It was a great day on “America’s Mountain” for veteran hillclimber Clint Vahsholtz, who claimed his 24th victory in his 29th run up the mountain in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb — and his first overall win — with his Ford Open-Wheeler. Vahsholtz’s winning time of 9m35.490s edged out fellow Coloradoan Paul Dallenbach in another Open-Wheel entry by just 0.691s. Click here for more race details.
“I tried to execute as well as I could, but I know there was something left on the table,” said Vahsholtz after his run. “But for the most part, it was one of my top-five runs and the car performed really good. For the last three or four years (the road)’s been rough, maybe this year a little bit worse in certain spots but actually maybe a little better in other spots That’s just the mountain, you know?”
Vahsholtz’s son Codie was among those sidelined for this year’s event following the decision of race officials to eliminate the motorcycle category for safety concerns following the death of bike racer Carlin Dunne in last year’s event. The elder Vahsholtz expressed hope that the bikes will be back.
“Codie’s been helping me today, and he’s been bummed this week,” said his father. “Hopefully they can resolve the issues that happened with the bikes. I grew up on bikes — I’m a first generation motorcycle racer up here and I think they need to be here, they’ve just gotta work out the details.”
And don’t expect that long-awaited overall win to dim Codie’s father’s appetite for more Pikes Peak success, either. “Oh yeah,” he responded when asked if he would be back for a 30th run and a shot at a 25th title.