Upgrading the Nut Behind the Wheel
DateMay 23, 2012
It is often said that of all the ways one can improve the performance of their vehicle, the most-effective modifications often come from working on the nut behind the wheel- us! Outside of the world of dynoqueens, all the horsepower, brakes and sticky tires in the world can only improve a vehicle's performance on the road or track, to the degree that the driver is able to take advantage of those upgrades.
The OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational seeks to find the best street cars in the world, but what we've found in past events is that the potential of the cars in the OUSCI is not always maximized by their drivers. Part of that could have been attributed to the newness of the Speed/Stop Challenge, where drivers are essentially asked to drag race on an unprepared surface approximately 1/8th-mile long and stop their vehicle completely within a 40-foot box.
That type of competition hasn't been around nearly as long as autocrossing, road courses or drag strips. However, even in the autocross or road course, we've noticed some cars have not exactly lived up to their potential and those that did, were often piloted by experienced drivers, who have spent a good portion of their free time on various autocross courses and race tracks.
Autocross time is not always easy to come by and road course time can be even more elusive and expensive, but that is changing. Groups like The American Street Car Series are now hosting events all over the country at very reasonable prices, including the Midwest Musclecar Challenge this weekend. These are great events to dip your toe in the water of high-performance driving or hone skills you've already begun to develop.
With some practice under your belt, you and your vehicle can really shine, when you hit events like the OPTIMA Faceoff at the HOT ROD Power Tour or the OPTIMA Faceoff at Road America. Both of these events are qualifiers for the 2012 OPTIMA Ultimate Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Royal Purple motor oil and KN Filters, both will be on TV and both will have the added bonus of select participants being chosen to participate in the 2012 Sandhills Open Road Challenge in August. Why not make the most of those fantastic opportunities and get your driving skills dialed in this weekend? We look forward to seeing you at the track!