Posted: Aug 16, 2016
OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car August Points Update
After a brief hiatus, we're back to offer more coverage of OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car (OSUSC), presented by Advance Auto Parts. Seven of the ten qualifying events for the 2016 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car invitational have been run and only Road America, NOLA Motorsports Park and Auto Club Speedway remain. After that, we'll head to the 2016 SEMA Show and season finale, the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational.
Five invitations are handed out at each qualifying event in each of the four classes, as well as the Spectre Performance Spirit of the Event award. In addition, 15 invitations will be distributed at the end of the regular season, based on the season-long points chase. As such, we'll focus on who those top non-qualifiers at this point in the season and who is on the verge of earning an invite. One invitation is distributed to the top non-qualifier in each of the four classes, followed by the next 11 non-qualifier, regardless of class affiliation. The current point standings for non-qualifiers are as follows:
1. Chad Ryker 1968 Chevrolet Camaro GTV 1,236 points
2. Toby Thompson 2010 Chevrolet Corvette GTS 1,316 points
3. Robert DeuPree 2006 Chevrolet Corvette GTL 1,322 points
4. Jason Chinn 2015 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,267 points
5. Darren Reed 2014 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,224 points
6. Greg Thurmond 1965 Chevrolet Corvette GTL 1,221 points
7. Chris Neal 2014 Chevrolet Corvette GTS 1,196 points
8. Matt Alcala 2006 Ford Mustang GT 1,186 points
9. Scot Spiewak 2003 Chevrolet Corvette GTL 1,146 points
10. Saroja Raman 2010 Ford Mustang GT 1,138 points
Last Five In
11. Casey Woodside 2010 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,103 points
12. Marty Clarke 2011 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,089 points
13. Craig Hardee 2015 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,062 points
14. Mills Robinson 1967 Chevrolet Camaro GTV 1,055 points
15. Buddy Buchanan 1995 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,044 points
First Five Out
16. Richard Forsythe 2010 Chevrolet Camaro GT 1,012 points
17. Todd Earsley 2003 Mitsubishi Evo GTS 1,006 points
18. Randy Ivy 2012 Ford Mustang GT 999 points
19. Bruce Drachmeister 2002 BMW M3 GT 989 points
20. Michael Flynn 2015 Chevrolet Camaro GT 955 points
If it appears as if Chevrolets have dominated the series, there is probably some truth to that. However, Chevrolet have also dominated the number of entries in the qualifying events, so it would make sense that many of those in the hunt for the final 15 qualifying positions are Chevrolets. However, we would caution anyone who wants to draw conclusions based on how the points sit with three events to go.
Many of these competitors will be running in one or more of the final three events. With at least 15 more invitations being handed out at those events, we could theoretically have 15 totally different entries than what we see here, if the top-15 qualify at one of the upcoming events. Additionally, the cut-off for points, which is currently at 1,044 points, could go up or down significantly, based on who runs and how they perform at the remaining events.
How could it go down? If several of the top-15 earn invitations at one of the final three events, the cut-off could drop. How could it go up? If several competitors outside of the top-15 earn those qualifying spots at upcoming events or earn enough points to move into the top-15 list. How might that all shake out? We'll share some projections in an upcoming blog. Until then, if you'd like to learn more about OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car, check out www.DriveOPTIMA.com.