Randy Schranz's 39th run up Pikes Peak was one of his most memorable.
The 65-year-old long-time Colorado Springs resident won the Open division during the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30. He also clipped a spectator and destroyed an I-Pad with his 2013 Shelby Cobra. He later crossed the finish line in first place (11 minutes, 21.410 seconds) - eight seconds ahead of his son, Layne.
“I didn't know I had done damage to my car until I got to the top (of the summit),” Randy said. “I clipped a woman with my front-side fender and it tore the whole thing off.”
Randy later found out that the woman was taken to a local hospital. He was told she did not have life-threatening injuries.
The incident happened in the first half-mile of the race. Randy thinks he was going about 80 mph at the time.
“She never moved,” he said. “She was standing in the dirt part of the road taking pictures.
“I had rain tires on the car, so I was taking it easy. I could have been going 10 mph faster.”
Randy and Layne were hoping that they would finish first and second. But they both agreed it would probably be Layne coming out on top.
“All week long Layne was running about 30 seconds faster than me,” Randy said. But the day of the race he had problems with his engine again.”
Layne spent his final day of practice on June 29 running his car around New Life Church, leaving burnt rubber on the road. But three times during race day his car - a 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - either sputtered or stopped on the way up the mountain.
“I thought we had gotten things worked out, but we had a few problems today,” said Layne, who suffered a leg injury in mid-June, but was able to operate his car without any issues. “My car shut off at Double Cup, but I was able to get it restarted and finish the race.”
Layne switched to the Open division this year because there were not enough competitors in Stock Car. Clint competed in Open Wheel and won the class.
“This is the happiest I've ever been with second place,” Layne said with a smile. “I've had seven years of coming in second (in Stock Car), but this wasn't so bad.
“My dad and I talked about it and we decided to run against each other. He ran really well all week and I am just so happy for him.”
Layne, a graduate of the now defunct Hilltop Baptist in Colorado Springs, has raced up Pikes Peak 20 times. Coupled with his father's mark, the two own the record for the most starts by a father and son in Hill Climb history.
“We can sleep well tonight and have a good party with the team,” said Layne, who makes his home in Birmingham, Alabama. “All in all it was a pretty good day.”
Layne and Randy were set up next to each other in the Pike National Forest, about 50 yards from the start line.
Randy said he would like to make at least one more run up Pikes Peak in 2014.
“That would make 40 and that sounds like a good round number to end on,” Randy said “That would be a good time to quit.”
Randy surpassed the famed Louis Unser a few years ago with the most runs up the mountain. Randy met Unser in 1972 after he had just retired.
Layne believes his father might run his last race in 2016 - the 100-year anniversary of the Hill Climb.
The oldest competitor in the latest edition of the Hill Climb was 72-year-old Ralph Murdock of Colorado Springs in the Pikes Peak Vintage division. Murdock did not finish the race in his 1970 Chevy Camaro.
David Donner of Colorado Springs won the Time Attack Division in a blistering 9:53.581. Dan Berendes of Monument finished third in the 450cc motorcycle division, while Jeff Grace of Colorado Springs won the Heavyweight Supermoto.
Dan Elders of Monument finished fourth in Superbike 750cc, while Christopher Lennon of Monument finished second in Pikes Peak Vintage.
Tom Specht of Woodland Park finished 14th in the 450cc.