RACE: Mid-Ohio ready for National Runoffs

"TOP TEN EVENT" RETURNS TO MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE TO CROWN AMERICA'S BEST AMATEUR RACERS DUBLIN, Ohio (September 20, 2005) -- Returning to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, this week for the 12th straight year is the SCCA ...

"TOP TEN EVENT" RETURNS TO MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE TO CROWN AMERICA'S BEST AMATEUR RACERS

DUBLIN, Ohio (September 20, 2005) -- Returning to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, this week for the 12th straight year is the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler, September 19-25. Nearly 750 of America's best amateur racers will converge on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn course for what Car and Driver magazine called one of the "Top 10 events in motorsports".

Widely known as the Olympics of motorsports, the Runoffs® is the biggest amateur racing event in North America. The weeklong event features competition in 23 classes, with one driver in each class earning the title national champion.

While racing for a national championship is a one-shot deal, gaining an invitation to this prestigious event is not. Each of the eight Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Divisions hosts a minimum of six National events in which drivers compete for points to gain an invitation to the Runoffs®. While each contender is able to compete in as many national events as possible, only the points from each competitor's top six finishes count.

"Everybody understands that winning the Runoffs® is a huge deal, so that's what I'm trying to do," said first-time competitor Graham Rahal, son of Motorsports Hall of Famer Bobby Rahal. "Dad won it and there is a long line of history there."

Rahal is projected to win the Formula Atlantic class title. He understands that with the level of competition at the Runoffs®, no victory is guaranteed.

"It's nice to be picked to win, but it's one of those things where you have to go in hoping to win but not thinking you're going to, because then something will happen and you won't," he said. "That's just the way it works."

The importance of the event is not lost on 12-time national champion Duane Davis, from Camas, WA.

"My focus all year is on the Runoffs®," said Davis. "This is what racing is all about. It's the best of the best competing for a national championship."

Davis looks forward to racing at Mid-Ohio again and extending his win total at one of his favorite tracks.

"I love this track," said Davis. "It's a very technical track that favors the good drivers, and a championship should be about the good drivers."

While the talents of amateur road racing's greatest drivers are enough to make the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler an unprecedented display of motorsports, the wide variety of automobiles present during the weeklong event sets the event apart from any other race weekend. The 23 different classes that will be racing range from single-seat, open-wheel race cars to showroom stock Hondas nearly straight off of the dealership floor.

Though the Runoffs® is technically an amateur event, it has proved to be a breeding ground for future road racing superstars. Past winners include Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Scott Sharp and Elliot Forbes-Robinson, who went on to stellar professional driving careers. Others, like Paul Newman, Skip Barber and Roger Penske, have gone on to demonstrate greatness both on and off the track.

The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler kicks off with practice sessions for each of the 23 classes on Monday, September 19th. Tuesday through Thursday will consist of qualifying for the weekend's main events. The first of 23 National Champions will be crowned Friday morning, when Tom Feller of Clarkston, Mich., attempts to defend his H Production title. From that point through Sunday afternoon, the facilities at Mid-Ohio will be bustling with eight championship races on Friday and Saturday, and seven on Sunday.

For tickets or more information on the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler, contact Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at 1-800-MID-OHIO or www.midohio.com.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road racing circuit in Lexington, Ohio. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional riders and drivers.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, TrueSports, Inc., is a privately held motorsports entertainment enterprise. The company owns and operates Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, and promotes a wide variety of motor racing, driver instruction, corporate, and family entertainment events throughout the year.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Scott Sharp , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Graham Rahal , Duane Davis , Paul Newman , Skip Barber , Tom Feller , Roger Penske