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ChumpCars race into Spokane

By Casey Lund, Good Morning Northwest Reporter, caseyl@kxly.com
Published On: Jul 05 2013 11:24:33 PM CDT
ChumpCars race into Spokane
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It will likely be one of the most unique races ever hosted at the Spokane County Raceway: The ChumpCar World Series is a 36 hour endurance race that takes place July 5 through 7.

All the cars entered in this race must cost five hundred dollars or less. Obviously drivers make some safety modifications to these vehicles before they race them.

The idea is cheap cars and cheap racing at world famous tracks. It's a sport just about anyone can get involved in.

"We start at 10PM Friday night and we go until 10AM Sunday morning," said ChumpCar racer Mark Scholz.

Scholz has been racing for twelve years. His first ChumpCar race was actually the first of the series four years ago in his hometown Portland, Oregon.

"Its a throwback to simply the era and the essence of just driving for sheer pleasure’s sake. It's not about the prize money," Scholz said.

That was ChumpCar CEO John Coldren's dream.

"I wanted to bring racing back to where it was in the 1960s. I drove my car to the track, I put numbers on it, I raced it, I drove it home, and I went to school," said Coldren.

More than 400 racers from around the country and beyond will be in Spokane for this 36-hour endurance race. They come from all walks of life.

"We get a lot of drivers that come out and say 'I could do that. I got this car back home I don't know what to do with.' And so we get a lot of teams that work that way," said Coldren.

"It also was a car that had been sitting at someone's house for a long time. We bought it, completely stripped it down, put a safety cage… all the gear in it, and we're driving it," said Scholz.

Most of these ChumpCars aren't complete junkers. More serious racers do make quite a few modifications. The most important thing being safety.

"We go through and strip out the entire interior of the vehicle making it lightweight. Anything that is not needed comes off the car," said Scholz.

Mark says the opportunity to race on world class tracks is what keeps him coming back.

But it's not just the money or the titles that make this extra special to him.
It's the friendships. He and other ChumpCar racers enjoy along the way.

"I see them every six months, every twelve months... We have a good time. It’s a good sense of community," said Scholz.

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