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2006 Nationals Marlene Obenour

Hey, Toto – I Don’t Think We’re In Kansas Anymore!


How I Spent My Summer Vacation…..

By Marlene Obenour

(aka “The CP Fairy Godmother”)


Fact:  I missed driving in the 2004 Solo Nationals due to a broken shoulder (some 58 year-old uncoordinated women should NOT attempt riding a bike!).

Fact:  Grayden and I missed the 2005 Solo Nationals due to Grayden’s job and my health.

Fact:  Grayden and I were NOT going to miss the 2006 Solo Nationals if we could help it!

And then the fuel prices began to soar…

Along came Bill Headlee, CP 55, and his newly-built Drop Dead Gorgeous 1970 Boss Mustang.  Bill offered us a ride for the Cincinnati CenDiv Series event and then the Solo Nationals.  Grayden decided he could leave our underpowered 1979 Mustang at home for this year and off we went to Topeka, Kansas.

Our trip was a mere 12 hours on Saturday, September 23.  I know, you guys from the left and right coasts are groaning about our “short” trip.  Well, I can say it was uneventful but great to see all the scenery we had missed for a year.  Bill and I played “Slug Bug” in order to aggravate Grayden – it worked!

Once in Topeka, we made our way past Baby Dolls, Pat’s Pig and Forbes Field.  We arrived at registration and were greeted by Frank Stagnaro, CP 136 (aka Poopsie).  We got caught up with Frank and eventually got through registration.  We received our parking pass and ventured into the Paddock area.  Our first choice of parking spots was not quite level, so we were given another choice that worked fine.  We were surprised to see how full the Paddock area already was, and it was only Saturday!  We then set up our area and greeted old and new friends as they went by.

On Sunday, Grayden and Bill ran the Nationals Test & Tune while I worked registration (got my work assignment out of the way early!)  When we finally got back together later in the afternoon, both Grayden and Bill remarked about how slippery the surface was and they were happy with how they had set up the car.  That evening we had dinner with Brian, CP 128, and Neva Hoover; Brenda, CPL 28, & Mike Ucker, CP 28; and Shirley and Dwight Cotton, CP 50 – all CP friends.  Of course, we had to make the journey to Maggie Moos, the favorite ice cream shop of CP!  Alice, the owner, was not there that evening, but I left a note for her that we would be back on Wednesday evening.

On Monday evening we went to the Welcome Party which was held in the HPT Pavilion.  What a great place!  We scoped it out because the next evening we were scheduled to have our CP Cookout there.  Again, we were greeted by old and new friends, especially Chris Heiny, CP 107, and Richter.  Thelma (Chris’ girlfriend and co-“Jurassic Car” driver) would not arrive until late on Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday morning, Grayden went to work in the Protest building for his two-day work assignment.  He was busy most all day, but was dismissed in time to prepare for the CP Cookout.  We have our priorities after all.

THE CP COOKOUT:  Sam Scharnberg and Jerry Reilly, CP 135, worked VERY hard to acquire the Pavilion for the CP Cookout.  It made perfect sense to use the Pavilion because we were (1) out of the way, (2) had electricity for the Margarita Machine and (3) was on the HPT site where we could all crawl back to our respective residences…  On Monday evening while at the Welcome party, I invited Ed Osment who was the contact person for the Pavilion and Paddock and Roger H. Johnson, the Solo Nationals Chairperson to the CP Cookout.  I think they both were in attendance at the party!

As everyone started to arrive, people began grilling and sampling the covered dishes that were offered.  It was beginning to look a little like a church picnic!  And then, the first batch of margaritas started to take effect and the party started picking up.  Shirley Cotton had been out shopping during the afternoon hours and purchased a huge number of women’s’ thong underwear.  She passed them out to most of the CP guys and some of them were crazy/drunk enough to put them on over their jeans!  There is a really sick picture of Grayden Obenour with pink lace thong panties on over his jeans!  Bill Headlee’s “Babe” thong was special, too!  Since Grayden is “the Godfather of CP”, I am now the “CP Fairy Godmother” (or should that be “CP Fairy Grandmother”?).  Liz and Brad Foreman, CP 7, gave me my own crown complete with jewels and my own purple star wand.

Everyone in attendance gave a little speech about themselves, about their car and toasted with a Jello shot!  A couple of guys decided to wear their thongs UNDER their jeans – I won’t reveal their names – nice rhinestone heart, Chad (oops!).  We had some other special guests in attendance: Alan Sheidler; Mike & JT McClintock; and Larry McCloud, F125 (also known as “CP Wheel Chalks”).  Mike showed off his neatly manicured toenails which were done by one of his daughters.  The Scharnbergs, Sam & Kirstin, and Kirstin’s husband were there as well.  Oh, and of course the butt collection came out – Bubba Dick’s, Chad’s and Mike Maier’s!

Another tradition that has been going on for a few years is the annual “flashing” by the CP women at Roger (Ohio) Johnson.  Well, this year was no exception.  A bunch of us: Shirley Cotton, Dede Padberg, Liz and Brad Foreman, Bill Headlee, Brian Hoover and I rode over to Roger’s motorhome.  We had to drive a golf cart over there, we were all too tipsy to walk!  Brian and Bill lofted their thong undies onto Roger’s truck antennas.  Roger “graded” us girls; Liz Foreman received a 10, I received an 8, Dede Padberg received a 0, and Shirley Cotton received a minus 4!  We all went back to the party with Shirley protesting her score.  The party pretty much broke up after that and everyone walked/staggered back to their respective digs.

On Wednesday morning, Grayden had to report to the Protest building at 8 am.  That was just wrong!  Shirley Cotton came by while Grayden was on a break and wanted to know how to file an official protest.  She wanted to protest Roger Johnson for his unfair grade on her flash.  She filled out an official protest form, gave it to Grayden along with $1 in change and Grayden read the protest to the committee.  Roger told Grayden to inform Shirley that he would rule on the protest personally.  I can now tell you that Shirley has received her official decision from the Protest Committee and is appealing that decision.

We all went to the Wednesday night Banquet, stayed long enough for dinner, went to Maggie Moos and were in bed by 9:30 PM in appreciation of the next day’s early hour.  We did get caught up with Alice, the owner of Maggie Moos.

Thursday morning dawned rather cold, but clear and no rain in sight.  The expected high was only in the low 60’s.  CPL drove in the morning in the second Heat and, as usual, CP ran 5th Heat.  There were several of the CP ladies that I had not seen at the party or during the week, so it was meet and greet time!  I had not had the pleasure of meeting Thelma Batilo, and I am truly happy to now call her my friend.  What a neat lady!  I am totally impressed with Carla Russo; she trailers her own car to the events, takes care of the maintenance, and she is a great driver, too!  I had never met Mary Ankeny and it was great to run with her!  I run a lot of events with Dede Padberg, Brenda Ucker, and Brandy Sandberg and none of us have had much practice this year.  It was great to see Liz Berger in CPL again as she had been Mike Maier’s tire warmer for a few years.  She happily gave up her tire warming duties to Jerry Reilly.  Brianne Maier missed the 2004 Nationals, so I enjoyed getting caught up with her.  Beth Whitworth only had one event to get used to the newly rebuilt CP Mustang and Donna Bartling moved to Texas and had no seat time either!  Mary Espinosa has not been in the class very long, but is really getting the hang of Tony’s car.  The West course was a busy but fun course, and Dede Padberg was on top after the day’s runs.  Liz fought hard on Friday to beat Dede, but Dede put together two good days and sewed up her first CPL National Championship with Liz Berger finishing 2nd, Brianne Maier finishing 3rd and Brandy Sandberg taking the final trophy position in 4th.

When it was finally time for CP to run, Grayden Obenour led the annual CP chant.  I found out how much walking there was to be done by walking back and forth from grid to the viewing stands on the West course.  Turbo Toddie Farris was fastest on the West course with Darrel Padberg right behind him.  On the East course, Darrel had a blazing 3rd run to stay ahead of Turbo for the win.  The rest of the class winners were Todd Farris, 2nd, Mike Maier, 3rd, Jeff Stroh, 4th, Mike Ucker, 5th, Guy Ankeny, 6th, Jesus Villarreal, 7th, Ron VerMulm, 8th, Frank Stagnaro, 9th, Kurt Janish, 10th, Scott Lewis, 11th and Ryan Sandberg taking the final CP trophy in 12th.  Grayden Obenour was one spot out of the trophies in 13th spot in Bill Headlee’s car.

As usual, SCCA was delighted to allow CP/CPL to have their course drive-thru after the Friday competition and Impound.  I make the CP/CPL flags each year for the winners and this year had enough fabric for 3 flags.  I made a special flag for me to fly during the CP competition; it has the original CP T-shirt logo on the front and (what else) the “Butt” on the back!  Next year the “Butt” will be clad in a lime green thong bikini panty!  I was proud to be the starter for the “CP Drive-Thru” and next year’s Solo Nationals Chairperson, Kathy Barnes, and Howard Duncan were at the finish line to witness the MANY burnouts!  By the way, Bill Headlee scored a 10 on his burnout!  Kathy Barnes asked if CP minded running Thursday and Friday because she really enjoys having the CP drive thru be the last (but best) part of the Solo Nationals!  Honorable Mention goes to Charlie Davis for his wonderful play-by-play announcing during the CP fun and also the drive-thru.  Thanks, Charlie!

The Friday night banquet was pretty sane.  As usual, CP was announced last, and we “Also Rans” congratulated the winners when they received their awards.

The final event of the evening was to converge on Maggie Moos for one last ice cream fix.  A lot of our CP friends joined us and it was a great way to end the week.

Until next year…  Toto – I know we’re not in Kansas anymore!

Editor's note: This view is from the top of Bill Headlee's Trailer - ... /2006_panoramic_large.jpg


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