View Full Version : FULL Recap of USCA Daytona International Speedway May 23-24, 2014

05-30-2014, 07:38 PM
Ultimate Street Car Association
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona, Florida
May 23-25, 2014

If you lived within a 300 mile radius of Daytona, you were probably at Daytona International Speedway this past weekend. If you lived further, there’s probably still a good chance you were there. As for myself, the 2,488 miles between me and Daytona was just a little too far for me to travel this year. This did not mean that I could not be part of the action though. As most of you did, I lived vicariously through social media, watching updates come through my phone by the hour. I too watched the good, the bad and the ugly as driver’s strived to be the ultimate street car in their class. Luckily we had someone on the grounds covering the event for pro-touring.com while feeding us live updates throughout all three days. Saroja Raman was a huge help throughout the weekend and we want to thank her for all of her updates and photos she forwarded our way. You made it possible to cover this event and definitely made my job a lot easier!

The weekend started off on Friday with a cruise down the coast to one of the most desired raceways in the country; Daytona International Speedway. As the sun set and things began to settle down Albert Melchior, owner of Carbon Kustoms, resided behind the grill cooking up some amazing BBQ. If you haven’t tried Albert’s BBQ, trust me it’s amazing!


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As Friday came to an end, Saroja sent us her first update:
“Day One is done. Quite a few competitors took advantage of the opportunity to park their street cars in their very same garages that NASCAR uses...

We got everyone through the tech line, and registration, and finally hit the road for the Detroit Speed and Engineering Road Rally. We wound through some pretty territory, as well as stopped at some interesting spots. Grassroots Motorsports handed out goody bags, and we all enjoyed cooling down at Racings North Turn, on the beach where the beach racing started here in the 30's.

We finished back at the track, with the Holley Welcome Party, and congratulated Chris Porter for his Poker Run winning hand of a queen high full house.

We're having fun, wish you all were here!


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While racing the Spectre Camaro I learned that almost all drivers have a prep period before the big race. If not the day before (like mine usually was), then usually an hour or even minutes before putting on that helmet, locking in your seat belt, placing both hands on the wheel and taking that final deep breath. At most USCA events, Friday is a typical relax/ preparation day (sometimes more mentally than physically). As Saturday rolls around, it’s game day. Every moment counts at the USCA events. Every second on course is either a warm-up lap or it’s game-time. Saturday was unique at Daytona because not only did the racers get to drive the big track, they also got to race under the lights. Since I started the pro-touring race circuit back in 2008, this is one of the only events that allows you to run at night. Just another reason why I wished I was there. When flipping through the event coverage, it looked like an awesome experience. The end of Saturday also brought our second recap:

“What a thrill to spend a day at Daytona International Speedway, and even more of a thrill for those lucky drivers who got lots of track time, using the Rolex Course!

The BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge saw cars on track at 1:00, when Jimi Day led the competitors on orientation laps in his '69 AMX. Soon after, the Expert group headed out, and started what would be driving into the night...

Jet Hot High Performance Coatings provided five instructors who know this track inside and out. The got to see quite a bit of track time from the less comfortable seat! The Red Line Oil camera car was a beautiful Porsche, expertly driven by Trans Am Champion Simon Gregg.

Watching races at this track on TV is fun, but being here as the sun goes down and the temperatures cool, hearing the cars on track into the night is something special. Seeing our friends with their cars in the same garages that housed some of the biggest names in mortorsports ... this is an event of a lifetime! I spent a little time playing "fan", peering through the windows into the garages, feeling proud of all the competitors here.

Next will be the fast-paced RideTech Autocross and Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge. The Action Continues!” (Saroja)

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Sunday brought the Wilwood Speed/Stop Challenge and the RideTech Street Challenge Autocross. Now everyone has one form of racing that is near and dear to their hearts. For me it was the big track stuff; that’s where I had the most experience. Eventually I became more and more familiar with autocross, but the Speed/Stop Challenge was where I had the most difficulties. Many race participants come from a track or autocross background. When it comes to the Speed/Stop Challenge, they are left scratching their heads asking what the heck just happened on their first run. Over time you become familiar with this event and those such as Brett Voelkel from RideTech and Mark Stielow with “Mayhem” master the driving method it takes to win this event. Sunday brought challenges for many, but the winners of each class eventually claimed their titles as the day came to an end.

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The last Daytona recap came late Sunday with the final thoughts and overall results:
“The Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car event at Daytona International Speedway is in the books. Through the hot, humidity weekend, the smiles were wide and bright.

A tour of the surrounding area, the Detroit Speed and Engineering Road Rally took us through some atactive neighborhoods, and to the north turn of where racing began on the beach in the 1930's. Brought back to the present by a short drive to the Speedway, the Holley Welcome Party gave everyone a chance to relax and mingle.

Though 11:00 AM may seem late for a drivers meeting, eight hours later we still had cars running laps in the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge. Jet Hot High Performance Coatings again provided five well-qualified instructors. A reminder that all of this will be on MAVTV, the Red Line Oil provided chase car was piloted by Trans Am champion Simon Gregg.

The competitors took their cars to be scored at the Lingenfelter Design and Engineering judging. This segment awards points for innovation, technology, aesthetics, and for truly being a street car.

Saturday night most competitors must have slept well, having spent so much energy grinning after hours on the same course as the Tudor 24 hours of Daytona, under the same lights. A few spent time working on their cars, getting them ready for the next day.

Not many cones were present for the Ridetech Autocross Challenge, as the existing infield autocross had grass runoff. It had lots of twists and turns and took about ¾ of a minute to run. The Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge was short and sweet, and run times got quicker throughout the day.

Clouds rolled in as the last runs were made, and the award ceremony took place with a few of us looking over our shoulders the growing clouds. But the rain held off long for four competitors to be invited to the Optima Street Car Invitational. Since Steve Kepler is a previous overall winner in the AWD class, the invitation to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational was presented to the second place winner, Todd Earsley ('03 Evo).”

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Overall Winners
Over 3000 lbs: Kyle Tucker ('70 Camaro)
Under 3000 lbs: Mike Junior Johnson ('06 Corvette)
All Wheel Drive: Steve Kepler (' GT-R)

K & N Filters Spirit of the Event Award Winner
Dan Howe ('84 Monte Carlo)

We would like to recognize Dan Howe and Schwartz Performance for embarking on the journey to commemorate Dale Earnhardt Sr, turning Howe’s ’84 Monte Carlo into the "Wrangler" themed Dale Earnhardt Sr Car. The car received much deserved attention as it made its way to Daytona for the USCA event. Not only was there an exclusive filming session for the car, but Kerry Earnhardt also stopped by to see the tribute. The car definitely set a memorable presence and hopefully it will attend more race events in the near future. Congratulations Dan Howe on an amazing build and thank you for sharing it with the rest of the pro-touring.com community.

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That concludes our coverage for the USCA Daytona Event. To check out all of Saroja Raman’s coverage, view the slideshow below:

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Also, check out Detroit Speed and Engineering’s latest YouTube Video from USCA Daytona:

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We would like to thank Optima Batteries for providing some amazing photography of the USCA Daytona Event
For full results, please go to OptimaBatteries.com and select the PowerSource Blog:
Results Page: http://ultimatestreetcarassociation.com/events/ (Results coming soon)
USCA Homepage: http://ultimatestreetcarassociation.com/

For Registration of the next two upcoming USCA June Events visit:
CA Speedway: http://ultimatestreetcarassociation.com/events/fontana-ca-june-13-15/
Road America: http://ultimatestreetcarassociation.com/events/elkhart-lake-wi-june-20-22/
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK for the latest updates and event info: https://www.facebook.com/ProTouring

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05-31-2014, 01:04 PM
As I said in my thread, this was the best event ever. To run Dytona was the chance of a lifetime and having Schwartz Performance go along with the wrap idea was frosting on the cake. I knew it would attract some attention but nev to the degree it has received. Thank you all.

As far as other events, beside OUSCI yippee!, we will be at Road America and Gateway. Theses are fantastic events, get registered or volunteer and see what it's all about.