June 30, 2013, by Dustin Klemann – Q-2 News
BILLINGS – Although racing is not prominent in Billings, if you look hard enough, you will find car-enthusiasts burning rubber on a track.The sounds and smell emanating from the Skyview High School parking lot were a dead giveaway of racing. Fifteen drivers took turns speeding around the makeshift course — as cones and faint lines mapped their path.” You can’t have a course over a minute because you never breath. If you hit the corner perfect, there is just nothing, it’s just there. It’s when you don’t hit it perfect that you begin to talk to yourself and try to get it right the next time.But it comes down to the love of it,” said Steve Gruver, who’s held the fastest time in his stock 1986 Corvette.He’s part of the Yellowstone Sport Car Club of America, SCCA for short. It provides the fix of adrenaline for anyone interested in racing around a track and doesn’t find go-karts too easy.But not only does it fill the need for speed, it’s a community of car enthusiasts who welcome anyone of any skill level to join.”Some people get really good after a lot of experience. And some people, teenagers 18 19 years old, after two events, they’re running with the top drivers,” said Jay Reuss, the club’s secretary treasurer.Reuss runs everything behind the scenes, organizing events, getting out the word to other drivers, and occasionally finding himself behind the wheel.The Yellowstone Sports Car Club has history to its name as its helping drivers master hairpin corners since the early 80s.While racers’ foe is the clock, there is a fair amount of friendly competition that never trumps camaraderie.“The love for vehicles goes for every one of us. Each one of us has a different passion. My particular one is the car needs to look good and work good. Other guys are just more interested in that they work good. They will spend their time and money making them go faster,” Gruver continued, “They share it between each other. We’re always talking, always telling each other what we do different, what we do to make the car better. And we also tell each other what we did to make the car worse.”The passion is what drives (yes, pun intended) these races. Not only do they learn how to shave precious seconds off their time, but understand the capabilities of a car, something that could help protect or prevent everyday roadway hazards.“The thing that it teaches – and I think it’s more important for the young people than anyone—if you know what the car can do, in many cases it will keep you out of trouble and maybe even save your life,”said Gruver.