Vahsholtz family racers hope to snag more victories
~ by Bob Volpe ~
Yes race fans; it’s that time of year again.
The 95th Pikes Peak Hill Climb will be held June 25, so get your
tickets and find a sweet spot on the highway to the clouds to watch
this year’s event.
The Vahsholtz family of Woodland Park has a long history of
participation in the race to the clouds.
The youngest of the Vahsholtz clan is Codie. He is the son of Clint
and the grandson of Leonard Vahsholtz. The family has been a fixture of
the race for over 40 years.
Leonard Vahsholtz retired in 2007 after competing in the Hill Climb
for 32 years. In those 32 years, Leonard chalked up 18 wins in three
Codie’s dad Clint, on the other hand, is still actively competing in
the Hill Climb. Clint holds the record for most wins of any driver to
compete in the hill climb. He has won 23 of the 26 years he has
competed in the Hill Climb.
Codie Vahsholtz races in the light weight 2-wheel division on his custom hybrid
motorcycle and is the current record holder in that division, as well
as holding the record in the 250 pro division. Asked if he is
concerned with any specific challenges for this year, he said, “The
weather. They have a lot more snow up there than in the past so there
is gonna be more water on the road and snow banks falling down.”
Codie Vahsholtz was disappointed in his performance last year and is looking
forward to taking care of business during the 2017 race. His main competitor this
year is Chris Liligard. “We were running hard with him last year in
practice and testing. I didn’t have a very good race.”
Codie Vahsholtz is confident he will have a better race this year. “Other than that I’m
not too worried. I feel a lot more comfortable this year on that
motorcycle than I have in the past. We’ve made quite a few changes to
it. Faster and better. I’m gonna do my best.”
Codie’s dad, Clint Vahsholtz, will be racing in the open wheel division again this
year. Asked what he was looking forward to at this year’s race, he
said with a smile, “Getting up to the top safely.”
Clint Vahsholtz echoed Codie’s concern about water on the road surface, but
hoped by race day much of the snow will be gone. “We hope that that is
good in a couple weeks. We start testing at sun up so there is a
potential for ice on the road. I’m not too concerned, but it will be a
little tricky if there is water on the road. I don’t think it will be
Clint Vahsholtz’ major competition this year will likely come from Spencer
Steele, who was lucky to walk away from crashing into a guardrail at
last year’s hill climb. Clint said, “He’ll likely run in the 9’s
(time) for sure. I think his best time was a 9:53. Mine was 9:54.”
Since the highway was paved to the top of the peak, things have
changed somewhat in the technical and physical driving aspect.
Clint recalled, “In the dirt days, it was more about finesse from a
drivers stand point and the car setup was not quite as critical as the
asphalt. Car setup on dirt, you as a driver could finesse around a
missed setup, where on the pavement it is so precise. You have to
really get your setup perfect. A driver can compensate slightly, but
the setup is more important.”
Clint Vahsholtz made a point to mention the outstanding support and expertise of
his crew. “Three guys that have been with me for many, many years, Pat
Davis, Joe Lyons, and Frank Fushiano.”
The competition should make for a wild ride this year, so don’t miss
the excitement and drama on America’s Mountain.