The 2018 NORRC Series season kicked off April 28th with Race #1, the Big Bend Open Road Race in Fort Stockton, Texas. 160 vehicles competed in this Open Road Racing event! Several top contenders turned in fantastic low time variances.
Series veteran Ray Alexander left Texas with the NORRC Series lead, having earned a time variance of just 0.033 off perfect. Series regular Devin Hickenbotham turned in a 0.042 for second place. 2016 NORRC Series Champion Berry Lowman earned third place with a time variance of 0.076.
On May 20th at Race #2, the Nevada Open Road Challenge, saw further tightening of the battle for NORRC supremacy with a new two-way, 119.78 mile race format. It also began to bring to light those who plan to compete for the overall 2018 National ORR Championship Series title versus those who plan to chase the NORRC Best 3 of 4 title.
2016 NORRC Series Champion Berry Lowman took over the points lead by turning in an impressive class win and overall race winning time variance of just 0.0091 seconds, giving him a cumulative time variance of just 0.0851 after two races! In a humorous side note, Berry pulled this off in a four cylinder automatic Chevy Malibu rental car, when the Corvette Z06 he planned to race had last minute engine issues before the race, proving once again that anything can and does happen in Open Road Racing!
2017 NORRC Champion “Texas” Tom Sorrells jumped up into second place with an impressive time variance of 0.0177 off perfect, giving him a cumulative time variance of just 0.0957 after two races. On an exciting note, Tom left Nevada trailing the current series leader by only 0.0106 of a second! It doesn’t get much tighter than that!
Devin Hickenbotham dropped into third place after earning a race time variance of 0.1624 seconds off perfect, trailing the current leader with a two race cumulative time variance of just 0.2044 seconds back.
Race #3, the Sandhills Open Road Challenge on August 11th, really shook up the NORRC Series overall standings. Feeling the pressure of a tight battle for the series lead, 2017 NORRC Champ “Texas” Tom Sorrells stepped up and turned in a fantastic time of 0.288 in the race, to become the NORRC Series leader!
Berry Lowman, who appears to have felt the pressure as well, turned in an uncharacteristic race time of 0.709 seconds off perfect, and suddenly found himself trailing Texas Tom by a 0.4104 overall time variance heading into the season finale.
Lanny Lowman was the big mover and shaker of the SORC, leaping up into third place in the overall standings with an impressive race time variance of 0.076, giving him an overall cumulative season time variance of 0.7968 to date. Lanny trailed his son Berry by only 0.0027 of a second going into the season finale in Nevada.
Race #4, the 31st Annual running of the Silver State Classic Challenge on September 16th, served as a very dramatic, very rich, and very rewarding 2018 NORRC Series season finale for many competitors. The race was filled with many stories of friends honoring and helping friends achieve longtime goals, leading the charge ahead of self-fulfillment, with many competitors reaching goals they’ve struggled long and hard to finally achieve.
That said, everyone in NORRC Series contention stepped up their game in some special way on the traditional 90-mile SSCC one way course down Nevada Highway 318. The final race results were something to behold for many racers, both newer and veteran to the sport alike.
Attempting to become the first official back-to-back NORRC Series Champion, “Texas” Tom Sorrells shocked the competition, showing up in a very different car than his usual Shelby GT500 ride, and also entering a different speed class than usual.
Tom decided to race the late Don Hoffman’s Dodge Viper Laguna Seca Edition ACR, as a tribute to his fallen best friend. He managed to win the 2018 SSCC Hooker’s Choice Award car show with the rare Viper, an honor Don Hoffman had reportedly wanted to win even more than the Pikes Peak victory he once competed for.
Tom showed up on race day in rare Mopar style, and threw down a respectable, but a bit further off the mark than usual 0.4715 seconds time variance in the 130 Class, leaving the door wide open for those hot on his heels a shot at the series title.
2016 NORRC Series Champ Berry Lowman, who trailed Texas Tom by a mere 0.4104 seconds coming into the SSCC, also surprised the competition by quietly opting not to target his drive for a championship efforts behind the wheel, rather, choosing to roll the dice by navigating in the final race of the season for his good friend Bob Glass in his recently restored 1977 Porsche 911 S.
Berry claimed he would rather try to help his friend Bob find his first top of the podium finish in his long owned and finally restored vintage ride rather than drive his own car, or some random rental car. Berry was overheard saying, “How cool would it be to help Bob win in the car that means the most to him?” That said, known for past deadly accuracy in the right seat, and with his game on point, Berry’s nav skills indeed helped “Brother Bob” find the top of the podium in the 100 Class, securing Bob’s first ever win in Open Road Racing with a time variance of 0.1220 off target. Way to drive it home, Bob!
Lanny Lowman, who’s C6 Z06 has undergone massive rebuilding this season, and reportedly wasn’t even running until 8 PM the night before SSCC technical inspection opened in Las Vegas, showed up in a Corvette rocketship! The reported unfinished LSX build powered him to 1st Place in the 1 Mile Shootout on Friday with a speed of 190.4 MPH.
On Sunday, Lanny led off the 155 Class in fast fashion, crossing the finish line a bit further off the mark than usual with a 0.1367 time variance, securing yet another 2nd Place finish in the ultra-difficult 155 Class.
In an interesting racing side note, either Lanny or Berry Lowman now possess every 2nd Place 155 Class trophy given out on Highway 318 since that class returned to the top of the Grand Sport Division in May of 2017 save for one, May of 2018, the only time neither were entered in the 155 Class due to primary car failures and switching to backup cars. Will either one of them ever nab that top spot in 155? Stay tuned in 2019 to see if either of the Lowman boys can get it done on 318!
In the hardest charge to make up time for a win of all of the 2018 NORRC Series competitors, Malcolm “Mac Daddy” Johnson showed up swinging for the fence in his C6 Z06 in the 140 Class. Sitting in 4th Place in the NORRC Series standings coming into the SSCC event, 0.9675 seconds back of the top spot, Malcolm delivered the ORR drive of his life, turning in a 0.0030 time variance off target, upping his game significantly from his previous personal best variance of a 0.027. It was an all out effort all weekend long for Mac Daddy, who finally joined the “Thousandths Club” with a stopwatch only, no less!
So, with all of this excitement all season long via stories of car rebuilds, backup cars, rental cars, seat swaps, dramatic drives, and skinny number finishes, who finally came out on top to win the 2018 NORRC Championship Series title, and the NORRC Best 3 of 4 Series title?
See below for the final season standings in both categories of the 2018 National Open Road Racing Championship Series, then come race with us in the 2019 NORRC Series!
|2018 National Open Road Racing Championship – Season Standings|
|Best 3 of 4 Champ|
|Cynthia (Cindy) Clements||0.083||1.192||DNS||0.5581||1.8331||7th|
|Mark “Doc” Capener||DNS||DNF||12.216||4.427||16.643||N/A|
|UNL = Unlimited Class|
|DNS = Did Not Start|
|DNF = Did Not Finish|
|DNQ = Does Not Qualify|
|DQ = Disqualified|
|REG = Registered|
|? = Unknown if REG|