TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 19, 2005) – It didn’t seem all that long ago that SCCA Club Racers at GingerMan Raceway were digging their way out of snow banks last April in one of the 2005 season’s first Club Racing National events.-30-
However, since then, nearly five months and a ton of race weekends have passed. And now, only two National events this weekend remain before next month’s SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Presented by Kohler at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
While both of those events, the 18th Annual Buckeye Sprints National at Mid-Ohio and the MVRG “More Fun in the Sun” Regional/National at Mid-America Motorplex, will serve as nothing more than final tune-ups for many competitors who have already punched their ticket to the Runoffs, for others, this weekend is their Championship.
Have a good show, and the season extends itself into September. Flub something Saturday or Sunday, and racing suddenly becomes a spectator sport.
Invariably, there are those guys and girls who face this battle every season. But this year, some rather familiar names are among those who will crank their cars’ engines, scrambling to reserve their spot in the Runoffs paddock.
Young gun Steve Ott, of Brighton, Colo., is making a trip east this weekend to compete in the Mid-Ohio National. The 2004 D Sports Racing runner-up turned heads last year first by qualifying second and leading briefly in the DSR race before finishing second. The 24 year old may not be sweating all that much, though, as he only needs a start in his Speads DSR machine to solidify his 2005 Runoffs standing.
Only needing the start, Ott will more than likely take advantage of making his trip east by mentally taking notes on Mid-Ohio’s 2.4-mile layout, which is slightly longer than the 2.258-mile chicane-less layout used for the Runoffs. It’s a strategy used by many racers, including all of those among the Mid-Ohio National’s 239 current entrants who plan to be back in a few weeks.
Another well-known name, in the form of American Sedan champion John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., needs also needs another start - in his Pontiac Firebird - to earn a shot at adding a third-consecutive title to his resume. Even if he falls short, seven-time Runoffs Champion Heinricy has already qualified for in Touring 1, where he has won the past four titles dating back to 2001.
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