Schranz’s No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet is fast off the truck; his father prepares for 40th and final ‘Race To The Clouds’

Player Management International Media Release

Colorado Springs, CO (June 26, 2014) – 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Stock Car Champion Layne Schranz arrived in Colorado Springs, CO, this week prepared to do battle with America’s Mountain.  Pikes Peak extends 14,115-feet into the air and Schranz will be making his 21st journey to the summit when over 150 competitors from around the globe take to the starting line on Sunday, June 29th.  Commonly referred to as one of the most dangerous races in the world, fear has never dissuaded Schranz and his No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet.  In the last nine years, he has finished on the podium eight times, with the only exception being 2006 when he ended up 4th.

Schranz’s arrival was evident when racecars began roaring up the mountain on Wednesday, as the No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet made the journey quicker than the balance of the field.  He had the Gecko sitting atop the practice chart after being the fastest driver to reach the summit in the Pikes Peak Open Division.  On day two, Schranz continued to navigate the bulk of twists and turns with quickness, finishing up second in practice before turning in the same result in qualifying.  Qualifying saw him hurriedly navigate the GEICO machine around the 156 twists and turns and reach the summit in an expeditious 4:26.027.  Despite making the jump to the ultra-competitive Pikes Peak Open Division in 2013, Schranz remains unfazed and his name still rests at the top of the charts in each session. 

While Schranz grew up watching his father, Randy, race at Pikes Peak, this year’s event carries the most meaning.  Just three months after having four inches of his esophagus removed in a cancer surgery, the elder Schranz took to the mountain for practice on Wednesday.  Notably, this weekend’s race will be his 40th and final journey up America’s Mountain.  The 66-year old Pikes Peak legend decided earlier in the year to step away after the checkered flag on Sunday. 

While some may assume the younger Schranz will grant his father latitude this weekend, he instead will choose to honor him with stiff competition.

“This is my dad’s last Pikes Peak, so I feel like I owe it to him to give my very best,” Layne said.  “This is something neither of us will ever forget, so we’ll want the story to be about how hard we raced each other and how competitive we were.  That is the best way to honor my dad and all that he has contributed to this great race; a race that has been such an important part of my life.” 

For the second year in a row, Layne will be competing against his father, Randy, the defending champion of the Pikes Peak Open Division.  2013 saw dad get the better of son, but 2014 will see Layne attempting to gain bragging rights, which he’s sure to carry with him to family outings for years to come. 

Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Schranz has made his home in Birmingham, Alabama, since 2001.  He was the 1997 Pikes Peak Hill Climb Rookie of the Year and has visited the podium in eight of the last nine years, including a win in 2012.  On Sunday, he will look to regain his status as ‘King of the Mountain’. 

“The GEICO Chevy has been really fast this week, but unfortunately today we had a problem with the ignition system that prevented me from making a clean run.  I’m confident it’s been corrected and we look forward to the final practice session tomorrow,” Schranz commented.  “It’s great to have the Gecko back on the hood of our No. 7 Chevy and we’re so appreciative of GEICO’s support over the last six-years.  We’re excited to add KMC Wheels and Valvoline to our list of partners, so this has been a good year and we’re looking forward to doing something special for all of our sponsors on Sunday.” 

On Friday, after dark sets in and calms an otherwise busy mountain, over 30,000 people will descend upon downtown Colorado Springs for Fan Fest from 5 PM – 10 PM (MT).  Schranz will be on-hand with his No. 7 GEICO Chevrolet to sign autographs, take photos and talk with fans.

The 92nd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is on Sunday, June 29th, starting at 10 AM (EDT) with live race coverage being broadcast online at: www.PPIHC.com

This will be the sixth year that the GEICO Gecko will accompany Schranz up the 12.42-mile racecourse.  Since climbing aboard the No. 7 car of Schranz in 2009, GEICO has yet to finish lower than second, including a win in 2012.  Pikes Peak is the second oldest motorsports race in America and presents competitors with thin air and 156 twisting turns before arriving at the summit.  What it also provides is the opportunity for Schranz to continue etching his name in the history books.

There is no other race like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which is why it attracts race crews from around the world that are willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars and months of preparation to compete for the right to be ‘King of the Mountain’.

Please visit www.GEICO.com to learn how you could save money on more than just auto insurance.

For more information about Layne Schranz and the GEICO Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Racing program, please visit:www.LayneSchranz.com

To learn more about KMC Wheels, please visit: www.KMCwheels.com

Please also visit the official Layne Schranz Facebook page: www.facebook.com/layneschranzracing

For more information about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, please visit www.ppihc.com