Layne Schranz was born and raised in the shadow of America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak. Layne grew up as the son of Pikes Peak Hill Climb legend, Randy Schranz. Each year since his birth in October of 1971, Layne has been present as a spectator or competitor at the 2nd oldest motor racing event in America. Layne started his racing career on motorcycles in 1979 with hopes of one day competing in a Stock Car on Pikes Peak like his father.
In 1983 Layne transitioned from two wheels to four and started a 10 year career racing four wheeled ATV’s. The Colorado Hill Climb Association and Pikes Peak started allowing ATV’s to compete in the early ‘90s. Several CHCA wins and top finishes on Pikes Peak prepared Layne for his ultimate goal of driving a Stock Car up Pikes Peak.
1997 would be the year all the preparation culminated as Layne climbed into his father’s Chevy Lumina and finished 4th place in the Super Stock Car Division on Pikes Peak. Layne’s great debut finish also earned him Rookie of the Year honors.
In 2000 Layne was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime when GM Racing invited him to drive a brand new ASA (American Speed Assoc.) Stock Car for their Vortec Engine brand. Layne earned his first victory on Pikes Peak in this new exhibition division by beating teammate and childhood motorcycle racing hero, AMA Supercross Champion, Ricky Johnson. Earlier that year, Layne was able to compete across the globe in New Zealand and won first place stock car honors in the Queenstown Goldrush Hill Climb.
After the best year in Layne’s racing career tragedy would strike Pikes Peak. Layne’s childhood friend and fellow stock car competitor, Chandler Bruning was killed as his Monte Carlo careened off the mountain in his qualifying run. This devastating day will be forever remembered by fans and competitors. Layne pressed on two days later and finished the race with a very respectable 3rd place.
The years following have been free from tragedy but not free of frustration. Layne had mechanical issues in 2002 and 2003 preventing him from making it to the finish line. From 2004 to 2010 Layne stacked up a remarkable and equally frustrating, five 2nd place finishes. The toughest of which was in 2010 when 15 time champion, Clint Vahsholtz beat Layne by less than a tenth of a second. Layne broke Bobby Regesters 15 year old Stock Car World Record of 11:39 by six seconds yet Clint beat Layne by just a mere .075 seconds. It was Layne’s best finishing time:11:33.395.
2011 was going to be the year to finally stand victorious on top of the podium but over heated brakes just past the half-way point of the race nearly caused tragic results. Layne forced the car into a spin to avoid flying off the mountain. After re-starting the car he carefully navigated the remainder of the race without incident. The brake issue left him more than 20 seconds behind and once again 2nd place to, Champion, Clint Vahsholtz. With his 6th 2nd place finish in 8 years Layne had extra cause to celebrate in 2011. His father, Randy, set the new “All Time” race record with his 37th run up the mountain while winning the Pikes Peak Open Division and setting a personal best and Propane power course record.
2012 was finally the year Layne dreamed of when he was the fastest car in all practice runs, the top qualifier and the race winner in the Stock Car Division.
2013 was a year of change with the elimination of the historic Stock Car Division. Layne made the move over to the larger Pikes Peak Open Division where is father Randy had been dominant in previous years. Layne was the fastest car all week but had ignition trouble that stalled the car for 20 seconds on race day. Fortunately he was still fast enough to finish 2nd. The frustration was eased with the win going to his father Randy and a 1-2 finish for the Schranz men. It was also Randy’s 39th race.
Layne has been privileged to represent great sponsors over the past 15 years such as: Heuberger Motors, Dee’s RV, Bank at Broadmoor, Red Noland Collision Center, Glaser Gas Inc. and Johnson Kries Construction. In 2009 GEICO joined Layne as a primary sponsor. Layne considers it an honor to represent GEICO and his other sponsors.
The quest to conquer Pikes Peak and take home a Super Stock Car Championship continues.