78 MAY 2018 scca.com
FROM THE EDITOR
• With Formula Vee on the cusp
of celebrating 30 years, we
spoke with Bill Duckworth, one
of the men who helped make it
• At The Cutting Edge looked
at the state-of-the-art Solo
machine of Chris O’Donnell, his
D Mod Lotus Elan raising the bar.
• We took an up-close look at
a pair of Solo Street Mod 2
hotrods that were the class
of the field.
• Don Knowles showed us the
way around the revised
Heartland Park Topeka
racetrack in preparation for
the upcoming Runoffs.
• Michigan International
Speedway had funding in place
and construction was underway.
• Washington Region carried
out a magazine drive, collecting
and delivering magazines
to veterans in two local
area military hospitals.
don’t think I’ve done an interview where I’ve used more than 50 percent of the
quotes in the magazine. It’s probably because I’m hopeless at interviews and
get too into the conversation, drifting completely from my talking points.
Regardless, after I pen any interview, I’m left with juicy snippets of information
that don’t fit anywhere – this month was no exception. Actually, it was worse.
Sitting with eight-time SCCA National Champion Andrew Aquilante for an
hour and a half, we discussed everything from his early days of racing to his first
Runoffs attempt, to various professional endeavors. Once I’d penned the
feature, I returned to the raw interview transcription and thought, dang, there’s
more story to be told. What better place to put disembodied quotes than in my
monthly column where anything goes. Consequently, the quotes that follow may
or may not have a point, but they’re interesting.
“In the Viper, we had a case where something happened, the car got dropped,
and it damaged the radiator,” Andrew told me of his 2006 T1 Runoffs attempt.
“It was one of those things where you see a drop of coolant and wonder where it
came from, but it was serious enough that, eight
laps in, it boiled over and I spun in a puddle of my
own coolant.” The lesson he learned? Check
“Club Racing is affordable and you can have
some outright hard-fought races,” Andrew
explained when asked his preference between
This statement stood out to me because, while Andrew has done so much in
the world of racing, this appeared to be one of his fondest on-track
memories – that says a lot about the Runoffs.
“Since 2008, my day job has been building cars, whether it’s building the
Rolex cars for ourselves or building cars for customers or pro programs, doing
upgrades or service. My job is ordering parts, building cars, and trying to have
fun,” he said. “Sometimes you wouldn’t call it a real job, but it turns into a real
job when you’re trying to make a race. The 18-hour days, you try not to get into
them, but when you have a customer and a deadline, you’ve got to do it. It’s
challenging at times, but it’s part of the game. And once the helmet goes down,
you go OK, yes, that’s why.” Lesson here? No matter the frustration and busted
knuckles between events, the work we do to get to the competition weekend
fades into oblivion once you’re in the car. But you knew that.
Even in writing this I ended up cutting half the quotes I wanted to use.
I seriously need to get better at interviews.
THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
50 YEARS AGO...
25 YEARS AGO...
10 YEARS AGO...
“I returned to the raw interview
transcription and thought, dang,
there’s more story to be told”