Final SCCA Solo Champions Crowned
Yet another 50 car class capped the week on the West Course, when overnight Street Touring R leader Brian Peters, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., laid down his best time of the day with the first run he took on Friday in the ProParts USA Nissan 350Z. Peters never bettered that opening time, but he sat and watched as no one else did, either. He escaped with his fourth career National Championship.
Jordan Townes, of Birmingham, Ala., was more than a second behind in the Street Touring Xtreme Ladies class after the opening day, but was 1.7 seconds quicker than anyone else around the West Course on Friday in her Dixie Audacity Mazda RX-8. When the dust settled, Townes had earned her first National Championship by 0.609-second.
The same excitement could be found on the East Course.
Paul Russell, of San Diego, Calif., added one more Solo National Championship, for a career total of five, with a title in Kart Modified. After taking the lead on the tight and technical West Course during Thursday’s competition, Russell sealed the deal by turning a fast time of 65.320 seconds on the East Course in his Tony Kart Honda. His was the only time to break into the 65-second rage on the East Course that allowed drivers a better chance to use the gas pedal. After three completed runs, Russell cleared the class runner-up by 2.145 seconds.
Heat Two featured three come-from-behind wins. The most significant of those was Greg McCance’s dramatic win over six-time defending National Champion Mark Madarash, in E Street Prepared. McCance, of Ramona, Calif., was able to put together a heroic third run, tripping the timing beam at 72.285 seconds to put his combined time 0.615-second ahead of Madarash. McCance, who scored his second National Championship driving his Fastndrunk Subaru WRX, jumped from third after Thursday’s runs. McCance finished runner-up to Madarash in the 2009 Nationals, and was third when the recently crowned Solo Driver of Eminence won in 2010.
C Modified was equally as intriguing. Nick Myers, of Danville, Ind., took home his first National Championship by taking down defending class National Champion Brandon Lavender. Driving his Swift DB1, Myers had laid down a run that put him into the top spot, with Lavender’s final run remaining. On his third run, Lavender spun three-quarters of the way through the course. The error and resulting four-cone penalty left him short of Myers, who started the day in a tie for fifth, and ended as the National Champion.
Teddie Alexandrova, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was the winner of the Road Tire RWD Ladies supplemental class. Starting the day second, she was able to put in a fast time during her first run in the Blue Tourqeless Ricers Club Honda S2000. She was able to pass Elizabeth Whitworth, yesterday’s leader, and hold off Brianne Green for a 0.529-second indexed win.
Dan Cyr, of Libertyville, Ill., posted a best time on his second Friday run in the Lamm Mk5 of 63.920 seconds, good enough to win the B Modified title. Defending Natioal Champion and Thursday leader Clemens Burger tried to regain his lead with two final runs, but fell 0.198-second short at the finish.
Shawn Keisel, of Poway, Calif., took home her fourth-consecutive E Modified Ladies National Championship, and sixth title overall, during heat four. She stretched her Day One-lead to a total of 11.139 seconds over Karen Eickhoff.
Michael Maier, of Livermore, Calif., went into Friday’s final day of competition with a comfortable lead in C Prepared. The big lead didn’t cause any lack of focus, as he was able to lay down the fastest time on his third run driving his Maier Racing Ford Mustang. Several competitors including Darrel Padberg and Todd Farris attempted to best Maier’s time, with Farris capturing second a distant 2.112 seconds short of Maier in the final tabulation.
Frank Stagnero, of Petaluma, Calif., kept pace with Bill Goodale, of Milford, Mass., in their personal battle for the trophies won at the Solo Nationals. Stagnero captured his 32nd trophy in C Prepared on Friday, while Goodale took home his hardware in A Modified on Thursday. Their shared mark stands as the most trophies won in Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championship history.
Former IndyCar and Formula One pilot Eliseo Salazar participated in the National Championships as part of a team of drivers that made the trip from Chile for the event. Salazar ran in the big-iron C Prepared class, but did not register a time in the Ford Mustang he drove.
E Street Prepared Ladies was a close battle, with Mandy Owen, of Phoenix, Ariz., taking the title at the end of the day. Owen, who entered Friday’s competition with a lead, did not set the quickest time on the West Course, but used Thursday’s cushion to clinch the title. Lorien Feighner put the pressure on Owen, threatening the lead but unable to close the gap completely.
Seven drivers completed the requirements for the most difficult on-track Solo award, the Solo Triad Award. To be eligible for the Solo Triad, a driver must win a regular season Championship Tour event, a regular season Match Tour event, and the Solo National Championship – all in the same class. Shelly Monfort (SSL), Learic Cramer (CSL), Jason Frank (STC), Joe Tharpe (SSP), Tom O’Gorman (FP), Carter Thompson (SSM), and Nick Meyers (CM) all grabbed the trophy during the Lincoln competition.
Additionally, Trey White completed the same requirements in Junior Kart B. Though the Junior classes are not eligible for official National Championships, White will take home a McClintock-Berry Cup for Junior class drivers.