2014 OUSCI Preview- Wes Drelleshak's 1959 Chevrolet Apache
Even though the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) has "Car" in it's title, everyone knows trucks are more than welcome to come out and compete. Wes Drelleshak's 1959 Chevrolet Apache is just the latest in a long line of pickup trucks that have run in the OUSCI over it's seven-year history and certainly one of the coolest. Several months have passed since Wes qualified for the OUSCI with the KN Filters Spirit of the Event award at the Fontana Ultimate Street Car Association event and we're still several weeks out from the SEMA Show, but Wes has not been sitting around idle, counting down the days.
Drelleshak's day job with Baggers Magazine has kept him on the road, covering events like Sturgis and the Hotbike tour, but he has still found time to prep his pickup for it's big week in Las Vegas. "Since I hustled to get the No Limit Engineering front end on the truck for Fontana, the truck handled like expected, but everyone felt it could be better including Rob MacGregor," says Drelleshak. "Rob, John from Deuces Wild Hot Rods and I discussed what would make the truck better and one of those thoughts was a three link." Rob MacGregor took the lead from there and using what he had learned from building his own "Hell Boy" truck, he fabricated a three-link suited for Wes' application.
Unfortunately, for Wes, the only time he has to work on his truck is the weekends, due to the demands of his day job. Hopefully, by the time you read this, the three-link will be installed, as well as a new exhaust system from Black Widow mated to a set of Hedman Headers. With the countdown to SEMA quickly approaching, Wes knows he also needs to find time in his schedule to dial in the front end with his new setup in the rear.
The plan is to arrive in Las Vegas with his 383 producing about 500 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque and weighing in at just over 3,600 pounds without Wes behind the wheel. Shifting for his mean machine is handled by a Tremec TKO 600, mated to a Centerforce dual-friction clutch.
As for Wes' familiarity with the OUSCI's new venue at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he knows it's in Vegas. Beyond that, it will all be a new experience for him. While he hopes the course will favor heavy trucks, he knows enough about the OUSCI to know you need to be a very experienced driver with a lot of seat time in your vehicle, if you want to contend for the win and the year, make and model of your vehicle is really a non-factor in that regard.
Fortunately for Wes, he is approaching the OUSCI with a great attitude. "To tell you the truth, I don't really care who wins or loses," says Drelleshak. "I just want to see friends having a rad time." While Drelleshak doesn't expect to win, he does plan on putting on a great show for his supporters and sponsors. "The truck is underpowered and pushed pushes wind like someone that just ate beans," says Wes.
If you're not one of Wes' 1,391 friends on Facebook, you can join the nearly 1,000 folks following him on Instagram @wes_d and stay up to date on his progress with the Apache. Wes would like to extend a special thank you to the folks who have supported his effort, including Deuces Wild Hotrods Customs, No Limit Engineering, The Brake Man, Falken, RideTech, Black Widow Exhaust, Spectre, Hedman Hedders, Comp Cams, Aeromotive, Speedway Engineering, Currie Enterprises, The Differential Axle Shop and especially his wife and son.
If you can't get enough of this truck, come see it in person at the OUSCI.