OUSCI Competitor Ron Schwarz & his 1966 Ford Mustang
Ron Schwarz's journey to build a $5,000 Mustang has been well-documented here in the Power Source blog and elsewhere. As a true budget-minded, home-built contender, Ron carried the flag for home builders everywhere, who dream of building a car that can run with the big boys. There is no bigger of a big boy event than the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Royal Purple and KN and Ron Schwarz proved his budget Mustang belonged in this field.
Ron's car has been many years in the making, so he had the benefit of having the car in good running order well prior to the event. However, even with that edge, Ron believes he would've benefitted from testing the car a bit more before shipping it to Nevada for the SEMA and the OUSCI and offers the same advice for future competitors.
Ron's car arrived safely, looked great all week at SEMA and performed flawlessly on the Detroit Speed/JRI Shocks Road Rally too Pahrump, although cruising through the mountains after sunset did come as a surprise to Ron. In the Lingenfelter Performance Design Challenge, Schwarz finished in 33rd, which was not as high as Ron was hoping he would do, but given the subjective nature of the judging, there were probably more than a few competitors that felt that way.
In the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge, Ron missed out on a top-20 finish (and the associated points) by just over a second. The margin was even closer in the Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge, where Shwarz was just 285 thousandths of a second out of the top-20. Revenge would be Ron's in the RideTech Autocross though. In that event, the difference between 19th to 26th place was less than a second, but Ron was on the top end of that group, picking up two points and helping elevate him to top-30 finishing position, tied with a Lamborghini.
Overall, Ron thought the event featured some some awesome cars, particularly the Mayhem Camaro, owned by two-time OUSCI Champion, Mark Stielow, but he also came away very impressed with Karl Dunn's performance. Will you be the next Mark Stielow, Karl Dunn or Ron Schwarz? We'll be announcing the initial qualifying events for the 2013 OUSCI in the next few weeks and you'll have your chance.