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Updated: 53 min 55 sec ago

RallyCross National Championships in the Books from I-80 Speedway

Sat, 10/04/2014 - 20:00

GREENWOOD, Neb. (Oct. 5, 2014) – The SCCA RallyCross® National Championships concluded this weekend at the I-80 Speedway, near Greenwood, Nebraska. National Championship titles were awarded in nine classes with a record number of competitors.

A record-setting 110 drivers made the trip to the I-80 Speedway for their chance to take home top honors at the season-ending RallyCross event of 2014. The previous record was 104 entrants at the 2012 event in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Classes included are those for stock, prepared and modified cars – each of which is further grouped by front-, rear- and all-wheel drive vehicles.

The Nebraska Region SCCA, the host for this event, oversaw the creation of three courses in the large, dirt parking area owned by the speedway. The courses were designed by Kris Martison, Charles Wright and Brianne Corn. Due to extreme rainfall in the Greenwood area during the preceding three weeks, the competition site was waterlogged pushing course building procedures back. The delay meant that completion got underway latter than schedule.

Conditions during the event were chilly, with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees both days, under dry and clear conditions with a strong breeze on Saturday.

Three run groups took three runs on the Martison-designed course for Saturday’s morning runs. The exception was the Modified AWD class that had their final run thrown out due to a competitor protest. The two runs scheduled for Saturday afternoon on the Wright-designed layout ran long, and was concluded on Sunday morning. Yeomen work was done in switching to the Corn-designed course to finish the two runs, which concluded the event.

The Stock classes were the first to make their final runs of the event. In Stock FWD, Micah Nickelson (Dodge Neon), of Jackson, Missouri, took home his first RallyCross National Championship. Nickelson was not the fastest driver during his first two runs of the event, but turned it on during his remaining five runs, propelling him to the class win.

“This is just a lot of fun,” Nickelson said. “Coming out here and tearing it up like this is just a lot of fun. The competition was great. John Hardy and I were going back and forth throughout the weekend. We just kept battling and pulled off the win.”

In Stock RWD, Patryk Matecki (Bristol Brewing/Shorai Lithium Mazda Miata), of Monument, Colorado, was the quickest driver in only three of his runs, but that was all that he needed to secure his title by a 1.968-second margin.

“It’s been a long road to get here, but at the end of the day it was a pleasant experience,” Matecki said. “We had a lot of fun. We also had some struggles, but it worked out pretty well. In the trek from Colorado, we hit some bad weather. We also had to overcome some mechanical problems. But in the end, everything ended up pretty well.”

Charles Wright ( Mitsubishi Evolution), of Decatur, Alabama, defended his Stock AWD title from all comers, including his son Shelton – a RallyCross National Champion in his own right. Wright was not dominating on the time sheet, but made clean runs giving him the National Championship by 2.706 seconds.

“It’s always exciting to win a National Championship,” Wright said. “This is my second win, which is really cool. My son was leading until the last run, and had some issues. Our Evo was able to soak up the bumps pretty well, allowing me to turn some good times.”

Brian DeFrees (Honda Civic Si), of Austin, Texas, captured the win in Prepared FWD. While not flying out of the gates in his first run, DeFrees stepped it up for his remaining six runs winning by 4.626 seconds.

“I was convinced by my co-driver, Seth Lemke, to come to this event,” DeFrees said. “The deal was that if he bought snow tires that he could use my car at the National Championships. I wasn’t planning on running this event, but we made it happen. It ended up really well for us, snow tires for the win.”

In Prepared RWD, Sam Henry (Springfield Dyno/SafeRacer Mazda Miata), of Republic, Missouri, was the fastest driver in all but two of his seven runs. When the dust settled Henry scored the National Championship by a margin of 4.754 seconds.

“This is my fourth RallyCross National Championship in a row,” Henry said. “It was really exciting to get this win. This site was quite a bit different than what we’re used to in Oklahoma. The dirt was a little loamy, resulting in more grip. The car worked well and we were able to put together a strong finish. Also, I want to be sure to thank Mazda and SCCA for their support of this event.”

Jake Blevins, of Englewood, Colorado, took home the Prepared AWD win in his Subaru Impreza. He made a statement in his opening run by setting a quick time in his early run. From there on he did enough to secure his title by 1.160 seconds.

“This is a huge win for me,” Blevins said. “Folks kept telling me I couldn’t win in a non-turbo car, but we were able to prove them wrong. I feel like we have the best region, back in Colorado, which has allowed me to become a better driver since we have such strong competition. My dad has also been very supportive by coming out and racing with me and making sure we get to all the races, together.”

In Modified FWD, Kent Hamilton (EMC Engineering Honda Civic), of Anchorage, Alaska, threw down two blazing laps early in the event. From there, it became all about sustaining his momentum, which he was able to ride to a National Championship by a narrow 0.360-second gap.

“It’s been two years since I have competed at Nationals,” Hamilton said. “It’s been great to come back and see all my friends again. RallyCross is really like a family. We had to replace axles when we got here, but we were able to come away with the win. This was really and awesome class with some great competition.”

Evan Arthur, of Columbus, Ohio, drove his MAZDASPEED/ORI Mazda Miata to a 0.022-second win in Modified RWD. In a give-and-take battle with Will McDonald, Arthur won his first RallyCross National Championship.

“Last year, I was in first until the last day and then got bumped to second,” Arthur said. “This year I wanted it really badly and just kept pushing hard and it was a great result. I had to really push myself while also making clean runs. Sometimes when I am pushing like that it gets a little hairy, but I was able to put it together.”

Warren Elliott (Hale Motorsports Mitsubishi Evo IX), of East Haddam, Connecticut, sealed the deal in Modified AWD. From his opening run, Elliott was the class leader but needed to battle hard in order to secure his fourth consecutive National Championship.

“I come here to win and work really hard at this,” Elliott said. “The competition is incredibly difficult. I wasn’t able to lead through the entire event. I was up and down throughout the whole competition. I was behind by 0.1-second heading into the final two runs, and was able to put down a couple good runs to come away with the win.”

Additional information on the SCCA RallyCross National Championship, an entry list and full results, can be found by clicking here.

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RallyCross National Championships to be Decided this Weekend

Wed, 10/01/2014 - 20:00

TOPEKA, Kan. (Oct. 2, 2014) – The SCCA RallyCross® National Championship will take place at the I-80 Speedway, near Greenwood, Nebraska, Oct. 3-5. Championships across nine classes will be decided among a record-setting 109 drivers already on the entry list.

Classes are run for Stock, Prepared and Modified cars – each of which is further grouped by front-, rear- and all-wheel drive vehicles. Winning cars from last year’s event range from a 1991 Ford Escort GT driven by Tim Hardy – the winner in Stock FWD – to a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX that helped Warren Elliott to the Modified AWD title.

The Nebraska Region SCCA, the host for this event, will oversee the creation of three courses in the large dirt parking areas owned by the speedway. Competitors can expect to have four to six runs on each course with the event broken up into three sessions – one on Saturday morning, another on Saturday afternoon and concluded by a Sunday morning session. Final times are the aggregate of each and every run, which means consistency throughout the weekend is extremely important.

Early favorites at the event are Tim Hardy (Stock FWD), Nathan Usher (Stock RWD), Charles Wright (Stock AWD), Jim Rowland (Prepared FWD), Edwin Cunill (Prepared AWD), Leon Drake (Modified FWD), Pete Remner (Prepared FWD) and Brianne Corn (Prepared AWD).

This year is the first time the meet will be held at Nebraska’s I-80 Speedway. For the last three years, the RallyCross National Championship event was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Additional information on the SCCA RallyCross National Championship, including registration, entry lists and results, can be found by clicking here.

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RallyCross National Championship Early Registration to Close this Weekend

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 20:00

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 29, 2014) – The early registration period for the SCCA RallyCross® National Championship ends at Midnight (CDT) on Sunday, August 31, with the entry fee increasing $25 after the deadline from the early bird price of $115.

The 2014 edition of the RallyCross National Championship takes place Oct. 3-5, at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb. A 125 driver cap has been imposed for this year’s event, a change from past years. While this number accounts for an increase in participation, there are still limited spots available.

Normal registration for the event for those racers who miss the early deadline will run Sept.1-Oct.1. Drivers can register through Registration fees will be due, in full, at the time of registration. Refunds will be provided for cancellations received by Oct. 1. Competitors who sign up after the 125 entry limit is reached will be added to a waiting list. Fees for these entrants will not be collected until they are officially added to the event.

Event specific information, including links to registration, entry lists and contingency sponsorship programs, for the SCCA RallyCross National Championship can be found here. For more information on the SCCA RallyCross program visit

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2014 RallyCross National Championship Contingency Programs Posted

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 20:00

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 27, 2014) – This year’s edition of the SCCA RallyCross® National Championship, held at I-80 Speedway, Oct. 4-5, will be supported by several motorsports-related companies in the form of contingency sponsorship programs.

Mazda North America, the Official Car of SCCA, is supporting eligible entrants who finish on the podium in all classes. A National Championship win will be worth $750, while second- and third-place finishes are worth $500 and $250, respectively.

Honda Performance Development (HPD) is offering prizes to eligible drivers. A win at the controls of a Honda or Acura will equal a $500 payday. Second place will receive a $300 prize, while third will get $100.

Wrapping up the auto makers involved in this event is Subaru of America. They are supporting the six all-wheel- and rear-wheel-drive classes with contingency funds available to eligible racers. A $1,250 cash prize is up for grabs for notching the top finish. Second place will be awarded $750, while third will receive $500.

Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA, has also pledged their support of this National Championship event. Eligible National Champions in all classes can claim a $100 product certificate. Second-place drivers will be able to get their hands on a $50 certificate, while third-place finishers can claim a $25 certificate.

Eligible National Champions will also be going home with a new GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition camera compliments of GoPro, the Official Camera of SCCA.

To get full details and requirements on these programs, click here. Drivers are encouraged to review program requirements carefully to ensure full compliance. To be eligible for contingency prizes, drivers must register for each program prior to the start of the event.

The 10th Anniversary RallyCross National Championship will take place Oct. 4-5 at I-80 Speedway, in Greenwood, Nebraska. Click here for further information on the event, including registration, details on contingency sponsorships and entry lists.

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2014 RallyCross National Championship: Who Will Win

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 20:00

TOPEKA, Kan. (Aug. 26, 2014) - After a three-year run at Tulsa (Okla.) Raceway Park, the SCCA RallyCross National Championship moves to a new venue for 2014. This year’s championship event will take place at I-80 Speedway, near Greenwood, Nebraska. The Nebraska Region SCCA, which hosted the first RallyCross championship event in Hastings in 2005, will coordinate this year’s championship during the weekend of Oct. 3-5.

Multiple courses will be set up on the speedway’s large dirt parking areas. If the weather remains dry, expect plenty of grip on the hard-packed racing surface, which has a reputation for being fast and durable. However, if it rains, locals say be prepared for slippery, greasy conditions that will reward drivers who exercise patience and smoothness in the search for traction. This year’s event will feature three courses (Saturday AM, Saturday PM & Sunday AM) and competitors should expect four to six runs on each course, depending on course conditions and event flow. Unlike Solo events, all runs count in RallyCross, so consistency is paramount.

As in past years, our annual Who Will Win prognostications can be difficult since many RallyCross competitors are notorious procrastinators who often wait until the final few weeks before the event to register. At the time this article was prepared, 53 drivers of an expected 120 total entries were registered, so readers should be mindful of this when evaluating our prognostications. And with that disclaimer, here are our predictions for this year’s national championship winners.

Stock Front Wheel Drive (SF)
With only three registered entrants at this time in an expected field of 10 drivers, Stock Front is a difficult call. Ron Foley (Honda Civic Si) has a shot at taking the top spot but Solo standout Drew Little (Acura Integra) will keep things close. Rumor has it that 2014 champion Tim Hardy will be making the trip to Nebraska with his trusty Ford Escort. Plenty of unknowns in this class, particularly since past front-runners James Wilson, Micah Nickelson and Damon Guy Cuccia are not yet registered, but here is our best guess:

1. Tim Hardy
2. Drew Little
3. Ron Foley

Stock Rear Wheel Drive (SR)
Like Stock Front, Stock Rear has only three registered entrants in an expected eight-car field. This year SCCA luminaries Howard and Linda Duncan have swapped their slow but reliable Hyundai Elantra for a tail-happy and slightly faster Mazda Miata. And Nathan Usher who competed in Modified All last year is making the move to Stock Front in another Miata. Expect some of last year’s top competitors, including runner-up Patryk Matecki (Mazda Miata), to show up too. Here’s our call for the top finishers:

1. Nathan Usher
2. Patryck Matecki
3. Howard Duncan

Stock All Wheel Drive (SA)
Stock All will be close, with one or two cones separating the winners and losers. Gonzalo San Miguel (Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS) is a perennial favorite with his smooth driving style and will be sharing his car with fellow Utahan Karl Sealander. John Voegeli (Subaru 2.5 RS), Z.B. Lorenc (Subaru Impreza) and Mark Hill (Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS) will be in the hunt as well. If 2013 champion Jan Gerber joins the fray, it will be nearly impossible to predict the outcome. Despite a plethora of fast Subarus in this class, watch for 2013 Champion Charles Wright to wheel his rock-solid Mitsubishi Evolution to a repeat win.

1. Charles Wright
2. Gonzo San Miguel
3. Karl Sealander
4. Z.B. Lorenc
5. Mark Hill

Prepared Front Wheel Drive (PF)
Prepared Front will once again have an old-tech look, with classic cars from the 1980’s and 90’s. Bryan Tippens and teenager Alex Hunter will be co-driving the Hunter family’s diminutive Honda CRX. Don Hardy, running his Stock class Ford Escort in Prepared, Mark Smith (VW Golf) and Robert Seelig (Honda CRX Si) will be competitive if they enter. Last year’s champion Chang Ho Kim (Honda Civic Si), Antonio Serracino (Acura Integra) and Jim Rowland (Nissan Sentra SE-R) will battle each other throughout the weekend for the top spot. The winner will need to be cone-free. We predict Rowland will avenge his second-place finish to Kim last year, unless he cracks under the pressure of being picked to win.

1. Jim Rowland
2. Chang Ho Kim
3. Antonio Serracino
4. Bryan Tippens

Prepared Rear Wheel Drive (PR)
Prepared Rear is perennially the smallest class at the national championship. In fact, there are no entrants at this time. Historically, this is the place where old Miatas, Porsche 924s and RX-7s come to relive their glory days. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a clapped-out Crown Victoria Police Interceptor Special and race your spouse, significant other or kid sister for a national championship.

1. You
2. Your kid sister

Prepared All Wheel Drive (PA)
Expect very close competition for the top trophy positions in Prepared All. Defending Champion Edwin Cunill, who drove Charles Wright’s Stock class Evo to victory last year, will be fast but catchable in his MAZDASPEED6. Harold Denham, driving Warren Elliott’s Mistubishi Evo, has the fastest car in the class, but will he be able to utilize its full potential? Jake Blevins is showing some speed this season in his Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS after making the move from Stock class. Mark Macoubrie (Subaru WRX STi) and Keith Lightfoot (Plymouth Laser RS) will be in the hunt as well, if they can avoid cones. Nebraskan Alex Reinkordt (Subaru Legacy SS) will be on his home turf, and things will only get more interesting if past champions Cody Hatfield and Kubo Kordisch decide to show up. Come Sunday afternoon, the final standings will read:

1. Edwin Cunill
2. Jake Blevins
3. Keith Lightfoot
4. Mark Macoubrie
5. Harold Denham

Modified Front Wheel Drive (MF)
Modified Front will provide the closest racing of the weekend, with several former national champions running in class. Leon Drake (VW Golf) will be on hand to defend his 2013 title. Jon Olschewsk, fresh from a visit to Team O’Neil Rally School, will return with his great-looking Nissan Sentra SER-V, but will it succumb to mechanical woes? Brett Hunter and son Ian Hunter will be compete in their newly-built Honda CRX. Aaron Miller’s Honda Civic will once again be a top contender and Kent Hamilton will be making the trip from Alaska to co-drive with Miller. And don’t overlook Washington’s Kito Brielmaier (Toyota EL31 Tercel) who will be making his debut at Nationals. This will be an exciting class to watch and the winner will be determined on the final run. Here is our prediction:

1. Leon Drake
2. Kent Hamilton
3. Aaron Miller
4. Jon Olschewski
5. Brett Hunter

Modified Rear Wheel Drive (MR)
Lots of RX-7s in this class, with Pete Remner, Aaron Dewey, and Bee and Theresa Thao all driving classic 80’s Mazda iron. Will Lincoln resident Kris Martison (BMW 325is) be able to capitalize on his home track advantage? Plymouth Arrow enthusiasts will be cheering on Jim Rowan. And don’t be surprised to see Will MacDonald show up in his Pre-Cambrian era Volvo. Expect a few last-minute entries in this class that will shake up the final results.

1. Pete Remner
2. Kris Martison
3. Jim Rowan

Modified All Wheel Drive (MA)
Power, speed and traction are the hallmarks of Modified All. With only eight registered entries so far, and another ten or so expected, this class will be difficult to predict. This year Dan Quiet jumps from PA to MA in his newly-built Subaru Legacy 6-cylinder, arguably the best-sounding RallyCross car ever. The usual suspects Peter Zlamany (Plymouth Laser RS), Wayne Stockel (Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS), Orion Fairman (Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS), Ryan Sealey (Subaru Impreza), and Jeff Timpe (Subaru Impreza) will be on hand to make things interesting. And a host of other top drivers, including past champion Eric Genack (Subaru WRX), 2013 runner-up Brian Ballinger (Subaru WRX) and some of the Texas RallyCross mafia, including 2013 champion Brianne Corn and Kevin Corn, may show up to make things interesting. At the end of the day, expect Brianne to take the crown back from last year’s champion Warren Elliott (Mitsubishi Evolution). When the dust settles, here are the final results:

1. Brianne Corn
2. Dan Quiet
3. Warren Elliott
4. Peter Zlamany
4. Orion Fairman
5. Wayne Stockel

Although the seers have spoken, every RallyCrosser knows that anything is possible once the dirt begins to fly. We hope to see you in October!