Champion racecar driver John Heinricy is well into another busy racing season.
Last year, of the eight regular-season races in his 2012 Matick Chevrolet-sponsored Sonic, the Clarkston, Mich., driver won seven.
Heinricy’s resume includes five national championships in A Sedan, won between 2003-14, and one in B Spec in 2015. He has earned seven other national championships in Corvette and Cobalt racing.
Last year’s finale came as 1,000 drivers convened at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the SCCA National Championship Runoffs held during the last week of September.
At the end at the runoffs, Heinricy drove home with two second-place trophies, beating numerous tough competitors.
Over the winter, Heinricy sold his B Spec Matick Chevy Sonic racecar, and is concentrating on mentoring drivers and racing his 2002 Camaro in A Sedan this season.
We asked the National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame racecar driver about what's happening this season.
Discuss your work assisting people who want to learn more about racing.
I ran high performance driving events (HPDE) at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., in April. We gave hot laps sponsored by Matick Chevrolet, and they were very popular. I drove or rode with 10 to 12 people.
I drove one guy’s Cadillac CTSV, a high-performance supercharged car, and it was great. The car is a lot heavier than Corvettes and it was still extremely capable with 640 hp and very fast.
I’ll be doing one more HPDE in late August.
You also take part in autocross events with the Corvette Club of Michigan.
Yes, I’ll run three or four this year with the club. Sometimes we’re at Michigan International Speedway near Jackson and others at Schoolcraft College in Livonia.
I like the intensity and camaraderie with the other owners. It’s very intense competition because the time on the course is less than a minute. It’s a different kind of skill and really fun. Autocross is something Corvettes work extremely well in. It’s usually a whole day, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there could be 200 cars there.
What is your racing schedule like?
I raced at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course June 1-3 to start qualifying with the Camaro. I had some engine problems but it’s been rebuilt, and doing pretty good. I ran at Watkins Glen International in New York in mid-June and I’ll race in New Jersey in July. The final races will be at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., in October.
What is this year’s biggest challenge?
Going fast enough to beat the young men and women. There are a lot more women coming into racing. I’m thinking it will be a good year for me. You always think positively at the beginning.
The Matick Chevrolet team works with you throughout the year, correct?
The Matick Chevy team is so great and they provided me with invaluable assistance on the Chevy Sonic, which they sponsored. They did body repair and tire mounting. The management team was very supportive. If I needed any mechanical help, they were always able to fit me in.