-1
*Super Touring Lite: Danny Steyn, Mazda MX-5
*Super Touring Under: Joe Moser, Honda CRX Si
Spec Miata: Brett Kowalski, Mazda Miata
Spec MX-5: Matthew Novak, Mazda MX-5
Spec Racer Ford Gen3: Brian Schofield, Spec Racer Ford
*Touring 1: Mark Boden, Mercedes-AMG GT4
*Touring 2: Charlie Peter, BMW M2
*Touring 3: Sean Lovett, BMW E46
*Touring 4: Marc Cefalo, Mazda MX-5

Photo Credit: Rick Corwine