TOPEKA, Kan. (March 22, 2017) The Dixie Championship Tour has become the traditional start to the Tire Rack SCCA® Championship Tour season. The 2017 installment did not disappoint with dramatic class competition and glimpses at what’s to come in the new season.
C Street cars were the first to roll off grid in the chilly first heat. Mike Lawson led after day one in his Scion FR-S. While many started off dirty on day two, Lawson laid down a flying 48.106. He was only able to improve on it by .05, but that was enough to claim the win. Behind him, Randall Prince gained one position, just .209 out of the lead. Chris Sparks and Rick Cone closed out the trophy positions.
The Ladies Grid brought together the 17 ladies class entries of Dixie. Linda Duncan came into day two with a .8-second lead over Laura Johnson. Johnson closed the gap to .577, but was unable to surpass the veteran Duncan. Cindy Duncan, Laraine Wilkinson, Christy Carlson and Roberta Wetzel all fell within one second of Linda Duncan in this index-modified result. Trophies were awarded in all eight classes within this group, and the grid allowed for a sense of camaraderie that brought the ladies drivers together.
Eric Peterson held the E Street lead after day one by .159. He started day two with a DNF, putting him behind the ball. Meanwhile, Johnathan Roberts laid down three consistent runs, setting the times to beat. Peterson was unable to catch up, finishing second and allowing Roberts to take a win in the first Champ Tour of the season. Stephen Rife, Sean Minehart, Steven Hughes and Trevor Renson completed the trophy positions.
Super Street Prepared at the 2017 Dixie Tour could be remembered as the time Courtney Cormier beat himself. After collecting cones on every run of day one, day two followed the same trend. On his third run of the day, a clean run was finally earned, but too late to overcome the deficit caused by cone penalties on day one. Mike Casino capitalized on the opportunity, holding onto his day-one lead, despite a charge from Rad Delgado, to claim his first National Tour win by .099 of a second.
The Street Touring Roadster battle on day one came down to just .085, and nothing different was expected in the final results. Ricky Crow went into day two with the deficit, pushing hard and tagging five cones in his first two runs. Meanwhile, David Marcus was playing it clean and cool setting the time to beat run after run. But on his third attempt, Crow found the cleanliness he needed, with the speed to catch Marcus. Crow claimed the victory by just .067 of a second. Darrin DiSimo, Wes Hughson, Jed Peterson and Nathan Gordon completed the trophy positions.
John Vitamvas held a .209-second lead in D Street Prepared after day one. It was expected that a tighter course could help Mike Kuhn make up that deficit, and that’s exactly what happened. Vitamvas set the early pace but Kuhn was able to find more time, claiming the victory by .2 of a second.
Gregg Henderson held the lead after day one in Street Touring Xtreme, with a one-second blanket over the top six. Day two brought a tight battle between the leading trio of Gregory Shumaker, Terry Tabor, and Henderson. Shumaker set the pace in the first runs, but not able to surpass Henderson’s day one advantage. On third runs, Tabor set a flying 47.265, enough to put him right behind Henderson. Henderson ran immediately after, finding a touch more speed. But then he had to wait and see if Shumaker could make up the difference. He caught a cone at the far end of the course, giving Gregg Henderson the victory by .272 over Tabor. Remaining trophies were won by Phil Bedard, Kristo Kukk, David Lineberry, and Jason Stroud.
The Tire Rack SCCA Championship Tour continues in College Station, Texas, March 24-26, 2016. More information about that event and the rest of the Tour can be found here.
Photo: F Prepared winner at the 2017 Tire Rack SCCA Dixie Championship Tour, Jesse Waymire
Credit: Christy Carlson - Bad Panda Motorsports