ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 25, 2005) – Bratwurst-rich smoke casually picks up the breeze as it pipes out of the smokestack above the St. John’s concession stand and wafts its way through the many American flags that make up a small portion of the expansive paddock. -30-
More than 450 SCCA Club Racers are at this year’s Kohler®/SCCA Chicago Region June Sprints®, making this year’s event one of the largest of the past 25 years. Campers are here. Throngs of race fans are here. Even the wild life that makes its home in the Road America woods pokes a furry head out of the trees every so often to make itself known.
The scene this season is easy to overlook, especially if you’ve done it numerous times. The cars and people may have changed over the years, but the scene, the scene that tradition begs to be a part of, remains largely unchanged.
For local father/son duo Jeff and Jason Miller, of Elkhart Lake, the scene, along with the joy of sharing their passion for racing, is what keeps them coming back to Road America every year.
Jeff, running in C Sports Racing this weekend, has been a fixture in SCCA Club Racing for a long time. This year is his 36th, and he has won six SCCA Club Racing Runoffs® Championships in that span, not to mention the countless other victories he has amassed along the way.
Son Jason was at the track for many of those years, and when he takes to the course for Saturday afternoon’s D Sports Racing showdown, it will mark the tenth year in a row he has competed in the Sprints.
He’s won the Sprints twice (2001 and ’02), and said that his level of success can be directly attributed to his dad.
“It’s been great having him here,” Jason said. “He’s shown me a lot about engineering and development. I think he also gave me the desire to win. I’ve won at the Runoffs and here, and that goal hasn’t changed. I want to win every time I go out.”
To watch the Millers work on their vehicles under the tent is a lesson in true teamwork. They constantly bounce ideas off one another and are always providing insight on what they learned from the previous session.
They are on the track at the same time this weekend as both CSR and DSR are in Group 1, so those in attendance can see the pair race against their respective fields, but also, perhaps, against each other.
It’s a sight that Jeff said may not be seen very much longer.
“Being able to race with Jason has probably kept me doing this longer than I would have otherwise,” Jeff said. “I’ll probably do less SCCA National racing in the future and start doing more vintage car racing.”
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