RACE: Runoffs 97-JPMD #17: Runoffs Ramblings

RUNOFFS RAMBLINGS ...

RUNOFFS RAMBLINGS #1 -----------------------------

Return of the Runoffs Ramblings: Thanks to popular demand, The Runoffs Ramblings returns for the 1997 Runoffs. Got a story? Something funny or unusual happen on your way to the Runoffs? How about a heroic person that helped you make it to the Runoffs this year. Drop off your stories at the SCCA trailer. Include who, what, when, where, why and how we can find you at the Runoffs.

Smile, You'rE on Live TV: Afternoon races at the 1997 Valvoline Runoffs presented by NAPA Auto Parts will be televised live on The Speedvision Network all three race days. Listed below are the days and times of the live (and rebroadcast) coverage. All times are Eastern. Fri., 10/10/97, 1:30 p.m., Live Fri., 10/10/97, 7:30 p.m., Rebroadcast Sat., 10/18/97, 12:00 p.m., Rebroadcast

Sat., 10/11/97, 1:30 p.m., Live Sat., 10/11/97, 7:30 p.m., Rebroadcast Sat., 10/18/97, 4:30 p.m., Rebroadcast

Sun., 10/12/97, 1:30 p.m., Live Sun., 10/12/97, 7:30 p.m., Rebroadcast Sat., 10/18/97, 9:00 p.m., Rebroadcast

Weather Report: el Ni=A4o? What el Ni=A4o? You can't ask for better weather than what we've had so far, and the rest of the week looks promising as well. According to our always-reliable weather-guru Judie, Wednesday will be partly cloudy and warm, with highs 80 to 85. Thursday partly sunny, breezy and warm with scattered showers and thunderstorms (40 percent chance) mainly in the afternoon, highs 75 to 80. Friday dry with highs in the 70s. Saturday dry with highs from the 70s to the 80s. Sunday dry with highs in the mid 70s.

SCCA.COM ON-LINE WITH FOR ALL YOUR INFORMATION NEEDS: Need Runoffs information? The SCCA's official web site http://www.scca.com has everything you need, including qualifying times and race results. Also available is the on-line edition of The Runoffs Ramblings and a Valvoline-sponsored photo gallery, updated daily! Smiling Faces greet all at Registration:=20 Smiling faces, and a warm welcome is what you'll get at registration a pleasant way to begin the Runoffs week. However, there is one missing smiling face this year, Sheila Hill. Sheila and Chuck were not able to make it this year to the Runoffs. Chuck's father passed away last week. Our condolences to the Hill family.

Mechanic of the Year Award: You can never say "thank you" enough when it comes to your mechanic. Tell us why you have the best of the best. Nominations for Mechanic of the Year awards will be taken at the SCCA Trailer until 12:00 p.m. Friday. The award will be presented at the Saturday Awards banquet.

THANKS FROM T&S: The folks over in Timing & Scoring wish to thank the following drivers for fixing their cars numbers: 07 FA; 51 EP; 26 FA; 44 GP; 7 FC; 16 GT3; 10 FC; 11 GT5; 26 FC; 14 GT5; 91 FC; 49 GT5; 30 CSR; 2 FV; 4 FF; 7 FV; 42 FF; 80 FV; 55 SSB; 81 FV; 72 SSB; 5 SRF; 4 F500; 13 SRF; 16 F500; 88 SRF; 22 F500.

RUNOFFS RAMBLINGS #2 -----------------------------

RON SHARP HE'S OUR MAN! Almost everyone knows Ron Sharp, of the Des Moines Region. If you don't know him, you've surely seen him around. Ron has been a member of SCCA for 34 years and Race Chairman for the Valvoline Runoffs, presented by NAPA Auto Parts since the move to Mid-Ohio. His duties as Race Chairman include, but definitely are not limited to: Working with the Chiefs of Specialties to organize all 600 of the workers. Making sure that the workers are registered, fed and get all-around VIP treatment. He doesn't do this by himself, his team consists of four other people that he would like mentioned. There's Joe Rosenburg of the Des Moines Region. Joe is responsible for the name tags that you all received in your packet. Joe designed them, prints them and pays for them all out of his own pocket! Wow! Thanks Joe. Then there's Dave and Sue Bloemsma of the Milwaukee Region. Dave and Sue are responsible for the worker parties and lunches. They also arrange and organize the give-a-ways. Good job Dave and Sue! And of course, Jean Sharp. Jean helps and supports Ron all throughout the year. "I couldn't do this without her." Jean is here this weekend working Grid. Thanks for keeping Ron sane! When Ron leaves this event on Monday, he'll be going home to finish out another great year. Then, it's time to start all over again. "The work never stops, it's an all-year job." So, what does Ron do in his spare time? Yeah, right! Not only does he Chair for the Runoffs, but many other events as well throughout the year all around the country. I'm sure everyone will agree when we say, Thank you Ron, you do a heck of a job. If you can get a few minutes of his time, be sure and tell him yourself.

DID SOMEONE SAY FREE BEER?: Yup, free beer. Drivers are especially encouraged to come on down and say thanks to the workers who are supporting you here and everywhere else you race. Come one, come all to the annual Worker of the Year party tonight at the Honda pavilion. Workers, don't forget your ticket so you can get some food!

WORKER GIVE-A-WAY THANKS: The following is a partial list of regions, corporations and drivers that have donated product or gifts as give-a-ways for the workers. Thanks so much for your donations. Your generosity is appreciated by all. (In no specific order): Valvoline NeOhio Region Goodyear Florida Region Cyclo Texas Region Phil Alspach OMI Western Michigan Region Hoosier Chattanooga Region STP San Francisco Region Mazda Land O' Lakes Region Yokohama Colorado Region Chevrolet Milwaukee Region Red Line Oil Indianapolis Region Camel GT Course Crew Chicago Region Wynn Furst & Kohler Ohio Region Buttonwillow Raceway Washington D.C. Region Chris Syfert Blackhawk Valley Region Galeana Racing Central Illinois Region Performance Friction

THERE'S BEEN A KIDNAPPING: Or should we say Flamingo-knapping. Anne Kumer of the Milwaukee Region is absolutely devastated three days ago someone birdknapped her five pink flamingos. However, there is still hope in this case. At least we know that her birds are "alive" and well. A picture of the birds in front of George Bovis's golf cart showed up along with a ransom note demanding cash for more information, signed by - I. Ben Plucked. Anne frantically dumped all her cash out of her wallet, but still no sign of the birds. George swears he has nothing to do with this. Priscilla the Flamingo, the eldest could been seen at any of the worker parties. She is the only one of drinking age, and she loves her beer. Anne has contacted America's Most Wanted with her story which should air this coming Saturday night. So, whoever you are, turn yourself in, before your profile is shown to America. Anyone with information should report it to the local American society for the prevention of cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

AN INSPIRING STORY: The following story was submitted by Robbie Ferstl. This story is the true meaning of inspiration, and determination. My Name is Robbie Ferstl, I will be at the Runoffs with my father, Bob Ferstl. I'll be racing the No. 95 Swift DB1 in Formula Ford car No. 95, and my father will be racing the No. 9 Swift DB4 in Formula Atlantic. We are from the Houston Region, and we are both sponsored by Valvoline. I believe my father's story is one that will inspire a wide variety of people. It certainly has inspired me as well as those that we race with in the Houston Region. My father has been racing for over 30 years. In 1991 he was diagnosed with Leukemia and had to stop racing for a year due to his health. In 1992 he returned to racing, viewing it was part of his therapy. In 1994 we raced S2000's together. We have had a lot of close racing between us, and it has been our common goal to get to the Runoffs. His cancer is a part of his life now, but he doesn't let it slow him down. This year, he won six National races, which placed him first in the Division. Despite the fact that he'll be racing against the newer Formula Atlantic Ralts at the Runoffs, he has a very good chance of placing in the top three. Prepping his car and helping me with mine requires a lot of time, patience and dedication. I credit my father for my racing success as I've learned from him every step of the way. His guidance in prepping and setting up my car have been invaluable. My father's energy, drive, determination and attitude have deeply affected both my racing career and my life. The support I receive from both my parents has helped to guide me. Knowing that my dad is not going to let a little thing like leukemia stand in the way of reaching his goals makes me work that much harder at reaching mine. Thank you, Robbie, for the inspiring story at the bottom of Robbie's letter, he also added the following message: P.S. SportsCar is wrong! I'm going to win F.F., and my dad is going to win F.A. Good luck to both of you.

LOST SOMETHING/FOUND SOMETHING?: If you have lost anything, or found something, let us know. We'll help get the word out. Drop off your information at the SCCA trailer.

THIS DRIVER DESERVES AN A+: No. 4 FV driver Ian Smith, of the Philadelphia Region, could only take three days off from work to make this week long event. Being a school teacher, Brian must come to the track, practice, drive home. Qualify, drive home. Race, drive home. Oh yeah, did we mention that Brian lives in Perkasic, Pa. And you thought you had long days.

SportsCar Assignments: Following are the writers and their assignments for SportsCar's Runoffs coverage: SSA,T1, SRF, Dee Duncan; FA, Gene Greene; EP, GP, Ethel Hall; GT1, GT2, GT3, A Sedan, Jane Anderson; CSR, F500, FV, Melissa Hall-Cohn; SSC, DSR, HP, Laurie Sheppard; FF, GT5, Paul Lane; S2000, FC, Bill Mitchell; FP, GT4, SSB, Mike Hemsley. Other articles are: Introductions, Mike Hemsley; Tires, Bill Mitchell; Runoff Changes Meeting, Laurie Sheppard; Worker profiles/ data, Ryan Lee Price.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Phil Alspach