Dallenbach hopes to make Lands End bigger, better

Paul Dallenbach won’t be racing in his favorite hill climb race this weekend, but he’s still coming out in hopes of making it a bigger event in the future.

His nephew, Wyatt Dallenbach, is racing in his place in the Lands End Hill Climb this weekend on Lands End Road on Grand Mesa.

“It’s killing me, but he’s 20 years old, and he needs the seat time,” Paul Dallenbach said. “I’m giving him a bonus if he breaks my record.”

Paul’s open-wheel record of 4 minutes, 32 seconds set in 1994 still stands.

The race begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The road will be closed during the race but will open after the classes complete the first run and after the races are done for the day.

Advanced tickets are available for $10 per person from 3-6 p.m. today at a car show outside Famous Dave’s Restaurant, 2440 U.S. Highway 6&50, and drivers will be signing autographs. Tickets are $12 at the race. Children 12 and under are free.

Nearly 40 drivers are expected to compete, including the 2012 Pikes Peak Open Wheel winner, Spencer Steele, Wyatt Dallenbach and Grand Junction sportsman class drivers Larry Thompson and Mike Magee, race director Brenda Barton said.

The Lands End Hill Climb was originally scheduled for Aug. 18-19, but was changed to accommodate the rescheduled Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Pikes Peak took place Aug. 11-12 after it was postponed because of the Waldo Canyon Fire near the mountain.

Paul Dallenbach won’t be racing because he crashed his open-wheel car in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He received only minor injuries.

The six-time Pikes Peak Open Wheel Class champion will be doing more than helping and cheering on his nephew. The professional stunt car driver from Basalt plans to get more involved in promoting and organizing the race with the Colorado Hill Climb Association. The CHCA puts on four to five races each year at different locations.

“We’ve got meetings (Friday),” Dallenbach said. “We’re hoping to make this a big race next year and make it a mini-Pikes Peak. We want to bring in some competitors that run at Pikes Peak.

“The CHCA wants to see the race bigger, but they are kind of limited being a volunteer club. (It’s) hard for them to get the race off the ground. It’s always been in the back of my mind to do it.”

Dallenbach wants to get involved more because of his proximity to Grand Junction and his passion for hill-climb racing.

“I love the road, number one,” he said. “I think a lot of people have the same feeling. This road, potentially, could be a world-class event.”

Dallenbach has several things in mind, including extending the length of the race, now 5.5 miles.

“If we can get the full 10 miles, or even longer than it is, I think it will attract people from around the country to come out,” he said. “We’re still trying to make it a really good race. The great thing about Lands End is the viewing points are really good. It wouldn’t be hard to put up bleachers and grandstands for more people to view it.”

Famous Dave’s and Alpine Bank sponsor Dallenbach and might get involved, he said.

“We want to try to do a fanfest downtown,” Dallenbach said. “We want to give back. It’s not a come in, take and leave event.”


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