|The only thing IMS has not tried is swamp buggy racing at the track. Instead of the season finale IndyCar race being at IMS in September they run this event, which might draw a few thousand fans. Rest assured the vast majority in attendance will be the racers, their crews, and family members.|
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sports Car Club of America announced today that the IMS road course will be the site of the 2017 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, with race days Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The event is unprecedented for both the Club and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, pitting the amateur National Championship event on the 14 turn, 2.439-mile road course that hosts the Verizon IndyCar Series' Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
"Many Indianapolis 500 veterans have their racing roots in SCCA competition, so hosting the SCCA national championships at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a natural fit," IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. "The Runoffs will provide drivers who have dreamed of competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway an opportunity to do so and will hopefully motivate some participants to continue on the path to compete in the Indianapolis 500 someday. It is going to be a tremendous event showcasing the talent and passion that makes SCCA racing so exciting."
Indianapolis history and SCCA history are intrinsically linked. Countless SCCA graduates have competed in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," with Mark Donohue and Bobby Rahal earning both a Runoffs title and an Indy 500 win in their careers. Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice also competed in the Runoffs; current competitor Graham Rahal is the youngest Runoffs champion, and still has a chance to add his name to the Borg-Warner Trophy.
"In 2013, we announced that the Runoffs would go on an annual rotation, moving around the country with the goal of hitting bucket list tracks," Eric Prill, SCCA Vice President/COO said. "We've done that, having gone from Road America to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to Daytona International Speedway, and will be at Mid-Ohio in 2016. But the visit to Indianapolis in 2017, a track that no other SafeRacer Club Racer will have a chance to compete on prior to the Runoffs, is truly unique and a dream come true for many of our racers."
"As a racer, I know that the American dream of being a racecar driver starts with the Indianapolis 500," Lisa Noble, SCCA President & CEO and Formula Vee racer, said. "IMS is an integral part of our history as we are a part of theirs. Many of the Speedway's crew, workers, drivers and Indy 500 winners have their roots in the SCCA. Drivers such as Bobby and Graham Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Mark Donohue, Buddy Rice, Michael Andretti and Lyn St. James are just a few that raced in the SCCA Runoffs before reaching the Indy 500.
"I'm very moved by this significant moment in SCCA history as I am by the Speedway every time I enter the gate. Each of our Champions will have an incredibly special honor – to be crowned on the most hallowed ground in American motorsports. Racers will tell stories for decades about this first Runoffs at Indy. It will become legendary, and I cannot wait for our members to experience that in 2017."
The SCCA National Championship Runoffs has crowned Club Racing National Champions in a winner-take-all, single race format since 1964. Through 27 separate races over three days, the 2015 edition recently crowned champions in 27 classes in the pinnacle event of amateur racing.