LINCOLN, Neb. (Sept. 6, 2016) – The opening day of competition for the 44th Tire Rack Solo Nationals, presented by Garmin VIRB, began under blue skies with a good breeze blowing from the south. The West and East courses at Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska, designed respectively by Marcus Merideth and John Hunter, were dry and ready for the 37 classes competing on day one of the Sports Car Club of America event.
Nearly 700 drivers across the day's five heats snaked around the concrete taxiways of Lincoln Airpark, which since 2009 has been home for the SCCA Tire Rack Solo Nationals -- the largest motorsports competition in the world.
The West Course saw one of the larger competition classes, with Street Touring Xtreme logging 72 competitors. Craig Wilcox currently holds the lead by a scant .182 seconds over the Subaru BRZ of Justin Tsang. In Street Touring Xtreme Ladies, Annie Gill holds a half-second lead in her Scion FR-S over Laura Campbell's Subaru BRZ. A similarly close fight also emerged in Street Touring Ultra Ladies with Crissy Weaver's Subaru Impreza WRX STI grabbing a .284 second lead on Mina Ingraham in a similar car after West Course runs.
One of the tightest races on the West Course emerged in the 22-driver Kart Modified field with Paul Russell leading Daniel Wendel by .088 second. Another West Course fight was in F Prepared with Porsche 914-6 co-drivers Tom O'Gorman and Dave Montgomery separated by .358 seconds. That duo broke an axle at the start, but got it welded back together quick and didn't skip a beat. And nearly the same difference exists in G Street between the leader and second as Kenneth Tsang in a Volkswagen GTI is currently ahead of Neil Britton in a Ford Focus ST after their West Course runs.
Forty C Prepared drivers also took to the West Course on Tuesday, with .124 second difference between leader Tommy Pulliam and second place Mike Maier at the moment. CAM-C also has a good-sized field of 27 racers led by Brett Madsen after day one in a Roush Stage 2 with .701 second over Shawn Meagher's Chevrolet Camaro SS. The CAM-S Class is tight with Corvette drivers Shawn Lambert and David Howdyshell split by less than half a second. And Robby Unser's Chevrolet Nova SS led on the West Course with .706 second on Stephen Farkas' Ford Mustang in second.
Street Touring Ultra also opened up its Tuesday competition on the West Course with 39 drivers currently led by Bryan Heitkotter in a Nissan 350Z with .430 second on Robert Pendergest's Subaru Impreza WRX STI. And in D Modified, Mark Huffman leads the Porsche 911 of Jeremy Ellerby by .206 second.
Kart Modified Ladies is currently led by Kencey Christopher's Honda Energy Kart with more than a 2-second gap on Suzanne Segal after West Course competition. On the same circuit, C Prepared Ladies' Tracy Lewis in a Ford Mustang has nearly a half-second lead on Donna Marx in a Ford Mustang Boss. Also on the West Course Tuesday was F Prepared Ladies, which is led by Jennifer Parker's Datsun 280Z by almost two seconds over Charina Jones and her Pontiac Solstice GXP. And to wrap up West Course competitors for day one, G Street Ladies' leader Maria Mayorga in a Ford Focus ST is ahead by .698 seconds on Melanie Dorsey in a similar vehicle.
On the East Course, the closest competition didn't emerge until the final heat in Street Touring FWD where Acura RSX Type S racers Michael Heinitz and David Whitener are separated by only .027 second. On the other end of the East Course competition spectrum sits Super Street Ladies where Kristi Brown's Porsche Cayman has a giant 4.563-second lead on the Porsche Boxster of Carol Leuty. In Street Modified FWD it's Jinx Jordan's Honda Civic DX Hatchback with .342 second on Chris Haydu's Honda Civic Hatchback. Even closer is the Street Modified FWD Ladies with Shelby Turbeville holding a .240 second lead in her Honda Civic Hatchback over Jenny O'Maley piloting a similar vessel.
The East Course also saw day one action from the Street Modified Ladies Class where Stephanie Reeve has a half-second lead on Jodi Fordahl, both driving Nissan 240SXs. Meanwhile, in Street Modified, another pair of Nissan 240SX drivers, Todd Kean and David White, are only split by .303 second.
The 30-car Super Street battle on the East Course was the second tightest of the day. There, Scott Fraser's Porsche 911 GT3 holds a slight .072-second advantage on Ken Motonishi in a similar vehicle. In C Street, Mazda MX-5 drivers Daniel McCelvey and Julian Garfield have .153 second between them in a field nearing 90 competitors, and in A Street it's Chevrolet Corvette Z06 racers Mark Daddio and Laurence Casey up front, with Daddio claiming a .527-second lead.
B Modified began its two days of competition on the East Course with Tom Ellam having a .109-second advantage on the Mk18 of Zachary Moore, and Mary Bahr leading BML by .819 second over Carol Burger. And in karting action on the East Course Tuesday, Formula Junior pilot Riley Heaton leads Trey White by 1.257 seconds, and Formula Junior B racer Mason Herrick is ahead of Carter Heaton by .467 second.
The Kiesels had a good opening day on the East Course in E Modified with Jeff Kiesel's Bugeye Sprite leading Jason Minehart by .394, and Shawn Kiesel leading in EML by a whole 2.343 seconds over the BMW M3 of Patty Tunnell. Then there's D Street Ladies where Julie Heaton established a .612-second lead on Marchell Fletcher both driving Subaru WRXs; and Dennis Sparks leading Scott Mullens by .330 seconds, also both driving Subaru WRXs.
The East Course hosted F Street Prepared competition throughout the day where Daniel Costello's Honda CRX Si has a .153-second lead on Steven Duckworth's Volkswagen Rabbit, and Bailey Costello in a Honda CRX Si currently leads Jocelyn Locascio in a Volkswagen Rabbit by 1.820 seconds.
The C Street Ladies also called the East Course home Tuesday where Deana Kelley built a 2.453-second gap in her Mazda MX-5 Miata on Jennifer Vance's Ford Focus ST. And in A Street Ladies it's Rachel Baker in a Porsche Cayman S with almost a .6-second lead on the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 of Denise Cashmore.
Below are the top two runners in each of the classes competing Tuesday and Wednesday in the 44th Tire Rack® SCCA Solo Nationals, presented by Garmin VIRB, at Lincoln Airpark with class, leading driver, hometown and car; second place driver, hometown, car and gap to leader.
A Street: Mark Daddio; Beacon Falls, CT; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- Laurence Casey; Frederick, MD; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- 0.527
A Street Ladies: Rachel Baker; Westford, MA; Porsche Cayman S -- Denise Cashmore; New Berlin, WI; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- 0.599
B Modified: Tom Ellam; Livermore, CA -- Zachary Moore; Hartland, WI; Mk18 -- 0.109
B Modified Ladies: Mary Bahr; West Salem, WI -- Carol Burger; Noblesville, IN -- 0.819
C Prepared: Tommy Pulliam; Duluth, GA -- Mike Maier; Livermore, CA -- 0.124
C Prepared Ladies: Tracy Lewis; Tallahassee, FL, Ford Mustang -- Donna Marx, Mineral Wells, TX; Ford Mustang Boss -- 0.476
C Street: Daniel McCelvey; Houston, TX; Mazda MX-5 Miata -- Julian Garfield; Mount Airy, MD; MazdaMX-5 Miata -- 0.153
C Street Ladies: Deana Kelley; Tempe, AZ; Mazda MX-5 Miata -- Jennifer Vance; Raleigh, NC; Ford Focus ST -- 2.453
CAM-C: Brett Madsen; Escondido, CA; Roush Stage 2 -- Shawn Meagher; West Bloomfield, MI; Chevrolet Camaro SS -- 0.701
CAM-S: Shawn Lambert; Fisherville, KY; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- David Howdyshell; Chandler, AZ; Chevrolet Corvette -- 0.416
CAM-T: Robby Unser; Lincoln, NE; Chevrolet Nova SS -- Stephen Farkas; Oak Ridge, NJ; Ford Mustang -- 0.706
D Modified: Mark Huffman; Litchfield Park, AZ -- Jeremy Ellerby; Marion, IA; Porsche 911 -- 0.206
D Street: Dennis Sparks; Birmingham, AL; Subaru WRX -- Scott Mullens; Lancaster, CA; Subaru WRX -- 0.330
D Street Ladies: Julie Heaton; Omaha, NE; Subaru WRX -- Marchell Fletcher; Durango, CO; Subaru WRX -- 0.612
E Modified: Jeff Kiesel; Poway, CA; Bugeye Sprite -- Jason Minehart; Cedar Park, TX -- 0.394
E Modified Ladies: Shawn Kiesel; San Diego, CA -- Patty Tunnell; Superior, CO; BMW M3 -- 2.343
F Prepared: Tom O'Gorman; Mason, OH; 1970 Porsche 914-6 -- Dave Montgomery, Cincinnati, OH; Porsche 914-6 -- 0.358
F Prepared Ladies: Jennifer Parker; Kailua, HI; Datsun 280Z -- Charina Jones; Grand Rapids, OH; Pontiac Solstice GXP -- 1.721
F Street Prepared: Daniel Costello; Omaha, NE; Honda CRX Si -- Steven Duckworth; Gastonia, NC; Volkswagen Rabbit -- 0.153
F Street Prepared Ladies: Bailey Costello; Omaha, NE; Honda CRX Si -- Jocelyn Locascio; Charlotte, NC; Volkswagen Rabbit -- 1.820
Formula Junior A: Riley Heaton, Omaha, NE -- Trey White; Glen Allen, VA -- 1.257
Formula Junior B: Mason Herrick; McPherson, KS -- Carter Heaton; Omaha, NE -- 0.467
G Street: Kenneth Tsang; Ann Arbor, MI; Volkswagen GTI 2-Door -- Neil Britton, Huntington Woods, MI; Ford Focus ST -- 0.394
G Street Ladies: Maria Mayorga; Cary, NC; Ford Focus ST -- Melanie Dorsey; Littleton, CO; Ford Focus ST -- 0.698
Kart Modified: Paul Russell; San Diego, CA -- Daniel Wendel; Burlington, NC -- 0.088
Kart Modified Ladies: Kencey Christopher; Redondo Beach, CA; Honda Energy Kart -- Suzanne Segal; Las Vegas, NV -- 2.640
Street Modified: Todd Kean; Wallingford, CT; Nissan 240SX -- David White; Rutland, MA; Nissan 240SX -- 0.303
Street Modified Ladies: Stephanie Reeve; Sturbridge, MA; Nissan 240SX -- Jodi Fordahl; Bremerton, WA; Nissan 240SX -- 0.586
Street Modified FWD: Jinx Jordan; Terrell, NC; Honda Civic DX Hatchback -- Chris Haydu; Dallas, PA; Honda Civic Hatchback -- 0.342
Street Modified FWD Ladies: Shelby Turbeville; Charlotte, NC; Honda Civic Hatchback -- Jenny O'Maley; Loveland, OH; Honda Civic Hatchback -- 0.240
Street Touring FWD: Michael Heinitz; San Diego, CA; Acura RSX Type S -- David Whitener; Fort Worth, TX; Acura RSX Type S -- 0.027
Street Touring Ultra: Bryan Heitkotter; Fresno, CA; Nissan 350Z Base -- Robert Pendergest; Wichita, KS; Subaru Impreza WRX STI -- 0.430
Street Touring Ultra Ladies: Crissy Weaver; Beavercreek, OH; Subaru Impreza WRX STI -- Mina Ingraham; Lake Oswego, OR; Subaru Impreza WRX STI -- 0.284
Street Touring Xtreme: Craig Wilcox; Grain Valley, MO; Mini Cooper -- Justin Tsang; Hayward, CA; Subaru BRZ -- 0.182
Street Touring Xtreme Ladies: Annie Gill; Renton, WA; Scion FR-S -- Laura Campbell; Hendersonville, TN; Subaru BRZ -- 0.590
Super Street: Scott Fraser; San Jose, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 -- Ken Motonishi; Trabuco Canyon, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 -- 0.072
Super Street Ladies: Kristi Brown; Des Moines, WA; Porsche Cayman -- Carol Leuty; Federal Way, WA; Porsche Boxster S -- 4.563
For a complete rundown of competition, visit the Tire Rack Solo Nationals webpage. Also follow all the action with live timing, scoring, video interviews and more at SCCA.com.
Photo: A Street racers await their shot at the Tire Rack Solo Nationals
Credit: Anthony Porta