TOPEKA, Kan. (January 21, 2018) – On his first trip to Lincoln Airpark, Mark Dudek strapped into a STR Mazda Miata and claimed sixth place (.085 out of third) in the highly-competitive STR class at the 2017 Tire Rack SCCA Solo® Nationals. In light of this achievement, he has been awarded the 2017 Nexen Solo Rookie of the Year honors.
Dudek gained experience in a BMW Z4, running with the SCCA New England Region. After making his first trip out to Nationals himself, co-driver and car owner William Koscielny pressed Dudek into teaming up to make a proper run at the 2017 Nationals. While Koscielny provided the platform, it was Dudek's responsibility to sort it. Dudek said he felt the Devons Championship Tour was the turning point in the year, as they felt the car was really dialed in by then.
"No way! Why? How?" That was Dudek's response upon being informed of his selection as the Nexen Rookie of the Year. "That is awesome. Totally unexpected," he added. When asked about his thoughts on the event, he reflected that, "I have never seen such comradery. The people in the class, and the event overall, just great people."
"I want to thank Will for not only allowing me to co-drive with him, but also pushing me to do so," Dudek added. "I would also like to thank all the people of the New England Region, and I look forward to making a run at the Championship again next year!"
Previous Rookies of the Year include Mark Daddio, Mike Maier, Bryan Heitkotter, Andrew Pallotta, and 2015 winner Tamra Hunt, all National Championship contenders each and every year at the Tire Rack Solo Nationals.