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Search for the Ultimate Street Car

Posted: Sep 23, 2016

Top Performers in OPTIMA's 2016 Search for the Ultimate Street Car

Ten events make up OPTIMA's 2016 Search for the Ultimate Street Car, presented by Advance Auto Parts and we thought we'd take a look at the top individual performances of the 2016 regular season. Competitors in this series can earn invitations to the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI), presented by K&N Filters, by winning their class at a qualifying event, earning the Spectre Performance Spirit of the Event award, being the top non-qualified finisher in their class at an event or through one of 15 entries handed out based on season-long point totals.

The 15 entries based on season-long points allow competitors to accumulate point totals based on their best three events, but when competitors win their way into Vegas at an event, some opt not to continue running in other qualifying events. Others may chase a regular season points championship, but what we're going to focus on today are highlighting those single event results. That might give us a more comprehensive picture of who some of the favorites might be heading into the OUSCI. Here's the list:

Driver

Vehicle

Class

Venue

Points

Mike DuSold

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

GTL

Las Vegas, NV

494

Kyle Tucker

1970 Chevrolet Camaro

GTV

Concord, NC

493

Steve Kepler

2013 Nissan GT-R

GTS

Millville, NJ

492

Bryan Johnson

2013 Chevrolet Camaro

GT

Concord, NC

492

Rich Willhoff

2006 Chevrolet Corvette

GTL

Fountain, CO

490

Ken Thwaits

2006 Mitsubishi Evo

GTL

Concord, NC

489

Kyle Tucker

1970 Chevrolet Camaro

GTV

Elkhart Lake, WI

489

Rich Willhoff

2006 Chevrolet Corvette

GTL

Willows, CA

489

Steve Kepler

2013 Nissan GT-R

GTS

Elkhart Lake, WI

487

James Forbis

2007 Chevrolet Corvette

GTL

Millville, NJ

486

Mike Maier

1966 Ford Mustang

GTV

New Orleans, LA

485

Mike DuSold

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

GTL

New Orleans, LA

485

Ken Thwaits

2014 Chevrolet Camaro

GT

Millville, NJ

485

Bryan Johnson

2013 Chevrolet Camaro

GT

Bowling Green, KY

483

Rich Willhoff 2006 Chevrolet Corvette GTL Fontana, CA 483
Austin Barnes 2012 Mitsubishi Evo GTS Fontana, CA 483

Scott Budisalich

2004 Subaru Sti

GTL

New Orleans, LA

481

Danny Popp

2003 Chevrolet Corvette

GTL

Austin, TX

481

Jake Rozelle

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

GTV

Las Vegas, NV

481

Danny Popp

2003 Chevrolet Corvette

GTL

Bowling Green, KY

480

Ken Thwaits

2006 Mitsubishi Evo

GTL

Fountain, CO

479

Mike DuSold

1967 Chevrolet Camaro

GTL

Austin, TX

479

Glen Barnhouse

2012 Chevrolet Corvette

GTS

Fountain, CO

479

Rich Willhoff

2006 Chevrolet Corvette

GTL

Las Vegas, NV

478

Rick Hoback

1999 Chevrolet Corvette

GTS

Concord, NC

477

Jeremy Swenson

2011 Chevrolet Corvette

GTS

Elkhart Lake, WI

477

David Tyo

2012 Ford Mustang

GT

Millville, NJ

477

Jake Rozelle

1969 Chevrolet Camaro

GTV

New Orleans, LA

477


Looking at this list might make one believe Mike DuSold might easily be the odds-on favorite, but we included the venues for a specific reason. Some fields were bigger than others, some were more competitive than others and they all had different judges in the Lingenfelter Design & Engineering Challenge. All of those factors, as well as others (size and layout of timed event courses, etc...) can have an impact on the amount of points competitors can accumulate at a given venue.

Three-time OUSCI champion, Danny Popp's Corvette doesn't appear anywhere within the top-ten scores. However, when he does appear, he does so at two tracks that featured some of our largest and most competitive fields- NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky and Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Most venues had three or four of the top scores, while Auto Club, NCM and COTA only had two. Even rarer, was Thunderhill in Willows, California, which only showed Rich Willhoff's Corvette among the very top performances of the season.

It is interesting to see something new, something old, something foreign, something domestic, something with two-wheel drive and something with all-wheel drive occupying the top-four spots and doing so in four different classes! The two-point spread between those four competitors suggests a well-built, well-driven car can be very competitive in this series, regardless of how old or new it is or which manufacturer produced it.

The competitors listed here are sure to be among the favorites in Las Vegas. Don't miss an episode of OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car, presented by Advance Auto Parts. Tune in to MAVTV every Friday night at 8PM Eastern and Pacific and head over to www.DriveOPTIMA.com to learn how you can get involved in this series and get your name on this list!

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