RACE: Runoffs return to Mid-Ohio to crown champions

DUBLIN, Ohio (September 9, 2004) - While the Olympics have wrapped up in Athens, competitors battling against the best in the business for a single chance at gold are far from over. Returning to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for...

DUBLIN, Ohio (September 9, 2004) - While the Olympics have wrapped up in Athens, competitors battling against the best in the business for a single chance at gold are far from over. Returning to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for the 11th straight year is the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler, September 20-26. Nearly 700 competitors will converge on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn course in what Car and Driver magazine has called one of the "Top 10 events in motorsports".

While racing for the national championship is a one shot deal, gaining invitation to the event is not. Each of the eight Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Divisions host a minimum of six National events in which drivers compete for points to gain an invitation to the SCCA National Championship 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 will count.

"Anytime you can get over 750 competitors together at one awesome race track, it turns into something special," said Cindi Lux of Aloha, Oregon, competing in the Touring 1 class. "You ask any driver for their top race tracks in the country and Mid-Ohio is always going to be in the top-five."

Lux has the chance to make history during the event by becoming the first woman to win the SCCA Triple Crown. In order to be a Triple Crown champion, a driver must finish first in their regional division's point standings, win the June Sprints and capture a National Championship at the Runoffs®.

The importance of the event is not lost on Lux's teammate, Scotty White of Puyallup, Washington.

"The Runoffs® represents the culmination of a boatload of hard work. It is bittersweet in that it is the most important race all year and it 'defines' who you and your team are," said White. "The other side of that is the fact that we have such incredible talent in our particular class with the likes of (defending T1 National Champion John) Heinricy, a full blown factory GM effort with the resident GM hot shoe at the wheel! Then you have (Boulder, Colorado's Bob) Schader, Lux, (Bedford, Ohio's Freddy) Baker, it'll be one (fantastic) feat to pull it off and you will certainly stand tall on the podium!"

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 twenty-four 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® are technically an amateur event, they have proved to be a breeding ground for future road racing superstars. Past winners include Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Scott Sharp and Elliot Forbes-Robinson; past champions like Paul Newman, Skip Barber and Roger Penske have also shown greatness in the motorsports community, both on and off the track.

The SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler kick off the week long event with practice sessions for each of the 24 classes on Monday, September 20th. Tuesday through Thursday will consist of qualifying for the weekend's main events. The first of 24 National Champions will be crowned Friday morning, when six-time National Champion Doug Peterson attempts to defend his GT-5 title. From that point through Sunday afternoon, the facilities at Mid-Ohio will be bustling as eight races will be run daily.

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 2.4-mile, 15-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. Mid-Ohio's 2004 schedule features seven spectator events, including the SCCA National Championship Runoffs® presented by Kohler (September 20-26).

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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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Scott Sharp , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Paul Newman , Skip Barber , Scotty White , Cindi Lux , Doug Peterson