We are thrilled with the number of spectators at our Dragon Hillclimbs! They add a lot of excitement to the event. This is a family friendly event and we do our best to make it fun for the whole family. Here’s a few things you may wish to know if you plan to join us at the Dragon IV Hillclimb – June 22 and 23!

Directions – The actual hillclimb site is about 20 minutes from Robbinsville, NC. There are hillclimb event signs guiding you all the way. The hillclimb site is next to the Joyce Kilmer National Forest entrance. Parking is available on sides of the road at the entrance and drivers are reminded to park their vehicles outside the white stripe to insure easy movement of emergency vehicles.

Admission – there is no charge for admission and shuttle buses are free. The buses can carry you from parking to main launch area, to the middle of course viewing are or to the top of the hill.

Spectator Viewing areas – We have three main viewing areas and each has grandstand seating at a safe distance and restroom facilities.  At the top of the hill, you can sit in the grandstands and watch the cars break the finish line, park their cars and enjoy talking to some of the drivers. Kids are encouraged to get autographs, ring the cowbells and watch the event and there is a beautiful view of the North Carolina mountains from the Observation Deck. You are welcome to bring your own chairs. Graham County EMS and Rescue Squad will be present at all times during the event.







Food / Souvenirs – We will have an assortment of drinks and food items available for reasonable costs, novelty items for the kids and souvenir shirts. You may bring your own picnic if you like but no alcoholic beverages are allowed at the event.

Children / Pets – Children are welcome but must remain with the parents when on the course. We have cowbells for the kids to ring and they will enjoy hanging out with our Dragon mascot. Our drivers enjoy meeting young people, showing their cars and explaining hillclimbs to young people… and hearing the kids ringing the cowbells on turns makes the driver go FASTER! Courseworkers will keep you in safe areas while the cars are making runs. No dogs will be allowed on the actual course but are welcome in other areas as long as they are kept on a leash.

Saturday Schedule – Drivers will begin making runs at 8:30 and will stop around 11:45 AM for lunch. We will resume making runs at 1:00 PM and run until 4:00-5:00 PM. Cars will make runs one at a time against the clock to the top of the 2.2 mile course. After all the cars in that group have finished, we’ll send them back down the hill and let the shuttle buses run. We run in sun, rain and fog. We do not run when there is a thunderstorm. If weather should become threatening we will help all guests to their cars by shuttle bus.

Sunday Schedule – Sunday will be much the same but we will have a quiet hour and brief service for those who wish to attend at 11:00 AM. Cars will run until 3:30 and we will a trophy presentation for winning drivers. The fastest man and woman will receive a special trophy as King and Queen of the Hill – a beautiful Dragonslayer sword.

 We look forward to sharing this event with you and your family!

See you at the Dragon Hillclimb June 22-23 in Robbinsville, NC



Registration is now open for the Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb – June 22-23 in Robbinsville, NC!


SPECTATORS ARE WELCOME AND THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR ADMISSION.  That includes shuttle buses as well.  We’ll have food, family fun and safe spectator areas! IF YOU LOVE SPORTS CARS AND RACING … THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE!

Want to get even closer to the excitement? Volunteers are needed for timing, flagging & communication, grid, and hospitality. In addition to a front row seat for the racing, volunteers will receive free meals, free lodging, and a free dinner at the Saturday night social. SCCA volunteers also receive discounts on their yearly renewals. To volunteer for the Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb, please email vicki@ccrscca.com















It’s time to WAKE UP THE DRAGON!

Registration opens this week! Stay tuned to this website and the www.ccrscca.com website for more information!

Lodging and accomodations are available and can be found here :  www.dragonhillclimb.com/lodging/ 

Remember… there is NO FEE charged to spectators (not even for the shuttle buses than run from parking area to start and the other SAFE spectator viewing areas.) Bring the family, have some food, enjoy the racing and the beautiful Nantahala Forests. Kids are welcome and we have some fun things for them to do as well!

Fun things for the family to do while in the area can be found here :   www.dragonhillclimb.com/2012/06/things-to-do-in-the-robbinsville-area/


Course Map is here!    www.dragonhillclimb.com/general-course-map/

Novice Program will be held again this year. This consists of a FRIDAY NIGHT Classroom and a Saturday morning session with a Mentor who will work with you over the weekend. (Mentor will not ride with you but will watch you and give advice as needed.)  This allows novices to run on a $35 Time Trial Novice License. IF you plan to run, get your license  NOW from SCCA or contact Ted Theodore for forms and process. ( ted@ccrscca.com) . Car preparation for street prepared class can be as simple as adding as approved roll bar, racing harness belts and a fire extinguisher mounted on board…. many of our hillclimbers drive the car they race to and from the event.  It is not as complicated as it seems!

Good Videos to study the course :

          HIGH HP CARS :     Cory Friedman’s Record Setting run

          MID-RANGE HP CARS :  Jeremy Cox in CSP Miata

We have had a strong response from drivers planning to come and run with us June 22-23. Please get your accommodations early and register early to reserve your place!

Trophies will be given to class winners ( 1st  for 1 or 2 car class, 1st & 2nd for 3 cars in class, 1st, 2nd & 3rd for 5 or more cars in class).

Cash payouts will be given to class winners with 3 or more cars in class. Please encourage others to come run or loan your car to help someone get started!



THANK YOU for making the Dragon Hillclimb a success. We REALLY appreciate you being a part and making these events happen. Our drivers have stated repeatedly that they have great appreciation for our corner workers, communications and managers. As one put it,  “It’s a great feeling to be on  course and have confidence that quality well trained workers are keeping the course clean and using all precautions to keep us safe during our runs.”  We invite you to come and be a part of another great hillclimb event and please, bring a friend! We have a lot of corners to cover and many more spectators coming this year. We need you and we will do our best to make sure you enjoy the weekend! Lodging and meals are taken care of and  … you never can tell what else the Dragon may have in store for you! THANKS!


2013 Chasing the Dragon IV Hillclimb.… thanks for being a part of this great series! We will look forward to some fun in the mountains!

Site Review for Dragon IV – June 22 & 23

Several of us drove up to Graham County to meet with the new Graham County Tourism Director  – Tabitha Myler, our Chamber contacts – John and Valerie Feil and Terinda Whisenant with Forestry Services. All meetings went well and we are making plans for Friday night and Saturday night socials. It was a pleasure to see several of the other local vendors who have sponsored events and cars! The county is excited and looking forward to having us back for our June and August events. The Chamber of Commerce gave us a Certificate of Appreciation for our help in their 2012 year events.

A ride up the mountain was interesting… with bare trees, many turns look completely different. You can actually see the Santeetlah Lake and many of it’s fingers from one point that is usually hidden by the trees and flora. The view from the observation deck at the top of Maple Springs is beautiful year round. If you have time one weekend, ride up to Robbinsville, ride the Tail of the Dragon, grab a bite in town and take a drive up the Hillclimb course site. It’s really beautiful this time of the year!

About half way up, we encountered a recent rock slide… nothing major. This will be cleaned up well before our event June 22-23. Everything is on track for a great Chasing the Dragon IV Hillclimb! We look forward to sharing a GREAT event with you. Stay tuned for more announcements… we have some special news coming up in a few weeks!

Stories from Past Dragon Hillclimbers

We love the stories that come from hillclimbers at the Dragon! Here’s a few we thought we’d share :


“In preparing for Chasing the Dragon  II, I’d had quite the thrash during the week prior to the event.  In my rush, there was a thing or two I failed to do.  Between events, my car stays in the garage, along with our four cats.  The cats love to lounge inside the racecar.   In my rush to get to the event, I forgot to clean the cat fuzz out of the car.  Actually, hadn’t thought about it.  That is, until I was on my way up the hill.  As the winds began to move about inside the car, I found myself inside a whirling torrent of cat fur, from single hairs to airborne clumps.  I quickly found myself grabbing the chunks that I could as they came by and throwing the out the window as I made my way up the course.  These are the moments a Go Pro is made for.  I’d turned mine on….and failed to hit the record button.”  – Scott Franklin


“Question:  What’s better than driving up a two-lane mountain road as fast as you can?
Answer: Smiling inside your helmet and waving to the spectators on the way back down!

Although my first SCCA hillclimb, I was welcomed at registration and accepted as part of the “Chasing the Dragon” community of drivers, volunteers, and spectators.  Then after seeing the real race cars, and speaking with the seasoned drivers, I felt somewhat outclassed with my daily driver.  But after a few runs up the hill (and back down), the thought of being outclassed left my mind; spectators approached and asked about my MX-5 Miata and driving experience.  I’m sure the unspoken thought was, “I have one of those and if you can do it, I can do it too!”  The course workers were serious and professional about their work; safety was the focus for all involved.  And volunteers (including my wife), made sure that young and old alike enjoyed their time during the event. Over the weekend, the people of Robbinsville, NC were hospitable, friendly, and supported the activities both in town and at the two-lane hillclimb site.  In short, it’s hard to beat a racing weekend in the mountains, complete with a roadside Sunday service and BBQ lunch with friends. ” – Tim Olsen


“Hillclimbing is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. My parents are both from the Pocono Mtns. of Pennsylvania, which is the hillclimb Mecca of the U.S. So I grew up watching the hillclimbs up there and then Chimney Rock when I moved to Sc. It was a blast being a little kid and waiving to the racers as they came back down after their runs. So, for me, it was really special to be the driver waiving to those kids, and then later on meeting some and being asked to sign autographs for them. I had no doubt in my mind that participating in the hillclimb was gonna be great, as this is something that I wanted to do for years, but I can honestly say that it surpassed my expectations in every way and now I’m hooked.” – Scott Sipler


“It all started with a Facebook invitation to go hillclimbing from Ted Theodore, the event chair, offering that if I brought my own helmet he would put me in an IT-7 Mazda racecar.  Quickly thinking, “I have always wanted to go hillclimbing and if I don’t do it now, I never will”!!! – I contacted my wife who simply said “Do It!”   It was only two weeks before the event, and with the encouragement of family and a couple of coworkers, I contacted SCCA to obtain a novice Track Trial license (simply fill out the online forms for your application, including a medical history form – no exam is needed).  I purchased a new helmet (a SA2005 or newer version is required), and packed up my remaining gear for the event.  Ted had offered the car, but it needed a trailer to get to the mountain, so I went down to his home to pick up a lovely purple RX-7 affectionately known as the “Purple Haze”.  After dragging it home, it became a lovely lawn ornament, much to the delight of my neighbors.  As the hillclimb weekend approached I managed to convince two of my coworkers to come watch me play on the mountain.  They both have now decided to join the hillclimbing ranks and are building cars of their own for this next event.

It all seemed at first as though it wouldn’t come together in time, but the SCCA had my license to me in a matter of days, I had the required driver safety gear (helmet, suit, gloves, shoes) and the car was on a trailer ready to go.  We headed out early on Friday morning to get to Robbinsville, from Charlotte.  Every time we stopped for fuel or food, we spent some time answering questions about the car, the event, and sportscar racing.  North Carolina is famous for NASCAR and local short track racing, but it was interesting how many folks wanted to know more about road racing.  We arrived in town and found our way to the registration site in downtown Robbinsville.  This is a quaint town in the North Carolina mountains, and they are very supportive of the hillclimb participants and visitors.  The car was sponsored by “Ride Robbinsville” and their support was very much appreciated!    We enjoyed a day of food and fun during a summer festival held in town that weekend, and stayed at the “Smoky Mountain Mansion” outside of town.  I attended an informative meeting Friday evening for novice drivers, to discuss specific issues with hillclimbing, driving recommendations, and safety requirements. I also had the chance to meet my co-driver, Marc Osgood, who would be sharing the “Purple Haze” with me during the event.  The next morning we headed to the mountain, with friends in tow, to compete.  After a drivers meeting to go over safety requirements, provide car/run groups, and introduce the event officials, we headed to our cars.  One of the enjoyable experiences of the weekend was the participation of local high school automotive program students in a “junior crew chief” program.  We had one involved with our car and he was both helpful and interested in our car and the sport.

Finally, it was time to go!  After strapping into the car, and rolling up to the line, I was given the signal to start.  As I started up the hill, my first thought was “don’t screw it up”, followed by go – go – go!  I then realized that the tach had quit working in the car.  Since I wasn’t sure what a rotary motor should sound like at speed, I just kept my foot in it and went through the gears till it sounded like it was pulling as hard as it could.  The first run up was a blur of excitement.  It felt fast, but I am sure it wasn’t as nearly as fast as it seemed at the time.  Wow, that was a great feeling and one I wanted to do again, and again!!!   It was like nothing else.  After rolling back down the hill, Mark climbed in the car and went up the hill on his run.  It sounded sporty as he pulled off the line and after the first turn you lose sight of the car.  Sometime later, I heard this odd sound, similar to an old John Deere tractor, coming back down the hill. Only it wasn’t green, it was purple – the Purple Haze was sick!  A fairly quick diagnosis told us that it had lost an engine seal, which would require a complete engine rebuild.  Marc and I felt that our weekend was probably done – the car was broken and was only going to move on a trailer.  Suddenly, Ted comes to the rescue and provides us with replacement cars!!!  I shared a Mazda Miata with his son, TJ, and his co-driver Rick.  Marc climbed in Ted’s own Jedi, a specialty hillclimb car.  I had a blast!  The Miata handled extremely well and was very tight with a lot of grip.  What fun!  However, I realized I needed to come back the next time with my own car, so I didn’t have to drive with the fear of damaging a car that someone else was relying upon for their weekend of sport.  As it was, I was awarded a 1st place in the IT-7 class as I had the only complete run in that class up the hill.  It was also great fun providing autographs to the kids who were simply excited to see the racecars and to talk to a driver of one of these machines – I am sure one of them will be a future champion.

So, after one of the best experiences of my life and certainly of my 40 years behind the wheel of a sportscar, I have spent the last 2 months building up an old Corvette to compete in “Chasing the Dragon III”.  Come to the Dragon, to see the next chapter of the story as I compete along with the best hillclimbers in the country!” – Shane Findlan


“The week before the dragon II was filled with the usual car prep, loading of tires, tools,etc. Both Ray and I were excited to get on the mountain. We decided to hook up the trailer and load the car the night before, as we wanted to get to Robbinsville early so we could leave the car on display. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I won’t bore you with the details except to say I had a little trouble with the neighbors dog; so after getting picked up off the pavement I realized I had a big problem. I couldn’t stand on my left leg. Now what? I decided to stay off of it and apply ice, maybe luck would be on my side and it would be better in the morning…There was no way I was going to miss the event. We decided to go ahead after much debate. I knew that I couldn’t drive, but I also knew that Ray wouldn’t have gone without me. However the event was not a total loss. Being on the sidelines gave me an unique prespective as a spectator. Watching faces as drivers launch off the start line, hearing the cheers as they urge drivers to go faster. Young men asking someone about their car, kids begging for autographs and playing with the “Dragon” Simply amazing how the people of Robbinsville have made all of us feel like a part of their community in such a short time, I know from talking to my fellow racers that all of us are truly grateful to have such a great event. Sadly I will have to miss dragon III as well as I will be getting my knee replacement at that time but, rest assured I will be at the next one!” –  Sheila Cockrell ESP 66 Mustang Cobra II

AS you can see, a lot of great drivers are having a lot of FUN at the Dragon Hillclimb! September 29 & 30 is coming fast so sign up and join us! You’ll never forget your first hillclimb… actually, you’ll never forget the last one you ran either!

Drivers – Maps for Registration/Tech and to the Hill

This link will take you to Registration and Tech on Main Street Friday!   MAIN ST.

After you are Registered and Teched, then you may proceed to the Hillclimb Site and pick out your spot for Paddock. HILLCLIMB SITE

A Paddock Marshall will be there at the hill to help you. First come, First serve. You MAY NOT reserve a spot on the hill in advance of Registration and Tech. The Paddock Marshall is aware of areas that are already planned for use for Emergency Vehicles, Vendors, event staff support vehicles and shuttle buses. If you unload and set up tent and equipment in one of these areas, it will have to be moved.

Thanks for understanding. We have limited space but the “sides of the road” style paddock worked well last year and many said they actually liked the openness, interaction with spectators and closeness with other drivers/teams.

After you are set up on the hill, come on back to Main Street for the Festival planned there. Vendors, food, live music… great time to meet some locals and sponsors for this event.

Thanks for working with us to make this work. Weather is looking perfect and we can’t wait to get this event going and start having some FUN!

– Ted Theodore, Event Mgr.

Supplementary Rules for the June 23-24 event
















































































































































































































Many of our drivers and workers have mentioned they will be coming early or staying late after the hillclimb with their families. Graham County is a GREAT place to take a vacation! One of our SCCA Time Trial Stewards, Karyn Hudson, wrote up  a great guide of things to do in the area. Thanks for your work on this Karyn!


Mill Creek Pottery       57 W. Mill Creek Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • Handmade in the Mountains of North Carolina – Members of Southern Highland Craft Guild – pottery and accessories, including earthenware, stoneware, sculpture, to decorate your home and soothe your spirit. There are two potters in our studio…All our work is made with our hands and comes from our hearts.    millcreekpottery13@yahoo.com
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center    121 School House Rd., Hwy 28, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • Stecoah Valley Center provides local artisans working studios which are open for the public to visit. Classes are offered in authentic mountain crafts such as rug making, spinning, and weaving wood carving, dulcimer and other other mountain music. Culinary workshops offered 2nd Saturday of each month. Stecoah Valley Center is dedicated to the preservation of mountain culture. The center offers many other services for the community and also hosts three mountain cultural festivals each year. Artisans Gallery, featuring a wide variety of original works by local artisans. The Center is dedicated to preserving mountain traditions for generations to come.  (828) 479-3364  http://www.stecoahvalleycenter.com/
Wood Gallery  Yellow Branch Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • One of a kind, functional, artistic turned wooden bowls, and other items made from native hardwoods. Wonderful souvenirs of your trip to the mountains. (828) 479-9373
Yellow Branch Pottery and Cheese    Yellow Branch Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • Yellow Branch Farm is the home of a small herd of jersey cows and their caretaker, Bruce DeGroot, along with Karen Mickler and other DeGroot family members. Licensed since 1985, Yellow Branch Farm is one of a handful of farms in NC producing cheese. The Yellow Branch Farmstead Cheese is an original cheese developed by Karen after training at the University of Wisconsin and University of Guelph, Ontario. The creamy cheese has a well developed rich flavor and complements a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and crackers and is a savory addition to sandwiches and casseroles. Award winning Yellow Branch Pepper Cheese is made with jalapeno peppers grown on the farm. Both varieties, made from unpasteurized milk, are free of preservatives and aged at least 60 days. The cheeses are for sale at Yellow Branch Pottery and at the farm which is located just up the gravel drive by the pottery. Yellow Branch Pottery is located in the mountains of western NC in Graham County, near Fontana Lake. The name was taken from the branch (creek) that runs along the side of the property. Karen Mickler, along with her friend and neighbor, Carol Efaw, produces a varied selection of functional stoneware pottery. Visitors are welcome throughout the year. We have a scheduled time to receive guests, and you can always drop in by chance or make an appointment. (828) 479-6710
Becky’s Country Corner      Fontana Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • Handmade jellies, condiments, tee shirts, jewelry, souvenirs, boiled peanuts  (828) 479-6309
Bee Global Studio & Gallery   1633 Lower Stecoah Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • Hand-dipped beeswax lanterns with embedded pressed wildflowers; beeswax pillars; garden art; wreaths; Bee Glow lanterns; ornaments.  (828) 479-8284
Designs from Buffalo Creek   121 Schoolhouse Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771
  • Handcrafted kitchen pot racks with hand-forged accents; wheel thrown and slab pottery with leaf designs (828) 479-9031

 Distinctive Collections     2905 Fontana Road,  Robbinsville, NC 28771  

  • Original paintings, folk art pottery, handmade pottery, antiques   (828) 479-9494

 Indian Springs Crafts     Snowbird Road, Hwy 143 West, Robbinsville, NC 28771

  • Handcrafted pottery, gourds, beadwork, masks, and other Native American crafts  (828) 479-1535

Tellico Grains Artisan Bakery  105 Depot Street, Tellico Plains TN 37385423-253-6911

  • Fresh from the wood-fired brick oven come wholesome crusty breads, and – on Saturdays – pizza made to order. Gourmet pastries, cakes, tea breads, brownies, cookies, muffins, and coffee cakes are crafted from scratch daily, using traditional methods and the finest, freshest ingredients. Baker’s whim, seasonal harvests, and holiday specialties enhance each day’s delectable variety, from fresh berry turnovers to festive yule logs. Located just off the Cherohala Skyway in Tennessee. Links: Tellico Grains Artisan Bakery website
Special Event
  • Mountain Artisans Arts and Craft Show  WCU Ramsey Center, Cullowhee, NC 28723
  • Mountain Artisans presents the Summertime Arts and Craft Show @ the WCU Ramsey Center. Authentic crafts from the hands of 100 regional artisans. $4.00 admission; children under 12 free. Free Parking.    828-524-3405 Jun. 30, 2012 9:00 am – Jul. 1, 2012 4:00 pm
  • Area Information

    Those looking for a little western North Carolina culture should plan on stopping at the Stecoah Valley Center where there is a variety of cultural events are scheduled and live Appalachian music every Saturday night through the summer. Another popular activity is visiting the local crafters and artisans. Locally grown produce, available all summer, will probably be one of your better memories.
    Activities in Graham County lean toward outdoor adventures. Hiking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing, lake fishing, boating, jet skiing, hunting, horseback riding, nature photography, and mountain biking are some of the more strenuous activities. Others prefer the quiet restfulness of the forest, waterfalls, mountains, lakes, and streams.

    Recommended Driving Tour of Graham County: A driving tour of the entire county would leave Robbinsville and take highway 143 West out to the Cherohala Skyway. Tour up to the North Carolina lookouts and perhaps take a hike on Hooper Bald or up to Huckleberry Knob. Come back down the Cherohala and take a left on 1127 to Joyce Kilmer for a walk among the giant poplars. Leaving there you can take a left for a short ride up to Maple Springs overlook.

    Coming back down from Maple Springs take a left at the 4-way stop and circle Lake Santeetlah. A left at the next stop sign will take you out to 129. Take 129 West and drive along the Cheoah River to Tapoco. The Tapoco Dam is where Harrison Ford jumped in the movie The Fugitive. Keep heading West on 129 and you will enter the world famous touring road known as The Tail of the Dragon. The more cautious tourists might want to turn right on 28 and visit Fontana Dam. Continuing East on 28 will bring you to Stecoah, a beautiful hidden valley. Here you can return to Robbinsville by taking 143 over Stecoah Gap or keep heading east on 28 to 19.

    A right on 19 will bring you the Nantahala Gorge. whitewater rafting, always a good place to sit and watch the rafters on a hot summer afternoon. Continue south on 19 and take a right onto 129 to bring you back to Robbinsville. Taking the big loop would definitely be a long day, so be prepared.

    For good area maps of both Robbinsville & Graham County, go to http://www.grahamchamber.com/maps.html
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