Virginia International Raceway - April 20 - 21, 1974
"NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE" by Nick Holland
(from NC Region SCCA 1974 Annual)
It takes an organization with some mighty good people at every position or a bunch of idiots to come off the six month winter break with the only National Championship Race you run. The North Carolina Region has those mighty good people. Through work parties organized by Task Force Chairman Gordon Warren, the facility was given a new look. New paint, some new fencing, a new roof on the Pagoda, several new flag stations and a hospital building were added to enhance the eye-appeal, operating efficiency and safety at Virginia International Raceway. New phone lines to all stations were strung to improve communications and the Tech/Impound area was upgraded.
One of the largest crowds in VIR history was treated to an outstanding weekend of competition. The first dry-weather National in five years attracted 141 cars including Jim Fitzgerald's factory-backed Datsuns and the prestigious Quaker State/British Leyland Group 44 Team. Records began to fall unofficially in Saturday's qualifying sessions, and the 260Z of Fitzgerald suffered extensive front-end damage when the throttle stuck entering turn three. This caused Jim and crew to miss one of the better VIR parties, with munchies furnished by promoter Paul Rembold who also supplied a rock band for the evening entertainment.
Sunday found the Fitzgerald car back on the grid following a full night's work. Jim provided a stellar performance coming from well back to win overall honors going away. The large formula car race, won by Chuck Dietrich who had his Brabham eight-tenths of a second off the overall course record, featured a superlative drive by Harry Ingle. After towing from the Atlanta Supervee race the previous day, Harry came from the back of the grid to finish second overall. A total of twelve new lap records were set during the weekend, one that will be long remembered. Much thanks goes to all the drivers, crew, workers and officials who made it happen.
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