Russell Up To The Challenge In Lincoln
LINCOLN, Neb. – Paul Russell was the Super Challenge winner at the Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo finale at Lincoln Airpark Sunday afternoon.
The Challenge win allowed Russell to claim the 2014 ProSolo Super Challenge Championship. Kim Whitener, of Fort Worth, Texas, was the Ladies Challenge winner earning her the ProSolo Ladies Challenge Championship title.
The Finale brought together the best ProSolo drivers from around the country to Lincoln, Nebraska, to help decide season-long championships in both Super Challenge and Ladies Challenge groups.
The final class runs on Sunday morning were delayed by lighting and a brief downpour. Following the 20-minute intermission, competition got back underway on the pair of rain-drenched courses. The wet conditions forced each driver into a slower pace, but served as more practice in preparation for the Challenge portion of the meet.
Directly preceding the Challenge rounds was the inaugural Speedway Motors SCCA Classic American Muscle Invitational. Josh Leisinger took home the win, in a competition that was very popular among drivers.
“This is my first SCCA event,” Leisinger said. “The track is huge and fast. The surface was awesome and each of the SCCA folks were very helpful.
“With the invitational nature of this competition, there were a lot of fast cars here with some tough competition. I had to be on my ‘A’ game and couldn’t take any of the other drivers lightly. Using the ‘Christmas Tree’ was something different and created some more strategy for the competition.”
The CAM Challenge was not only popular amongst those who competed, but also spectators at the event. The classic, high-powered Detroit iron attracted the attention of the other ProSolo competitors, but also some locals who have never been to National-level Solo events.
Chuck Jones was an SCCA member in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Through his recent attendance at Nebraska Region SCCA events, as well as today’s event, as a spectator, Jones said he is starting to fall back in love with racing.
“When I was a kid I used to go out to stock cars races in which Speedway Motors sponsored cars,” Jones said. “I’ve grown up with the company, in some ways. They have a car here that they are sponsoring, which is awesome.”
Doug Grote is a first-time attendee at an SCCA Solo event. Grote said he was alerted to the event by a customer of his muffler shop.
“I’m really impressed,” Grote said. “I did some work on a Mini Cooper for a couple from Washington who told me about this event. We decided to come out and see it. Hopefully, we can make it out to the Nationals for the rest of the week.
“The overall atmosphere is really cool. The customers from Washington said this is the Super Bowl of autocross, so we wanted to see what it was all about.”
Russell (Kart Modified, Seventhgear.com Tony Kart) started Challenge competition as the No. 3 seed and beat Glen Hernandez (Street Index RWD, Evolution/Chase Race/Petrel Data Systems Chevrolet Corvette) in the opening round.
In the second round, Russell scored the victory over another SR-classed car driven by Eric Peterson (Solo Pro Driving/Atomic Empire Toyota Spyder). Eric Strelnieks (Super Street Modified, Hoosier/OSGiken/Jungle Cat Racing Mazda RX-7) was the next opponent for Russell, in the quarter-finals.