SOLO: National Tour Houston summary

Houston Heats Up the Solo National Tour HOUSTON, Texas (April 8, 2009) -- The third stop on the 2009 Tire Rack Solo National Tour set up shop in Houston, Texas, April 4 -- 5, on the asphalt of Gulf Greyhound Park. The event was blessed with ...

Houston Heats Up the Solo National Tour

HOUSTON, Texas (April 8, 2009) -- The third stop on the 2009 Tire Rack Solo National Tour set up shop in Houston, Texas, April 4 -- 5, on the asphalt of Gulf Greyhound Park.

The event was blessed with beautiful weather and two challenging courses designed by Roger Johnson. Drivers finished each run knowing there was room for improvement after tackling the thread-the-needle sections with irregular rhythms created by Johnson, which were connected by tricky turns disguised with extraneous cones.

Super Street Modified defending National Champion Erik Strelnieks, of Cedar Park, Texas, was seemingly unphased by the challenges, posting an SSM win in his Jungle Cat Racing/Hoosier/7parts Mazda 3-Rotor RX7 by more than five seconds. Wife, co-driver and defending D Stock Ladies National Champion Beth McClure Strelnieks finished third in SSM, just a tick off second-place Standford Curry, of Austin, Texas, in a JL Automotive Specialist Honda 2002.

Another driver to make quick work of the devious courses was David Smart, from Plano Texas. Smart had struggled to get his Blackwatch Racing Lotus Exige ready in time for the event, but despite the last-minute rush, Smart stayed true to his surname and collected the A Street Prepared win by more than six seconds over his co-driver, Greg Stirneman, of Jacksonville, Texas.

Sierra Pedroza, of Round Rock, Texas, had close C Stock Ladies battle on her hands with Briget Sawatsky, of Winnipeg, Mannitoba after day one. Day two clearly belonged to Pedroza and her FTW Racing/JCAuto Mazda MX-5 however, beating out Sawatsky's www.speedworld.ca Mazda MX-5 by more than four seconds total.

Some impressive times were turned in B Modified, where Christopher Moulckers, of Cypress, Texas, managed to knock off defending BM National Champion Tommy Saunders, of Southlake, Texas, and co-driver Stuart Lumpkin, of McKinney, Texas, in their Hoosier/Janco Legrand Dragon. Driving a Legrand DSR, Moulckers took the win by 0.949-second over Lumpkin. B Modified Ladies defending National Champ Brianne Corn drove the Saunders/Lumpkin car to the A Modified win.

The drive to Houston from Regina, N.M., was well worth it for Wiggy Greacen, who took his first-ever Tour win after two decades in the sport. Despite his vast experience, Greacen recently went back to school to freshen up his driving skills and the results speak for themselves. Driving a Firestone Complete Auto Care Mitsubishi Evo, Greacen won Street Touring Ultra by 1.662 seconds over Houston's Steve Pounds in a BMW M3. The only BMW in class, Pounds took advantage of STU's new tire rules allowing 285s, to put the car in the trophies.

Speaking of tires, it was revenge time for Bridgestone in Street Touring a class that had been dominated by Toyo thus far this season. Cars shod with Bridgestone tires swept the top three, with Chris Cargill, of Friendswood, Texas, taking the win in an Atkins Design Group, Inc. Honda Civic Si over Jesse Caudill, of Littleton, Colo., in a Bridgestone Honda Civic Si. Andy Hollis, of Austin, Texas, finished third in his Soulspeed/GRM/ PowerCurveDyno Honda Civic Si.

Driving Hollis' ST car, John Hale, of Austin, Texas, put in a commanding performance in Street Touring Xtreme, winning by 1.991 seconds over Matt Lucas, of Roanoke, Texas, driving The Auto Channel BMW 328i. Hale's times would have given him the ST win by more than half a second.

The ultra-competitive Super Stock category came down to home turf advantage, as Houston's Michal Homes used his familiarity of the tricky Gulf Greyhound asphalt to take the win in his final run. Driving a Big Top Racing/Apex Vinyl Lotus Elise, Homes edged out the Chevrolet Corvette of Lance Adams, from Austin, Texas, by a slim 0.014-second -- the closest finish of the event.

The SCCA Tire Rack Solo National Tour next moves on to Farmington, N.M, where McGee Park will play host May 16 -- 17. Full results from Houston and more information on the Farmington, N.M. National Tour are available at www.scca.com/solo.

-credit: scca

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Series SCCA
Drivers John Hale , Brianne Corn