‘This is like building a city here’: Hundreds descend on Lincoln for racing championships

‘This is like building a city here’: Hundreds descend on Lincoln for racing championship
‘This is like building a city here’: Hundreds descend on Lincoln for racing championship(Ellis Wiltsey)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 8:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - At the Lincoln Airport, noise and activity is always expected, but Thursday afternoon it wasn’t just coming from the planes, it’s also race cars.

In its 49th year, the SCCA Solo National Championships event brings together racers of all abilities. In short, their motto is if you want to be a part of all the action, all you have to do is bring yourself and something to drive.

“This is like building a city here,” said Scott Dobler, part of the SCCA field staff.

Over this week, and set-up last week, hundreds of people have descended on an otherwise mostly unused section of the airport’s tarmac. Using that wide open space to host racing, car appreciating, and family bonding.

“It’s so cool to see there’s so much camaraderie and support and you see these other families who are out here doing what they love and you know, you can tell there’s just true passion behind it,” said Lisa Berry, a driver.

The races themselves are unique. Racers are staggered, starting and ending by themselves. Track speeds are closer to highway speeds, about 75 miles an hour. Winners are determined by who clocks in the fastest lap times.

“It’s more about vehicle placement, and precision driving than it is about outright speed or horsepower,” Dobler said.

For many, the love for racing has been passed down through generations. With those of all ages, genders, and skill levels getting their turn on the course.

“My dad’s been racing since the 70s and he got us all into it,” Berry said. “And we’ve all we all raced together in our local region. It’s been awesome because I grew up doing this. I don’t know anything different. This is just what we do.”

While it’s clearly about the competition on the track, much of the talk and focus is on what’s happening on a makeshift pit road. Outside of green lights and laps, is a community built on the love of racing, not winning.

“It’s the people I can’t say enough about these people. There have been broken cars here and people have loaned them their cars,” Dobler said. “There have been people whose tires have gone flat or they’re worn out and they’ve given them tires. Broken down on the side of the road here they’ve offered their spares there’s nothing like this community ever.

The event is still going on Friday, September 9 and is free to the public, you just have to sign a waiver, with events going on until about 5 p.m.