Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb news 2009-03-04

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Veteran Dave Wood Enters 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Open Wheel Competition; 2008 Time Attack 2WD Runnerup Kelly Hine Also Returns Colorado Springs, March 4, 2009------The popular Open Wheel Class is the traditional race car...

Veteran Dave Wood Enters 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Open Wheel Competition; 2008 Time Attack 2WD Runnerup Kelly Hine Also Returns

Colorado Springs, March 4, 2009------The popular Open Wheel Class is the traditional race car event in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The division's history includes appearances ranging from an Indy Car style to a dune buggy, and Open Wheel cars have competed in every Pikes Peak International Hill Climb since the first race in 1916. The Open Wheel record, 10:05.85 (Robby Unser, 1994) is less than four seconds off the overall course record of 10:01 set in 2007 by Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima.

The event will be one of the most anticipated on July 19 during the 87th running of the nation's second-oldest motor sports race, with some 200 competitors chasing division honors in the Race To The Clouds.

An early entry in the Open Wheel Class is veteran Dave Wood of Woodland Park, Colorado, who finished fourth last year on the Peak behind winner Paul Dallenbach and seventh in 2007. Wood, a bail bondsman by trade, drove his Wells Coyote last year after his 2008 Ediger Marmut broke down, and then spun out twice while claiming fourth. He will be at the wheel of a 2010 Coyote this summer on the Hill. He was third overall in points in the 2008 Colorado Hill Climb Association Open Wheel Division.

Wood's wife, Lorie, finished sixth last year in her 2007 Wells Coyote and may race again this year. "I'm working on it, says Dave." The two met at a race in Canon City and they have a friendly, but spirited rivalry, and she's been racing for thirteen years. The couple has three kids, including Dave's 15-year-old stepson, Jerry Brady III, who is racing in the CHCA Junior division. His dad, Jerry Brady, Jr., is Wood's crew chief.

Wood will be facing Andy Figueroa of Pueblo, Colorado, who was fifth last year and will drive a 2005 Figwood Special this summer in his attempt to win the title. Figueroa was sixth in 2006 and fifth in 2007 and the CHCA 2006 Rookie of the year.

Time Attack 2WD 2008 runnerup Kelly Hine (Calabasas, CA) has entered again in his 2006 Nissan 350Z and will challenge the 2008 champion, Rhys Millen, who set a world record on the Peak last summer at 12:31.06. Millen will drive a highly-publicized 550hp Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Ken Stouffer (Melisaa, TX), is in the event this summer in a 1997 Nissan 240SX after racing Quad 450s in recent years. This event spotlights production-based stock cars.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is America's second-oldest motor sports race behind the Indianapolis 500, conducted since 1916. The race is run on a 12.42 mile course that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit of America's Mountain.

This year's race has 11 classes and features a variety of automotive, semi truck, exhibition, open wheel, super stock car, pro truck and motorcycle classes with a field approaching 200 competitors.

The event's popular "Fan Fest," which will attract some 35,000 fans and participants, is set for the evening of Friday, July 17, in downtown Colorado Springs. The crowds will be able to see some of the autos, trucks and motorcycles up close, meet the drivers, and enjoy music, food and entertainment.

The event is part of a 2009 "Summer of Sports Sizzle" in Colorado Springs, which will also host the 2009 State Games of America <www.stategames.org/> www.stategames.org (July 30-August 2), with some 10,000 amateur athletes of all ages and skill levels from 47 states coming to the city to compete in 31 sports.

TCI(r) Tire Centers, LLC and Hankook Tire America have been selected as title sponsors of the 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

It's the third consecutive year that the companies have teamed up to be the major sponsor of the famed race.

-credit: www.ppihc.com

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