RACE: VIRginia Oak Tree Nationals preview

Sports Car Club of America Racers Converge on VIRginia International Raceway August 11-12 DANVILLE, VA. - Amateur sports car racers from nearly 25 states will converge on VIRginia International Raceway August 11-12, driving for points leading to...

Sports Car Club of America Racers Converge on VIRginia International Raceway August 11-12

DANVILLE, VA. - Amateur sports car racers from nearly 25 states will converge on VIRginia International Raceway August 11-12, driving for points leading to the national championship Runoffs.

SCCA's racers come from all walks of life: from retired engineers to high school students, with everything in between. The 2006 Oak Tree Nationals attracted entries from half the states in America, plus Puerto Rico, Italy and the Bahamas. This year's entries look even more diverse, with nearly 200 cars entered and around 250 cars expected to compete on VIR's scenic hills and valleys. Entries are already in from 20 states plus the Bahamas, with more arriving daily.

Not the usual marketing exercise, SCCA racing is staged for the participants and their families, with entire families pitching in. Mom may work Registration, the kids in Timing and Scoring, while Dad races, flags from a corner or serves as a Steward. Often, the "kid" in the family is the racer, while everyone else serves as support crew. Whatever the plan, it's a family-oriented group, with emphasis on fun and comradeship.

SCCA racing has led to many professional careers, with stars such as Carroll Shelby, Mark Donohue, Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., joined by actor Paul Newman all having successes in national and international racing after a start in Club Racing. Newman, for example, has national championships on his resume as well as professional pole positions and race victories.

"Club racing, of all forms, is the foundation of road racing in America," said VIR General Manager Josh Lief, who himself participates in SCCA Club Racing. "We are very proud of our long association with the SCCA and are really looking forward to the Oak Tree Nationals."

Entries this year have already come from over 20 states, with more arriving every day. "The depth of SCCA interest in VIR and Club Racing overall is amazing to outsiders," said long-time SCCA member and worker "Mo" Overstreet. "It's truly an addiction that we can take part in legally."

VIR opened with an SCCA feature race in 1957 won by Carroll Shelby and the legacy of SCCA stars continues to this day.

VIR's next major event is the August 17-19 Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals AMA Superbike races. The racing is only a small part of the weekend's planned festivities, so make arrangements now to attend. Tickets are available online at the promoter's web site, www.moto1usa.com or by calling the promoter's ticket sales at 770-965-4565 or 770-965-4566.

For information on the track and other event schedules, call 434-822-7700 or check our web site at www.virclub.com.

-credit: vir

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Michael Andretti , Mark Donohue