LEXINGTON, Ohio (September 18, 2001) - The Sports Car Club of America returns to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio, this week for the 38th running of the Valvoline Runoffs- amateur road racing's largest and most celebrated event. By days-end Sunday, 24 National Champions will be crowned as second place goes home with only a memory of what might have been.
It's all or nothing this week. Nearly 700 drivers have earned the right to compete for an SCCA National Championship. Drivers come from all over North America, ranging from Runoffs rookies with nothing to lose, to SportsCar magazine favorites who will settle for nothing less than gold. Either way, hearts are racing and pulses are pounding as the Runoffs return to Mid-Ohio to cap-off the storied track's 40th Year of Racing.
New to the event revered as the "Olympics of Motorsports," is Peavey Electronics, the official supplier of audio equipment to the SCCA. Peavey will provide a live audio web broadcasting of the event via the Mid-Ohio track announcers live at www.peavey.com, accessible though www.scca.org.
Among the story lines at this year's National Championship is contingency money. Over 1.2 million dollars is up for grabs throughout the 24 sprint races, which equate to 20 laps (48 miles) around Mid-Ohio's 2.4-mile permanent road course.
In addition to their live web cast, Peavey will sponsor the "Peavey Pole Position Award," in which all 24 Champions receive a Peavey Acoustic Challenger guitar. Eagle One is set to award $1500 cash to the best appearing car at the Runoffs, along with Eagle One appearance products going to individual class winners based on appearance. Sunoco and Fram Filters have $2500 on the table for the "The Sunoco GT3 National Championship" and "Fram GT1 Challenge," races, with $1000 to the winners in the GT3 and GT1 classes, respectively. Red Line Oil has over $74,000 in contingency money and will award $700 and a Simpson or Racequip driver suit for each class champion. Yokohama Tires offers $26,000 in contingency money, SCCA Enterprises will award over $8,000 in the SRF class and BimmerHaus Performance, co-owned by SSB driver Jim Leithauser, has over $6,000 for BMW drivers to shoot for.
Quite possibly the most anticipated addition to this year's Runoffs is the first-annual Kohler®/SCCA Chicago Region "Triple Crown Award." Formalized for 2001, the award was brought to life by the Kohler Company and spearheaded by Chicago Region June Sprints® Race Chair Barb Lundquist. The prestigious award recognizes those drivers who achieve SCCA racing immortality by completing the difficult "triple crown"-a win at the popular June Sprints at Road America, a season point championship in the driver's division and a victory at the season-ending Runoffs. Few have accomplished this storied feat in SCCA history, but an astonishing 12 out of a possible 13 eligible drivers will be fighting it out this weekend in his respective division. Those who are eligible include: Brad Stout, FV; Jason Miller, DSR; Bob Schader, T1; Brian Kelm, T2; Cliff Ebben, GT1; Tom Patton, GT2; Tony Rivera, EP; Steve Sargis, FP; Michael Cyphert, GT3; Russ Theus, GT4; Chris Winkler, FF; and James Marinangel, SRF. For these 12 competitors, winning the Kohler/SCCA Region Triple Crown would solidify a most exceptional 2001 season.
The SCCA continues to groom top-notch, world-class drivers in the most diverse racing organization in the world. As the SCCA enters its 57th year of existence, over 60,000 members within 109 regions across the country compete in almost 2000 sanctioned events per year.