Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
6/6/18 11:17 a.m.

Lead photo by Tom Suddard, all other photography as credited

The racing world of the early ’70s was a lot different from today’s. IMSA was in its infancy, NASCAR was still a Southern thing, and SCCA road racing was all the rage, drawing factory-backed efforts to both the professional and amateur ranks.

Back then, the racing wasn’t just about honor. It was for market share. Car manufacturers believed that a win on Sunday meant a sale on Monday. Magazine ads touted on-track success, and SCCA racers like Mark Donohue, Parnelli Jones and John Morton became national motorsports heroes. Teams that would become powerhouse legacies, like Penske, Bud Moore and Group 44, could be found running those SCCA campaigns.

To clinch valuable bragging rights, those factory-supported ventures went deep–way beyond just the high-profile, big-bore Trans-Am events. To help promote its own sports cars, in the early ’70s Triumph divided its SCCA effort into two factions: Recent Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Bob Tullius and his Group 44 team would field the East Coast races, while another emerging legend, Kas Kastner, would concentrate on West Coast events at the helm of Kastner-Brophy Racing.

For the 1972 season, both teams were tasked with campaigning Triumph’s GT6 in the D Production class. Triumph’s hope was to see entries from both of its teams on grid at the season-ending American Road Racing Championships, the event now known as the Runoffs. For this annual contest, the SCCA invites the top drivers from each division and crowns a single victor.

Triumph got its wish. While Tullius and Kastner were technically partners all year long, ever the racers, they were mortal enemies when it came time for the ARRC showdown.

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