LINCOLN, Neb. (Sept. 7, 2016) – Dawn broke with gray, overcast skies for the second day of competition at the 44th Tire Rack Solo Nationals, presented by Garmin VIRB, at Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska. Things were dry as the masses headed out for morning course walks, but that didn't hold as the rain began coming down during Heat 1 runs.
But the nearly 700 drivers competing across 37 classes in the first half of the Tire Rack Solo Nationals couldn't afford to let wet conditions stand in the path of a celebrated SCCA National Championship, so off they went in search of glory on both the East and West courses.
On the West Course Wednesday, Jenny O'Maley in a Honda Civic Hatchback clawed her way back to the front to claim victory by 2.697 seconds in the Street Modified FWD Ladies Class with co-driver Kristell Janusz finishing second in the same car. Day one leader Shelby Turbeville dropped to fourth. This is O'Malley's third National Championship.
In F Street Prepared, first and second swapped positions from Tuesday, so Steven Duckworth in a Volkswagen Rabbit becomes National Champion with Daniel Costello behind by .204 second in his Honda CRX Si. For Duckworth, this is his second National Championship in three attempts.
Tom Ellam retained the lead Wednesday in B Modified to claim his eighth National Championship. His son, Matthew Ellam, was runner-up just half a second behind. In D Street Ladies, Julie Heaton managed her second National Championship in a Subaru WRX over Marchell Fletcher in a similar vessel with a 1.196-seconds deficit. Then it was Street Modified Ladies racer Stephanie Reeve in a Nissan 240SX who edged out Amanda Hahn in a BMW M3 by .197 second to earn her first National Championship. And in E Modified Ladies on the West Course, Shawn Kiesel stretched her lead to 6.469 seconds over the BMW M3 of Patty Tunnell to gather up her eighth National Championship and seventh consecutive title in the Class.
The karts killed it Wednesday on the West Course, boldly plowing through standing water. In Formula Junior A, Riley Heaton maintained his lead to take home his second Solo Nationals win by beating Glen Allen by 1.094 seconds. Riley has now matched him mother, Julie, who took the STRL National Championship this year. And in Formula Junior B it was Mason Herrick walking away with the win over Carter Heaton by 9.198 seconds. This was Herrick's second consecutive Solo Nationals victory.
The giant C Street Class, with a record-breaking 86 competitors, brought an end to their battle on the West Course Wednesday with Daniel McCelvey nipping Julian Garfield by .058 second for the win, with both driving Mazda MX-5 Miatas. This is McCelvey's second National Championship.
Under drying conditions, the next group of cars showed up for Heat 3 on the West Course starting with a Super Street Porsche 911 GT3 battle won by Scott Fraser who managed a .664-second victory margin on Ken Motonishi. That's Fraser's third National Championship. And in the 36-racer A Street Class, Mark Daddio now has a dozen National Championship with his win this year behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette Z06, which was earned besting John Laughlin by .941 second in a similar vessel. Daddio now has the second-most, all-time wins -- tied with John Ames and Tommy Saunders. He now only trails John Thomas' 17 Championships for the most ever won.
Moving into the afternoon it was Street Modified's turn on the West Course, which didn't seem to fit leader Todd Kean who dropped from first. Christopher Mayfield took the reins in his BMW M3 Sedan and won out over Kean's Nissan 240SX by .083 second to claim his third National Championship. In D Street, Dennis Sparks remained on top in a Subaru WRX for a .233-second win over Kit Gauthier in a similar car. This is Sparks' first National Championship. And C Street Ladies was won by Deana Kelley in a Mazda MX-5 Miata over Becca Nell's Nissan 350Z Touring. A winning margin of 4.418 seconds gives Kelley her first National Championship on her second try.
The final Heat of the day on the West Course featured Street Touring FWD's David Whitener moving from second to the lead in his Acura RSX Type S, beating Chris Shenefield's Honda Civic DX Coupe by a scant .220 second for his fourth National Championship. Also in the final Heat, A Street Ladies racer Rachel Baker remained in the lead in a Porsche Cayman to defeat Denise Cashmore in a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 by 1.785 seconds. This is Baker's second National Championship. Super Street Ladies was dominated by Kristi Brown's Porsche Cayman with a 10-second gap back to Carol Leuty's Porsche Boxster, which gives Brown her fifth National Championship.
Mary Bahr won B Modified Ladies by 1.793 seconds over Carol Burger on the West Course. That's Bahr's third National Championship. Another battle came down to the wire in F Street Prepared Ladies as Bailey Costello in a Honda CRX Si held off a charging Andrea Albin in a Volkswagen Rabbit. Costello claimed a .754-second victory and her very first National Championship.
To wrap up competition on the West Course, it was Street Modified FWD's Jinx Jordan in a Honda Civic DX Hatchback who maintained his lead throughout to beat Mike Forsythe in a Honda Civic Si Hatchback by 1.119 seconds for his fourth National Championship, the first title coming 20 years ago. And Jeff Kiesel in a Bugeye Sprite claimed his record-tying, eleventh straight E Modified National Championship, besting Jason Minehart by .652 second.
On the East Course Wednesday, G Street leader Kenneth Tsang dropped to fourth while Andrew Pallotta in a Ford Focus ST jumped to the top of the 25-driver group to take his fourth National Championship by .033 second over Josh McDonough in a similar car. Pallotta can now claim titles in four different classes.
Another 25-competitor class working the East Course was F Prepared where Tom O'Gorman in a Porsche 914-6 held on to win by .888 second over Erik Strelnieks in a Porsche Boxster. This was O'Gorman's second National Championship. Heat 1 on the East Course then wrapped up with Annie Gill's Scion FR-S ahead by .828 second in Street Touring Xtreme Ladies. She beat Laura Campbell in a Subaru BRZ for her eighth National Championship and fourth in a row.
Heat 2 on the East Course saw C Prepared leader Tommy Pulliam drop down to fifth while Mike Maier in a Ford Mustang ascended to the win with a .758-second gap on Mark Madarash in a Pontiac Trans Am. This is Maier's ninth National Championship. In Kart Modified, leader Paul Russell fell down the chart to seventh while Daniel Wendel popped up to the lead and victory with 1.486 seconds over Shawn Hill. The triumph earns Wendel his first National Championship. Heat 2 then concluded on the East Course with Street Touring Ultra Ladies and Crissy Weaver in a Subaru Impreza managing a .432-second victory, for her fourth National Championship, over Gretchen Weidemann's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. This was Weaver's first Championship in a decade.
It was all Classic America Muscle during Heat 3 on the East Course, but nothing changed from Tuesday. CAM-T was ruled by Robby Unser in a Chevrolet Nova SS. This is Unser's first Solo Nationals victory, which he claimed with a 2.637-seconds gap over Christopher Carmenini driving a Ford Mustang. CAM-S was won by Shawn Lambert in a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 who bested Michael Losert's similar vehicle by 1.733 seconds. And in CAM-C, Brett Madsen couldn't be shaken from the top in his Roush Stage 2, with Ryan Finch in a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 behind by .901 second.
The 71 other competitors in Street Touring Xtreme did their best to unseat leader Craig Wilcox in his Mini Cooper on the East Course Wednesday. Wilcox actually had his car stolen earlier in the season, but it was found by police and he was able to reassemble the ride. As such, Wilcox wasn't going to let anyone steal anything else from him this year and won the Class by 1.294 seconds over David Marcus in a Subaru BRZ. Well earned, this is Wilcox's fourth National Championship.
The final East Course runs included a half-second victory for Street Touring Ultra driver Bryan Heitkotter over Jeff Stuart, both piloting Nissan 350Zs. This makes six National Championships for the Pirelli World Challenge pro, each in a different Solo class. Then in D Modified, Mark Huffman held on in his Lotus Elan for a win over the Stalker Chevy 7 of Jeremy Ellerby by 1.849 seconds. That's Huffman's sixth National Championship.
Several Ladies Classes also wrapped up their two-day event on the East Course. In C Prepared Ladies, Tracy Lewis' Ford Mustang came home ahead of the Ford Mustang Boss of Donna Marx for a 1.812-second win. Lewis now has her second National Championship. The F Prepared Ladies lead was held on to by Jennifer Parker in a Datsun 280Z. The Hawaiian competitor bested Charina Jones in a Pontiac Solstice GXP by 2.577 seconds for her fourth National Championship. And G Street Ladies came down to a Ford Focus ST showdown between Maria Mayorga and Barbara Seeger. Mayorga won by 2.102 seconds for her first National Championship. And the Kart Modified Ladies title went to Kencey Christopher in a Honda Energy Kart with a 5-second gap back to Suzanne Segal. It's now two consecutive National Championships for Christopher.
Below is the National Champion and runner-up for each class that concluded competition Wednesday at the 44th Tire Rack® SCCA Solo Nationals, presented by Garmin VIRB, at Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska. Each entry contains the class, winning driver, hometown and car; second place driver, hometown, car and winning margin.
A Street: Mark Daddio; Beacon Falls, CT; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- John Laughlin; Akron, OH; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- 0.941
A Street Ladies: Rachel Baker; Westford, MA; Porsche Cayman S -- Denise Cashmore; New Berlin, WI; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- 1.785
B Modified: Tom Ellam; Livermore, CA -- Matthew Ellam; San Jose, CA -- 0.593
B Modified Ladies: Mary Bahr; West Salem, WI -- Carol Burger; Noblesville, IN -- 1.793
C Prepared: Mike Maier; Livermore, CA; Ford Mustang -- Mark Madarash; Red Oak, TX; Pontiac Trans Am -- 0.758
C Prepared Ladies: Tracy Lewis; Tallahassee, FL; Ford Mustang -- Donna Marx; Mineral Wells, TX; Ford Mustang Boss -- 1.812
C Street: Daniel McCelvey; Houston, TX; Mazda MX-5 Miata -- Julian Garfield; Mount Airy, MD; MazdaMX-5 Miata -- 0.058
C Street Ladies: Deana Kelley; Tempe, AZ; Mazda MX-5 Miata -- Becca Nell; Norwalk, CT; Nissan 350Z Touring -- 4.418
CAM-C: Brett Madsen; Escondido, CA; Roush Stage 2 -- Ryan Finch; Saline, MI; Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 -- 0.901
CAM-S: Shawn Lambert; Fisherville, KY; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- Michael Losert; Waterford, MI; Chevrolet Corvette Z06 -- 1.733
CAM-T: Robby Unser; Lincoln, NE; Chevrolet Nova SS -- Christopher Carmenini; New York, NY; Ford Mustang -- 2.637
D Modified: Mark Huffman; Litchfield Park, AZ; Lotus Elan -- Jeremy Ellerby; Marion, IA; Stalker Chevy 7 -- 1.849
D Street: Dennis Sparks; Birmingham, AL; Subaru WRX -- Kit Gauthier; Kirkland, WA; Subaru WRX -- 0.233
D Street Ladies: Julie Heaton; Omaha, NE; Subaru WRX -- Marchell Fletcher; Durango, CO; Subaru WRX -- 1.196
E Modified: Jeff Kiesel; Poway, CA; Bugeye Sprite -- Jason Minehart; Cedar Park, TX -- 0.652
E Modified Ladies: Shawn Kiesel; San Diego, CA -- Patty Tunnell; Superior, CO; BMW M3 -- 6.469
F Prepared: Tom O'Gorman; Mason, OH; 1970 Porsche 914-6 -- Erik Strelnieks; Cedar Park, TX; Porsche Boxster -- 0.888
F Prepared Ladies: Jennifer Parker; Kailua, HI; Datsun 280Z -- Charina Jones; Grand Rapids, OH; Pontiac Solstice GXP -- 2.577
F Street Prepared: Steven Duckworth; Gastonia, NC; Volkswagen Rabbit -- Daniel Costello; Omaha, NE; Honda CRX Si -- 0.204
F Street Prepared Ladies: Bailey Costello; Omaha, NE; Honda CRX Si -- Andrea Albin; Topeka, KS; Volkswagen Rabbit -- 0.754
Formula Junior A: Riley Heaton, Omaha, NE -- Trey White; Glen Allen, VA -- 1.094
Formula Junior B: Mason Herrick; McPherson, KS -- Carter Heaton; Omaha, NE -- 9.198
G Street: Andrew Pallotta; Cary, NC; Ford Focus ST -- Josh McDonough; Novi, MI; FordFocus ST -- 0.033
G Street Ladies: Maria Mayorga; Cary, NC; Ford Focus ST -- Barbara Seeger; Pepperell, MA; Ford Focus ST -- 2.102
Kart Modified: Daniel Wendel; Burlington, NC; Praga -- Shawn Hill; Peculiar, MO; Honda -- 1.486
Kart Modified Ladies: Kencey Christopher; Redondo Beach, CA; Honda Energy Kart -- Suzanne Segal; Las Vegas, NV -- 5.729
Street Modified: Christopher Mayfield; Aurora, CO; BMW M3 Sedan -- Todd Kean; Wallingford, CT; Nissan 240SX -- 0.083
Street Modified Ladies: Stephanie Reeve; Sturbridge, MA; Nissan 240SX -- Amanda Hahn; Littleton, CO; BMW M3 Coupe -- 0.197
Street Modified FWD: Jinx Jordan; Terrell, NC; Honda Civic DX Hatchback -- Mike Forsythe; Englewood, CO; Honda Civic Si Hatchback -- 1.119
Street Modified FWD Ladies: Jenny O'Maley; Loveland, OH; Honda Civic Hatchback -- Kristell Janusz, Hunlock Creek, PA; Honda Civic Hatchback-- 2.697
Street Touring FWD: David Whitener; Fort Worth, TX; Acura RSX Type S -- Chris Shenefield; Dallas, PA; Honda Civic DX Coupe -- 0.220
Street Touring Ultra: Bryan Heitkotter; Fresno, CA; Nissan 350Z Base -- Jeff Stuart; Santa Barbara, CA; Nissan 350Z Base -- 0.556
Street Touring Ultra Ladies: Crissy Weaver; Beavercreek, OH; Subaru Impreza WRX STI -- Gretchen Weidemann; Kent, WA; MitsubishiLancer Evolution IX -- 0.432
Street Touring Xtreme: Craig Wilcox; Grain Valley, MO; Mini Cooper -- David Marcus; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Subaru BRZ -- 1.294
Street Touring Xtreme Ladies: Annie Gill; Renton, WA; Scion FR-S -- Laura Campbell; Hendersonville, TN; Subaru BRZ -- 0.828
Super Street: Scott Fraser; San Jose, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 -- Ken Motonishi; Trabuco Canyon, CA; Porsche 911 GT3 -- 0.664
Super Street Ladies: Kristi Brown; Des Moines, WA; Porsche Cayman -- Carol Leuty; Federal Way, WA; Porsche Boxster S -- 10.892
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: Mark Daddio took home the A Street Championship at SCCA Tire Rack Solo Nationals
Credit: Anthony Porta
(For a web-resolution photo, right-click the photo in the story and "save as")