COLORADO SPRINGS — Long before the sun shines on America's mountain, teams from near and far have come to race in the clouds.
"This is probably one of the most iconic races in the United States in that it's so difficult," driver Fred Veitch said. "This course forces you to be the best driver you can be."
One of the world's most unique motorsport races, the 2020 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will have its day on the asphalt. Just a few months late and without fans but the 98th edition is set to get the green flag Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m.
"Hopefully our intelligence is never questioned because we like to drive fast cars on a mountain road, I think that's everyone's dream actually," driver Layne Schranz said.
From 72-year old Fred Veitch, looking for one last ride, to pastor Don Wickstrum, who's faith brought him back for a second try after crashing last year. There's no shortage of storylines on this 12.4- mile ride, complete with 156 turns at speeds of more than 100 miles-an-hour.
"I'll be 73 in 60 days and would love to go out with a win," Veitch said.
"Having your eyes on the prize, realizing the greatest prize you can have is making it to the top on race day so that's the No.1 goal," Wickstrum said. "Of course, we want to do it as fast as we can."
"This race has always been man, woman, and machine against the mountain," Schranz said.
Dating back to 1916, the historic race is ready to add another chapter in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Here we are, we're able to do it and for a lot of racers here it feels like normal," Wickstrum said.
A difficult road to navigate, but with those willing to answer the challenge.
"With NASCAR and Indycar having to cancel most of their races, the ability to host and have this race is doubly special this year," Veitch said.