BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (March 25, 2014) – David Whitener, of Fort Worth, Texas, drew first blood in the season-opener of the 2014 Tire Rack® SCCA ProSolo® Championship, held over the weekend at the Arkansas Aeroplex. David took home the Super Challenge win while Kim Whitener, his wife, notched a victory in the Ladies Challenge. The husband/wife win was the first since Paul and Meredith Brown did the same two years ago at Farmington.
Wind and cool temperatures were the prevailing conditions that the 146 competitors had to endure throughout the weekend. In fact, a propane heater was needed on Sunday morning to help cure material used to make some minor course repairs that were put down Saturday night.
The challenging conditions did not deter members of the Mid-South and Arkansas Regions, who hosted the event. Aside from putting on a Friday-night cookout, event organizers had access to an expanded area at the Arkansas Aeroplex. The additional space allowed course designer Grady Wood to create large, but technical courses that challenged each competitor throughout the weekend. The extended courses resulted in layouts that were about five seconds longer than typical Tire Rack ProSolo courses.
Whitener qualified for the start of Sunday afternoon’s 32-car Super Challenge after winning the Street Touring Compact Class in his Black Armor Helmets Honda Civic Si.
During the bracket-style competition, Whitener took a first-round win over Andy Hohl (SP/SM Index A, Evolution/Thanks Joe Chevrolet Corvette). Then, he advanced to the round of eight by shutting down class-winner Lee Chhit and his Street Touring FWD Outdoorsolutions4u.com/CCC/MINIUSA Mini Cooper.
With eight drivers left in the Super Challenge bracket, Whitener defeated Street Touring X top-qualifier Craig Wilcox (OS Giken/NM Engineering/Way Motorworks Mini Cooper S) to earn a spot in the semi-finals.
Whitener punched his ticket to the final by beating Chris Harvey (The Tire Rack Mazda MX-5). Darren Seltzer was the only other driver left standing.
Seltzer (Bump Class, DarrenSeltzer.com Raptor F500) got to the finials by beating Darrin DiSimo (Street Touring Sport, Mazda Miata) in the quarter finals, and Eric Peterson (Street Index RWD, Solo Pro/Atomic Empire Toyota Spyder) in the semis.
Whitener took the final-round victory over Seltzer. In the third-place runoff, Harvey captured the final podium spot.
Kim Whitener started the weekend’s competition by winning the Ladies Class 3 in her Texas Track Works/Black Armor Helmets Honda Civic. She put down Kathy Grunenwal (Ladies Class 3, T-Bones Home for Wayward Women Honda Civic Si) and Shelly Monfort (Ladies Class 1, StranoParts.com/shameless Iced Tea Chevrolet Corvette GS), in the first two rounds.
In the final matchup, Whitener defeated Tara Johns (Ladies Class 1, Tweakit/ABC Plumbing Mazda Miata). The win put Whitener in the early season-long points and in the catbird seat to repeat as the ProSolo Ladies Challenge Champion. Chris Peterson (Ladies Class 2, Toyota Spyder) took home third after winning the runoff against Monfort.
John Mensch, of Minneapolis, Minn., drove his Frugal Racing Enterprise Mazda Miata to a Bonus Challenge win.
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