Posted: Jan 09, 2018
Chad Ryker's 1968 Chevy Camaro
Chad Ryker's 1968 Chevy Camaro is a regular competitor in both OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series and the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational
The first generation F-body (Camaro/Firebird) has clearly been one of the most-popular platforms on which to start a Pro-Touring build. As such, when these cars finally end up getting built, it becomes very difficult to stand out from what is easily the largest crowd in Pro-Touring. Most of those who do stand out seem to wind up running in OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car Series and the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI), where the competition goes far beyond whose car has the best stance or racks up the most fans on social media.
Chad Ryker entered the fray in his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro during the 2015 season, making his debut with a fourth-place finish in the GTV Class at our event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As a West Coast-based competitor, Ryker followed that up with a ninth-place finish in a very stacked field at Auto Club Speedway. Even though he only competed in three events in 2015, Chad still finished in tenth place out of 117 competitors in the GTV field.
The 2016 season started off well for Ryker, as he grabbed a second-place finish in the GTV Class at Thunderhill and followed that up with another podium finish (third place) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Circuit of the Americas was a "can't miss" stop on the schedule in 2016 and Chad made the trek East to run at that iconic track, finishing fourth in class at that venue. The regular season wrapped up with a sixth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway and an invitation to head back to Vegas for the OUSCI, where Ryker finished 33rd.
When the 2017 season began, the defending GTV Class Champion, Jake Rozelle, made it clear he wasn't looking to defend his title, turning instead to a Corvette in the RECARO GTS Class. That opened the door for several in the GTV Class to pounce on the opportunity to chase the title and Ryker figured to be in the mix. His performance at Holley's LSFest West punched his ticket for the OUSCI, so he could focus his efforts on the points chase. He started out the season with a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and followed it up with another third-place finish at Pike's Peak International Raceway. He wrapped up his regular season at the the third and final West Coast event at Auto Club Speedway, where he once again finished third and repeated his fourth-place finish in the season-long points chase.
Even though his regular season results didn't change from 2016 to 2017, Ryker's return visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 2017 OUSCI netted a significantly-improved finish- 22nd overall. Chad is already set for the 2018 season, planning to run at four events, including the series' first-ever visit to Barber Motorsports Park. If this sounds like something you'd like to experience with your street car, head over to www.DriveOPTIMA.com to get more details on how you can get involved.