TOPEKA, Kan. (July 11, 2017) – As has come to be expected at one of the most beautiful destinations on the Tire Rack SCCA® Championship Tour, the weather in Packwood, Washington was perfect from the time competitors arrived on Friday through their departure on Sunday. Intense competition was the standard as 264 drivers took part in the two-day event. Nestled between Mt. St Helens and Mt. Rainier, participants enjoyed a picnic with a view Saturday night.
In B Street, Dan Bullis came into day two with a mere 0.076-second lead over Ryan Clark. Bullis extended that advantage to take the win by 0.917 second in his Chevrolet Corvette. In addition, Bullis served as event chair, splitting his focus between driving and organizing the event. Clark, Ben Pullen, Brad Herley and Scott Dixon took home the trophies in the class made up of a half-dozen makes and fourteen drivers.
The C Street Prepared drivers came out in force with four trophies being awarded for the 10 competitors. Jim Mclaughlan led day one, finding speed after cleaning up a dirty first run to carry a 0.157-second advantage into Sunday. But, when the second day came, Mclaughlan wasn’t able to clean up his fastest runs, being forced to stand on his first run to slot him into third place. Bob Bundy found the most speed on day two with a blistering third run to take the victory by just 0.053 second over Matt Zyskowski. Don Nimi claimed the fourth and final trophy.
For Street Touring Roadster, it was the battle between Mazda Miata and Honda S2000. On Saturday, Kevin Dietz took the early lead in his Honda, but fell to second as Ron Bauer found the time to lead by 0.139 headed into the second day of competition. On Sunday, Dietz again found the speed by second runs, but Bauer found the time on third runs to take the win by just 0.150 second. As the largest class of the weekend with 25 entries, the remaining trophies were claimed by Dean Chen, Mark Ayers, Michael Lillejord, Lois Law and Jerry Jenkins.
Next in the Heat One grid, C Street continued to show us that the ND Mazda Miata is the car to have, with a Subaru BRZ, Mazda RX-8, and Fiat 124 Spider serving as class interlopers. Joe Goeke set the fastest time on Saturday with a 0.072-second lead over Maurice Velandia. On Sunday, he strengthened his lead to take the overall win by a margin of 1.128 seconds. Velandia fell to third as Brian Coulson was the only driver keeping pace with Goeke, missing out on the fastest time of the day due to a cone. Murray Peterson slotted into fourth for the final trophy.
The second largest class of the weekend was Street Touring Xtreme with 20 entries. Steve O’Blenes drove his Mazda RX-8 to a 0.210 lead on Sunday, just ahead of Annie Gill in a Scion FR-S. On Sunday, it was the same story as O’Blenes stretched his lead to 0.337 to take victory over Gill. Alex Paraskevas, Jonathan Mudge, Karl Coleman and Chris Thorpe claimed the rest of the trophies.
Although a small class, with just three drivers, Street Touring Pony Car Ladies put on a show during the last heat of the day. Lacey Otis and Laura Molleker had consistency on their side, with Otis leading after Saturday by just 0.031 second. On Sunday, Molleker was on her game and set the fastest time of the day, but came up just 0.003 second shy of snatching victory from Otis.
Despite running in a single-car class, Tami Daniels worked her way to the top of the 29-driver Ladies Index in her D Prepared Mazda Miata. From STRL, Carol Wong was second and from STXL, Amy Coleman was third.
The fun in Packwood continues this weekend, July 15-16, for the Tire Rack Packwood ProSolo®. The Tire Rack Championship Tour continues July 29-30 in Toledo, Ohio.
Words by Bailey Sampson
Photo by Dan Bullis