TOPEKA, Kan. (May 17, 2016) – A chilly morning with bright blue skies marked the start of the Tire Rack Thunder Valley Showdown SCCA Match Tour event this past weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. With a strong showing from the East Tennessee Region, along with competitors from several neighboring regions and states, over 200 drivers descended into the gorgeous mountain valley to test their mettle.
The opening heat began with 15 drivers in E Street spread amongst Miatas, both turbo and naturally aspirated, and a few MR Spyders. Catching the whole class off guard, Randy Adkins on his National Tour debut took the win by two tenths over Adam Norton.
The second heat brought some warmer temperatures, along with the largest Class at the event, C Street. John Wolf started the morning as the only driver dipping into the 53 second times, with Robert Carpenter nipping at his heels. The rest of the seven trophies in Class were contained within .2 seconds, making it a very tight group. When the dust settled, it was Carpenter who jumped into the lead, having never driven the car before his first run, with Wolf and Brian Priebe taking the remaining podium steps.
As the third heat rolled up, skies were rapidly turning ominous with dark clouds moving over the venue. Jeff Mabrey took the Street Touring Xtreme lead early in his Acura Integra Type R, but couldn't keep the pace in the afternoon as he was overtaken by Bill Bostic and Kristo Kukk. Bostic made up two places on his last run, jumping into first with a .221-second lead over Kukk.
In heat four, the skies opened up in the middle of Ted Visscher and Daniel Wendel's runs in Kart Modified. Thankfully, the downpour only lasted a minute and a true dry line soon formed. Wendel went on to take the win, with local East Tennessee Region member Scott Boito in second. And taking top PAX for the morning and afternoon sessions was Randall Wilcox who drove a set of blistering runs in Eric Anderson's Super Street Modified Miata.
With Class champions crowned, the focus shifted Sunday to Shootouts. Justin Barbry drew first blood, but Randy Adkins dispatched him and went up against Jason Rucker to decide the Heat 1 winner of the Top Dog Shootout. When all was said and done with the heat runs, the Shootout was set with Rucker, Wilcox, Wolf and Todd Kunze all having one run to get it done. In the end, Wilcox became the 2016 Thunder Valley Match Tour Top Dog.
In the Lucky Dog Shootout, Brian Katz in a Z06 Corvette took the win. The Underdogs then commenced four knockout heats that resulted in one-run showdowns featuring Stephen Rife, Cindy Duncan, Dewitt Payne and Curt Boegemann. Throwing it all down on his final run, Payne ended up the Underdog winner.
From here, the Match Tour series visits Topeka, Kansas, for the Tire Rack Heartland Showdown at Heartland Park Topeka. For additional information about SCCA Solo, visit www.scca.com/solo.
Story: Aditya Madhaven/SoloMatters
Image: Randall Wilcox is the Thunder Valley Match Tour Top Dog
Photo Credit: SoloMatters