2014 OUSCI Preview- Dan Howe's 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
It's been a few years since Dan Howe's 1984 Chevy Monte Carlo SS has made an appearance at the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI), presented by KN Filters. However, Dan has certainly been keeping himself busy, running in a multitude of events from open road races to autocrosses and obviously, some Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA) outings thrown into the mix.
Dan picked up the KN Spirit of the Event invitation to the 2014 OUSCI at the USCA event at Daytona International Speedway, but Howe seems to have too much fun at these events to sit at home and wait for SEMA to come up on his calendar. As a result, we also saw him at the USCA events at Road America and Gateway Motorsports Park, where Howe put together a nice season in the USCA, although he would've been squarely on the qualifying bubble, had it come down to points.
If it weren't for the KN Filters invite, Howe still would've made it in on points as an alternate, but that would've left Aaron Oberle's Chevelle at home- a scenario both competitors are happy to avoid. Dan refers to his Chevy like a true NASCAR veteran, calling it the, "Schwartz Performance, West Bend Dyno Tuning, Wrangler Jeans, Monte Carlo" and tells us it ran great all year, so very little will be changed heading into the OUSCI. However, he did spend a day last week at Schwartz Performance, where Jeff's crew did a few upgrades to the chassis and addressed a few maintenance items.
Howe will also be adding more spoiler, based on some tips and tricks he picked up at USCA events this summer and he also managed to snare some 335/30/18 BFGoodrich Rivals, which he indicated have already made a huge difference for him in autocross competitions. By the time the car reaches the SEMA Show, the 383 cubic-inch LS1 will be sending 450 horsepower to the wheels and even though the Monte looks heftier than a fifth gen Camaro, Howe's G-body weighs in at just over 3,400 pounds.
The Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be a new venue for Howe, but he has competed in enough events and visited enough new tracks to know how to get himself up to speed without putting his car in too much peril. With the tweaks Dan has made over the summer he is confident the Monte Carlo will finish the OUSCI weekend in the winner's circle with one caveat- "As long as about 85 select cars fail tech inspection," jokes Howe.
While Dan is approaching the event with a mindset centered on enjoying the experience, he is familiar with the field and many of the top competitors. "This year's winner will have a car that can do it all and a driver that can adjust to the new venue," says Howe. "My money is on Danny Popp. I love watching him wheel his Corvette and the upgrades he has made and his talent level make him the one to beat."
"I am super excited to be invited to the OUSCI for a second time," says Howe. "I never dreamed there would be a first, so I want to send a huge thanks to OPTIMA Batteries, FM3 Performance Marketing, the USCA, KN Filters, Detroit Speed Engineering, Lingenfelter Performance, BF Goodrich, RideTech, Wilwood, Jet-Hot Coatings, Red Line Oil, Snap-On Tools and Showtime Motorsports. Without them, this wouldn't be possible."