2019 DriveOPTIMA GT Points Projections After Four Events
- OPTIMA Batteries
There aren't many competitors who can run the entire schedule in OPTIMA's 2019 Search for the Ultimate Street Car, presented by Advance Auto Parts, but Tony Scalici is trying to be one of them. As we write this, Scalici is waiting on parts to show up, so he can put his Camaro back together and make a 2,400-mile drive to Road America. He's had his share of issues with tow vehicles as well this season, but he has made the first four events and does hold the lead in the GT Class for 1990 and newer, 2WD four-seat coupes, sedans and trucks that weigh over 3,200 pounds. That lead will be hard to hold onto though, as we move into the second half of the regular season.
Jonathan Blevins won the GT Cup at last year's OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) in Las Vegas and came up just short of the regular season title, but he's on the warpath again this season and his chances look pretty good. However, the championship could come down to the very last event of the season, as it did last year and the points could be even closer than the 15-point margin that helped take Eric Sheely's Camaro to the top last year.
Right now, Jonathan Blevins and Cliff Elliott are both projected to finish with 1,334 points. If they were to tie at the end of the regular season, the GT Class Championship would be decided at the OUSCI, based on who had the better performance in Vegas. Scalici isn't far out of that mix either, with a projection of 1,309 points and Wes Drelleshak's Camaro and Brian Shelley's Camaro, which is also scheduled to run the full season, are both also still in the hunt but have their work cut out for them.
The five-horse race at the top of the class doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of how competitive this class is from top to bottom. The current top-10 in points is split down the middle between Fords and Chevys and at least 15 cars could score more than 1,000 points, which is often the benchmark for earning a points-based invitation to the OUSCI. While the Camaros of Shelley, John Grow and Mark Golovin have not secured their Vegas invites, they have all eclipsed that mark already and are likely to get their tickets punched based on points, if they don't earn an invitation before that point.
Others who look to be in the hunt on points entries include Brendan King, Paul Molina, John Grow, Matt Ramirez, Tim Schoch, Robert Weathers, Clayton Yates and Kong Chang. Greg Guerrettaz could end up over 1,000 points, but given past history, the closer he is to 1,000 points, the further onto the bubble he'll sit. The top-three non-qualifiers from each class also earn invitations, which at this point would project to be Shelley, Molina and Grow. The question then becomes, who might grab one of those remaining 10 at-large points entries? We'll take a look at those possibilities in the next blog, but for now, have a look at where points projections now could have the season play out below and learn more about the series at www.DriveOPTIMA.com
GT Class Points Projections After Four Events
1. Jonathan Blevins 1,334 points
1. Cliff Elliott 1,334 points
3. Tony Scalici 1,309 points
4. Wes Drelleshak 1,281 points
5. Brian Shelley 1,249 points
6. Brendan King 1,202 points
7. Paul Molina 1,199 points
8. John Grow 1,194 points
9. Matt Ramirez 1,182 points
10. Tim Schoch 1,145 points
11. Robert Weathers 1,132 points
12. Clayton Yates 1,115 points
13. Mark Golovin 1,110 points
14. Kong Chang 1,021 points
15. Greg Guerrettaz 1,002 points
16. Nasario Birrueta 964 points
17. Bill Haynie 891 points
18. Saroja Day 857 points