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OPTIMA Invitational

Posted: Oct 09, 2011

2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational Preview- "The Runt" '62 Chevy II

Curt Ukasik of RPM Hot Rods is a familiar name at the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Inviational, presented by Wilwood Brakes KN Filters. Last year, Ukasik competed in a beautiful '69 Camaro and this year he returns with an equally-impressive '62 Chevy II, nicknamed "The Runt." Ukasik has been to this gunfight before and he knows not to bring a knife. That is why The Runt will be arriving at SEMA with a 650-horsepower, 427 cubic-inch LS7, built by Thompson Racing, the same outfit that assembled the engine in Mark Stielow's '69 Red Devil Camaro, which won the 2010 OUSCI.

The OUSCI isn't just about going fast, so The Runt will also come ready to stop with Wilwood Brakes on all four corners. The Runt was also built to handle the demands of hard lefts and rights with a custom-boxed Roadster Shop chassis, featuring a modified Heidt’s Pro-G front suspension a Currie nine-inch rear end on a parallel four-link. Ridetech single-adjustable coilovers and Nextel Cup-style swaybars help dial in the ride, while Setrab coolers for the differential, power steering and transmission will allow The Runt to run all day long in the desert heat of Nevada.

That all sounds well and good, but even the best combinations need to be properly-dialed in, if they expect to be competitive at the OUSCI. Ukasik has made sure The Runt has spent plenty of time on the track this year. We've watched it in action at several events this year, including the Heidt's Performance Car Challenge and the Goodguys 14th PPG Nationals in Columbus. While we're mentioning our friends at Goodguys, we should also point out that Ukasik's creation was named the Goodguys 2011 Detroit Speed Engineering Muscle Machine of the Year.

It has been a stellar year for both The Runt and it's builder, Curt Ukasik. Will a victory at the 2011 OUSCI be the next crowning achievement? We'll find out in less than a month, when the competitors take to the track in Pahrump and sort things out. If you'd like to witness this event in person, you can still buy tickets, but don't wait long, as less than 700 remain and once those tickets are sold, the gates will be closed.

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