News & Multimedia

Top 10 Moments of 2017 - #10: Prill Breaks Through

Editor's Note: This is the first of a series of 10 vignettes in which IMS Senior Communications Manager Paul Kelly picks his top 10 moments of 2017 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Stories flowed freely, like the sweat and tears of the winners, as America’s most prestigious amateur racing event, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time Sept. 25-Oct. 1.

More than 1,000 cars were entered into the event, with winners crowned after intense races across the spectrum of Sports Car Club of America classes. But perhaps no win triggered more feel-good’s and tears than when Eric Prill crossed the finish line first Sept. 29 in the F Production class.

Prill finally broke through for his first Nationals victory after 16 previous tries resulted in seven podiums but no victories. Ending that drought was enough to generate tons of good will for Prill.

But there was more to this victory. Far more.

First, Prill embodies everything that’s good about amateur racing. He has continued his passion play of amateur racing even while climbing the executive ranks at SCCA headquarters in Topeka, Kansas. When Prill goes to work every day, he’s keeping SCCA members and racers at the front of his mind during every decision, because he IS one of them.

But the biggest reason tears and joy wove themselves into a happy tapestry after Prill’s victory was simple – SuperMax.

Maxton Prill, the 6-year-old son of Eric Prill and his wife, Robin, was diagnosed with leukemia in November 2013 at age 2. He bravely endured extensive chemotherapy and other treatment over the last four years as he fought to regain his health, and Eric and Robin shared Max’s battle through an organization called Maxton’s Fight to publicly to raise awareness and funds for children like Max fighting this horrible disease and for their lives.

Eric has run SuperMax decals on his car since Max’s diagnosis, and those decals and hero cards also are seen in professional racing paddocks around the country.

So it was beyond poignant when Max was one of the first people to greet his father in Victory Lane at IMS after Prill’s victory. It was arguably the most emotional victory hug of the year at IMS.

Another magic moment after Prill’s win came when Robin Prill rode in the passenger seat of her Eric’s open-top Mazda Miata race car with her husband behind the wheel, holding the checkered flag aloft in triumph around the IMS road course. It was so nice to see the ear-to-ear grins on Eric and Robin Prill – two of the nicest people you’ll meet in racing – after enduring the struggle by their son to survive over the last four years.

Images of this victory weren’t beamed around the world via TV, print and social media like the wins by Takuma Sato, Kasey Kahne, Yoshi Muroya and Lexi Thompson this year at IMS and Brickyard Crossing. But Eric Prill’s victory in F Production at the SCCA National Runoffs will stick with me like no other in 2017 at the Racing Capital of the World.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Day 10
Top 10 Moments of 2017 - #10: Prill Breaks Through
Stories flowed freely, like the sweat and tears of the winners, as America’s most prestigious amateur racing event, the SCCA National Championship Runoffs came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time Sept. 25-Oct. 1.
Read More
Related Media
Day 9
Top 10 Moments of 2017 - #9: Ken and John
DeLion, in his 23rd year on the Safety Patrol, continued to work at the track in his customary spot at the south pit gate even though he was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2015. He learned that Andretti was at the track in early May of this year, and he told a writer interviewing him that he wanted to meet John and encourage him.
Read More
Legends Sale Announcement
Race Fans Can Start Holiday Shopping Engines, Get Great Deals Nov. 18 at IMS
Race fans can get a turbocharged start to their holiday shopping at the 2017 End of Season Sale on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with great deals available on a wide variety of IMS and INDYCAR apparel, collectibles and more.
Read More
Sauce Father Daughter
Father, Daughter Turn Competition into Family Affair on Track at SCCA Runoffs
Mike Sauce made a promise to his daughter, Megan, when both first started racing against each other in SCCA events. “I made a commitment years ago,” Mike Sauce said. “I said when you get fast enough to beat your dad, then I’ll quit. Well, I lied.”
Read More
IUPUI Header
IUPUI Students Race To Learn, Win at SCCA Nationals at IMS
There are nearly 1,000 cars competing Sept. 25-Oct. 1 during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the most prestigious amateur racing event in the United States. But one of those cars is playing a role perhaps unlike any other.
Read More
Juncos SCCA
Team Owner Juncos Continues Dream Year at IMS by Racing in SCCA Runoffs
Ricardo Juncos’ magic carpet ride in 2017 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will take another dimension this week and weekend.
Read More
Items 12 - 16 of 223
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day:
May 21
We've created a new webpage that will help even an #Indy500 first-timer enjoy Race Day like a pro! Check it out:…
May 21