Contact: John Ewert
O: (920) 893-4206
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., June 10, 2013 – The tradition for many local SCCA racers around this time of year is something like this, they leave their job early on a Friday, load up their race car, parts and tools into a trailer, grab a cooler of food and hit the road for one of the nation’s premier amateur sports car racing events at Road America.
Their ultimate goal is collecting a coveted trophy from the WeatherTech® Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints® and a check, which will hopefully cover expenses. However the payoff for these weekend warriors is closer to this: There’s nothing like it in the world. For local racer Mike Froh of Elkhart Lake, Wis., just running the race and the idea of challenging others on a racetrack is what it’s all about. The cheap hotels, fast food joints and marathon road trips are a way of life for SCCA racers roughly every other week from April until October. When asked if they’d give up that lifestyle, the collective answer is, don’t bet on it.
“I usually lose money,” said Froh, who works as an independent agent for Burkart-Heisdorf Insurance to help feed his passion for racing. “Ultimately though, it’s the camaraderie with other drivers, the challenge to push yourself and I’ve been at it for years with no regrets. These days financially, it’s incredibly tough. Racing is very expensive and most of the time the best you can do is make it to the next event, but my wife Susie is very supportive, and it’s given me the satisfaction of doing something I love.”
Froh competes in the SCCA’s Central Division running in the F production class started with British sports cars but now runs a Mazda Miata, and has raced at almost every June Sprints since his first event in 1972. As a result of his passion, Froh’s been runner-up twice and is approaching his 40th start this year. Sticking with racing has sometimes taken discipline. As Froh says, “I grew up in nearby Sheboygan Wis., and started coming to Road America as a kid selling programs with my dad in the 50’s. I’ve got all kinds of stories about how the event has changed, good times and bad times, families starting, life’s challenges getting the way. But I think it’s the overall experience that draws racers here, there’s always been a payoff of being with friends and doing something you love that goes beyond the thrill of just competing. I even kept my car number as 72 because that’s the first year I raced.”
Froh’s anxious to give June Sprintsanother go as the event returns to Road America, June 13-16. Presented by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the June Sprints are considered by some, as the nation’s most famous amateur sports car racing weekend and the event is a favorite of racers everywhere. With Road America’s park-like setting, trackside viewing, up-close access to drivers and teams, and legendary cuisine appealing to drivers and fans alike; it’s no wonder the June Sprints remains circled on every amateur racers calendar.
“For SCCA racers, the June Sprints is the highlight of the year other than the national runoffs,” said Froh. “It was the race I was a race I grew up watching and dreaming about, now I’m here and it’s my goal to get enough finishes under my belt for 2013 to qualify to run the 50th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs. With this being my 40th June Sprints, getting to race at the 50th Annual Runoffs is the next big thing for me and I think I have a good shot at it this year.”
Just like Froh, new thrills and memories have yet to be made, as generations of racers and their families will flock to the June Sprintsfor their chance at glory. This year, over 350 sports car drivers running everything from showroom stock to highly modified purpose-built race cars are scheduled to fill four days of practice, qualifying and racing as the June Sprints are the first trophy stop to win amateur racing’s most prestigious title, the Triple Crown® of Racing. To earn this title, competitors must win in their class at the June Sprints, win their respective divisional title and win at the 50th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs® which are scheduled for September 19-22 at Road America.
Daily admission to the June Sprints is $20 Thursday, $25 Friday, and $35 each for Saturday and Sunday. Kids 12 and under are always free with an adult. Gates open at 7 a.m. and races run rain or shine. For more information, call 800-365-RACE (7223) or visit www.roadamerica.com.
About Road America: Established in 1955 as the first permanent road racing course in the United States, Road America is located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The world’s best racers have competed at this legendary four-mile, 14-turn road circuit for over 55 years. The 640-acre, park-like grounds offer amazing viewing opportunities, fantastic concessions and high-speed excitement to hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. In addition to public race weekends, Road America offers a variety of group event programs, the Blain’s Farm & Fleet Motorplex for karting and supermoto, and the Road America Motorcycle and Advanced Driving Schools. For more information, visit www.roadamerica.com Follow Road America on www.facebook.com/RoadAmerica and on Twitter: @roadamerica or call 800-365-7223.