RACE: National Runoffs: 2006 preview

The Road to Oz: 2006 Runoffs Preview TOPEKA, Kan. (October 9, 2006) -- Topeka won't know what hit it. The SCCA National Championship Runoffs are go for launch and over 700 of the country's best amateur racers are ready to pound the pavement at...

The Road to Oz: 2006 Runoffs Preview

TOPEKA, Kan. (October 9, 2006) -- Topeka won't know what hit it. The SCCA National Championship Runoffs are go for launch and over 700 of the country's best amateur racers are ready to pound the pavement at Heartland Park Topeka.

The 43rd running of the Runoffs commences with four days of qualifying, October 9-12, then showcases three days of the finest grassroots racing anywhere from October 13-15. Seven days is just barely enough to contain the activities of the 25 classes, a record number of classes for Runoffs competition. Also a possible record in the making is the number of Runoffs starters. With 755 entries, this year's event is on course to break the record set in 2004 at Mid-Ohio of 709 starters.

This year's class total blossomed thanks to the addition of two new classes, Touring 3 and Spec Miata. Although perennial favorites E Production, Formula Vee and Spec Racer Ford are each topping 40 entries this year, the new Spec Miata has toppled them all, amassing 61 entries for the 2006 Runoffs.

With half the Spec Miata field made up of Runoffs rookies, two former champions can be found in the mix: Marc Hoover (2001 DSR) and Harry Manning (2003 SSB).

Other former Champions seeking to make headlines at this year's event include John Heinricy, of Holly, Mich., who seeks National Championship numbers ten, eleven and twelve this year when he competes in Touring 1, American Sedan and Showroom Stock C. Should he win, it would be Heinricy's sixth consecutive Touring 1 Championship and fourth consecutive American Sedan Championship. Local driver Kent Prather, of Wakarusa, Kan., will aim to please the hometown crowd by taking his fourth G Production Championship in the last five years.

Another storyline for 2006 is the venue. Following 12 years at Mid-Ohio, the Runoffs moves to Heartland Park Topeka for the first time in event history. The 2.5-mile road course has undergone millions of dollars in renovations and has put in a huge effort to bring itself up to caliber for this National Championship event. The new location could put new faces on top of the podium, and a fresh venue also means racers are facing a clean slate when it comes to lap records; every one of them will be set this week.

If you're not lucky enough to be in Topeka, Kan. This week, log onto www.scca.com to read all the stories, watch live timing and scoring and catch a photo of your favorite club racer in action. You can also catch each of the 25 races on SPEED in November.

-credit: scca

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Series SCCA
Drivers John Heinricy , Kent Prather , Marc Hoover