RACE: June Sprints preview

Top Heavy: Dozens of Champions Square Off This Weekend at June Sprints Elkhart Lake, Wis. (June 17, 2004) -- The big names are on the board. Winning streaks are on the line, and a single SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown winner is back to defend...

Top Heavy: Dozens of Champions Square Off This Weekend at June Sprints

Elkhart Lake, Wis. (June 17, 2004) -- The big names are on the board. Winning streaks are on the line, and a single SCCA Chicago Region Triple Crown winner is back to defend his title.

Those are just some of the stories shaping up on the eve of qualifying at the 49th Kohler SCCA Chicago Region June Sprints at Road America.

Over 400 drivers have thrown their names into the mix, hoping to win on what is considered one of SCCA's truly special Club Racing National Race weekends. Literally dozens of SCCA Club Racing's elite, including current and former national champions along with current regional point leaders, dot the monstrous entry list.

Among the top guns is John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., who is back in his Pontiac Firebird after Triple Crown season a year ago. Displaying a championship-caliber mix of year-long endurance and speed, Heinricy is back and ready to defend his Crown, which he won after combining a win here last year in American Sedan with a regional point championship and an A Sedan national championship at the Valvoline Runoffs at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

His competition is stellar this weekend. Andy McDermind, of Grand Ledge, Mich., is the class' only two-time national champion and is entered in his Lane Automotive/Goodyear/Redline Oil Ford Mustang.

In Grand Touring 1, a local driver is quickly approaching legend status. Cliff Ebben, of nearby Appleton, Wis., has a chance this weekend to do something no one has ever done in the class, win five Sprints in a row. Ebben, in his Lamers Motor racing/Hoosier/Baumgart Tire Chevrolet Corvette, has won each time dating back to 2000.

A true local, Jeff Miller, of Elkhart Lake, Wis., is once again entered in the C Sports Racer class, in his Kohler/Millenium/Hoosier/Red Line Wynnfurst entry. Miller, a six-time national champ, will have his hands full trying to put on a show for local fans as he battles familiar CSR foe Jacek Mucha, of Laval, Quebec (Can.). Mucha won the national championship race at Mid-Ohio last year before being disqualified during post-race technical inspection.

Seventy-three Spec Racer Ford's are on the entry list, by far the largest class of the event. Last year's winner, Derek Schofield, isn't racing, but 2003 SRF runner-up Scott Goolsbey, of Dublin, Ohio, is set to go in his Lindell Motorsports-sponsored ride. 2003 national champion John Black, of Olympic Valley, Calif., is in, and so is multi-time champion Mike Davies, of Houston, Texas, who is driving his Logix Communications ride. While the elder Schofield won't be running this weekend, another Schofield, younger brother Brian, of Lakeland, Fla., will try to top the packed field and keep the Sprints title in the family.

Practice sessions for the eight groups begin at 8:15 a.m. before wrapping up in the early afternoon. The half-hour qualifying runs, beginning with Group One (CSR, DSR, S2000) is scheduled to start at 2:35 p.m.

For daily recaps from Road America and general information about SCCA Club Racing or the Kohler SCCA Chicago Region June Sprints, visit www.scca.com.

-scca-

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Series SCCA
Drivers John Heinricy , Jacek Mucha , Cliff Ebben , Jeff Miller , Mike Davies , John Black , Scott Goolsbey