Roger’s Race Car: Meet The #98 Corvette Challenge Champion
Despite even a soft roll, the legendary winner is still alive and well
Recently I had the opportunity to not only meet Roger Judski again but also got a chance to get up close and personal with a race car from a series I had just done a feature on. Not too long ago while browsing my favorite Corvette forum, I was reminded by a fellow enthusiast of the moment the Corvette got so good they were kicked out of the SCCA racing series for trouncing the Porsche 944s. The powers to be said fine and just formed their own series. It was so compelling I did a story on it here.
I hadn’t seen Roger in well over a decade, and it wasn’t too long after greeting him at his favorite perch near his collection that I noticed the car. I excitingly thought that’s a C4 from the series I did the feature on, in the flesh! Silly me for forgetting it was one of Roger’s coveted pieces. As we approached the infamous racer, the first thing Roger wanted to point out was that it was in the exact “race-ready” condition as when it came off the track, without so much as a wash. And it has been untouched since he acquired her in 1991, with just 3,606 “Sunday-driven” miles.
Stuart Hayner of Yorba Linda, California may not be a legendary racing name, but in the inaugural year of the Corvette Challenge racing series, he had a legendary run, with one victory, two seconds, one third, and nine top ten finishes. For the first year of this brand-new series in 1988, 56 Corvettes were factory built and modified to racing specifications by Protofab Engineering.
Not too long after the series ended Roger had an opportunity to buy this rare 1 of 56 champion from the folks who campaigned the car, but there was just a small catch: he had to buy the #97 driven by Bobby Carradine (yes the ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ Carradine). Roger told me, “I was okay with the pair then, and I’m still okay now.” I need to learn something from him, as it seems buyer’s remorse always seeps in on my Corvette purchases. What makes this #98 even more rare is that it was only 1 of 22 to run in all 10 races for the inaugural year.
And let’s not forget about that roll I hyped in the beginning. Roger made sure to point out all the unique damage only a soft roll in the grass would produce. Oddly enough, I could not find a picture on the internet of the aftermath of this roll but did find a video (shown below) from year two of the series, where Stuart earned the nickname “Flipper” after a violent roll in a different car.
I’d like to finish by first giving a big thanks to Roger for his gracious open-arms nature. I showed up unannounced and once he saw my enthusiasm for his race car, encouraged me to go behind the chains to get some close-up pictures. And before I sign off for today I want to leave you with the video that earned Stuart Hayner the “Flipper” nickname. It still amazes me what you can find on the internet when you go searching. We usually have vibrant discussions on our Facebook page, I would love to hear your comments! Douglas B.