It's the 101st year of the Pike's Peak Hill Climb. An event like this is supposed to be fun, and Sterling Chase is having fun. He’s one of the reasons why there’s no race better than the Race to the Clouds.
Chase works on the crew for racer James Clay, but he’s also become the unofficial hype man for the Hill Climb. He rings a cowbell or two, while holding a sign with slogan like "Git Some!" written on it. As each racer takes off, he shakes the cowbell, shouts words of encouragement to each driver, and cheers as they take off.
"First I wanted to be a racer, but then I just find the joy just working on the vehicles and everything else," Chase says. "For us to be able to get the vehicle up on the hill and get going, that's a that's a podium for me for sure."
Chase is a Colorado Springs native. He went to Liberty high school. He's been involved with racing for about 25 years. This man truly loves racing.
"What was that saying? Sleep, eat, and breathe, you know that old saying? Yeah love it! Definitely love it. Just coming out here is just amazing," Sterling says.
Racers start weekday practices at 2-3 in the morning. Chase can wake anyone up with his energy.
"This first started with the with the guys of the folks who were Rocky Mountain Vintage racing," Chase says. "I wasn't really sure that, like, everybody's going to be excited about the hype, but they started it up, and you know, everybody loved it. And I was like, I was bringing this flavor to the hill and see what happens. For the most part, just being around here and being with these folks, you know, it's just it's it's an amazing time to get that gets me going for sure."
For a Colorado Springs native, nothing beats the Hill Climb.
"Oh, it means everything," Chase says. "I mean, the second oldest race in the country is in our backyard, and why the heck not be part of it, and be part with this great group of people and everything else to make this happen?"
The 101st Race to the Clouds takes place on June 25th.