Tire Rack Tri-State Championship Tour

October 28, 2009

On Oct. 24 & 25, the Tire Rack® SCCA Solo National Tour held an event after the Tire Rack Solo National Championships for the first time since 1993. The Tri-State Championship has previously been an ongoing collaborative effort by the MidSouth Region, Arkansas Region and Mississippi Region. When a move to Blytheville didn’t create the growth organizers anticipated, it was decided to give the event a boost by adding it to the Solo National Tour schedule, and the Tire Rack Tri-State Championship Tour at Blytheville was born.

The Arkansas Aeroplex in Blytheville, Ark., had already won the Solo community over long ago with its smooth, spacious concrete and local hospitality. Competitors experienced more of the same for the Tri-States Championship Tour. The two Doug Gill-designed courses were smooth and brisk, with most runs in the low to mid-60s and rather quick top speeds. The locals once again welcomed the event with open arms, hosting a welcome cookout on Friday night and a breakfast Saturday morning. Solo competitors returned the favor by attending a local haunted house to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Additionally, all proceeds from the Saturday afternoon Test and Tune were donated to the haunted house and MDA.

Kyle Langley

Kyle Langley at Tire Rack Tri-State Championship

Following class competition, the Tri-States Championship culminated in a Champion of Champions competition, which pitted the 2009 Eastern States Champions and National Champions up against the newly crowned Tri-State Champions in a two-run shootout, scored on an index. E Modified Tri-State Champion Jeff Cashmore, of New Berlin, Wis., claimed the Champion of Champions honor in his 2002 Sprinto 7 YC-3 over Jon Wagner, of North Richland Hills, Texas, and his Super Stock AfterthoughtsAuto.com Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Cashmore walked away with cash, a free entry to the 2010 Eastern States Championship and a $100 gift certificate from Solo Performance Specialties, a big supporter of the Champion of Champions concept.

The Ladies Champion of Champions was Sierra Danielle Pedroza, of Round Rock, Texas, who piloted an Automotive Specialist/FTW Racing Mazda MX-5 (C Stock) to victory over Tara Johns, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., in a Tweakit Racing/ABC Plumbing Mazda RX-7 (X Prepared). Pedroza too won cash, an ESC entry, an SPS gift certificate and an SCCA membership. (STL Note Beth Whitworth came in 3rd)

A Bonus Championship, for those not eligible for the other CoC showdowns, was staged with randomly selected entrants. C Prepared competitor Robert Lewis, of Tallahassee, Fla., took the win in his Sledgehammer Racing Ford Mustang over Jim Thompson, of Cleveland, Tenn., and his High Pressure Performance/Koni Mazda RX-8 (B Stock). Lewis claimed the cash, ESC entry and SPS gift certificate.

SCCA VP of Solo/Rally and Special Programs Howard Duncan reported that the Champion of Champions concept would be evaluated for use on a regular basis in 2010 National Tour events.

Also making its debut at the Tri-States Championship was the new Street Touring® R class. The category had six entrants in Blytheville, a Honda S2000, Nissan 350Z and Mazda MX-5, and was the center of attention, as onlookers tried to spot which ride would be the hot ticket in the class. Andy Hohl, of St. Ann, Mo., came away with the win in his Mr. Mom Racing/Evolution Honda S2000, besting the LR Green Garage/Perfection Plus Nissan 350Z of Nelson Ireson, from Little Rock, Ark., by 3.195 seconds.

Other notable class winners included Jeff Schaadt, of Gladewater, Texas, who earned the D Stock win in his Hoosier/WMMFT/Thanks Shawn Subaru WRX by 0.271-second over the Chevrolet Cobalt of Des Toups, who made the trip to Arkansas from Bellevue, Wash.

Closer still was the battle in F Stock, where Jim Zeisler, of Cincinnati, Ohio, ultimately topped Kyle Langley, from St. Louis, Mo. Ziesler runs in the Stranoparts.com/Dave Kutney Tire Ford Mustang Shelby beat Langley’s Ford Shelby GT by 0.097-second.

Street Touring Ultra went to John Kvetko, of Cabot, Ark., in a Mitsubishi Evolution X, who beat out the Subaru WRX STi of John Powell, of Maryland Heights, Mo., by a scant 0.417-second.

The largest class of the weekend, C Street Prepared, went to Matt Mccabe, of Omaha, Neb., who topped his co-driver, Mark Jorgensen, also of Omaha, Neb., in their shared Mazda Miata by 2.480 seconds.

Though the total event entry of 135 was modest by National Tour standards, it represented a 90 percent increase over what the event was previously drawing. Considering the competitors reaction to the event, Duncan expects to see further growth in 2010.

The response to the Tri-State Championships was so positive, we have gone ahead and placed it on the calendar for 2010, Duncan said. Considering the site we have to work with, the enthusiasm of the local regions and the support of sponsors like Tire Rack and SPS, we’re expecting to see this even grow another 50 percent next year and hit 200 entrants.

Full results from the 2009 Tire Rack Tri-State Championship National Tour at Blytheville are available by clicking the orange Solo tab at the top of the page. The event did serve as a qualifier for the 2010 Tire Rack National Championships as it was held within 12 months of Nationals.

Results of St. Louis Region Drivers:

National Tour – Tri-States Champions
Dave Whitworth – ESP
Beth Whitworth – FSL
Janice Rick – SSL
Andy Hohl – STR

Trophy Winners
Carla Russo – 2nd in SSL
John Powell – 2nd in STU
Kyle Langley – 2nd in FS.

Some Other Performances
Matt Huntman – 2nd in AS
Dave Montgomery – 3rd in STS
Lynn Wilson – 3rd in STU
Ancel Henry – 3rd in FS
Nalene Langley – 3rd in FSL
Susan Anderson – DML

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