View Full Version : USCA wraps up another event at Michigan International Speedway- Complete Coverage

08-28-2014, 05:00 PM
The countdown has begun for the Optima Ultimate Streetcar Invitational. With only seventy-three days before the huge showdown at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, these last three USCA events are crucial. After this weekend there are only two more opportunities to either win a class, win the K&N Spirit of the Event Award or place within the Top 20 Point Leaders overall. With this in mind, let’s take a quick glance at this past weekend’s USCA event at Michigan International Speedway.


We had Saroja Raman on the grounds at MIS with camera in hand and stories to tell.

“The weekend was quite a thrill, as always with the USCA Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car events. There were over 1000 combined runs on the RideTech Autocross and the Wilwood Speed Stop on Saturday, followed by the Holley Welcome Party, hosted at the Lingenfelter Collection of astounding cars. Bugatti's and AMC together at last, just to name a couple of the wonderful cars there.”


In addition to the USCA event held this past weekend, MIS also hosted the Optima ChumpCar Challenge. We do not normally feature this event on our website since it does not pertain to our pro-touring community, but we had to include Saroja’s first time experience as a driver of the Optima/FM3 ChumpCar:


“Alas, I missed the party, having been given the opportunity to drive the Optima/FM3 Performance Marketing Mustang ChumpCar during the 14 hour endurance race which ran on Saturday on the Roval at MIS. Driving the Fox body Mustang with no power steering in door-to-door competition was much different than my time behind the wheel of our 2010 Mustang GT at the Motor State Challenge this year! We had several drivers doing "double duty" with ChumpCar and USCA, and brought home a 5th place finish.” (Saroja)


The ChumpCar series is always neat to watch. The best part of being a spectator is you get the chance to see the ChumpCar Challenge and the USCA event. There’s not much downtime between the two events, so there is always some sort of entertainment for spectators.

Saturday was a long day for the USCA competitors. The day consisted of two events, including the RideTech Autocross and the Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge. After drivers had a chance to race in both events, they set out for the Detroit Speed Road Rally which ended at the Holley Welcome Party. This event ended with a grand tour of the Lingenfelter Collection. From the photos on social media, the collection was clearly one you should have seen in person.


Sunday brought the road race portion of the USCA event. For those who are not familiar with how this works, there are three run groups categorized by driving experience. There is an expert, advanced, and novice group. This does not have any impact on your ranking, but it does allow for those who are faster to run with the same experienced drivers. It also encourages those who are much slower or inexperienced to run in the novice group; promoting safety while still ensuring they have a good time.


“Sunday the OSUSC participants hit almost the same track (as the ChumpCars). USCA did add a chicane to the oval, but it didn't stop the lap times from rivalling those during the ChumpCar race!” (Saroja)


There have been some very competitive drivers that have recently come to play at the USCA events. As a driver with less experience or less performance upgrades, one might get discouraged in participating in these events. There are still opportunities to get a chance into OUSCI, even if you vehicle is not the fastest on course. The K&N Spirit of the Event Award is a perfect example.

Bob Bertelsen won this past weekend’s Spirt of the Event Award and will be on his way to Vegas in November to compete in OUSCI. He may not have been the fastest or the best looking (just kidding Bob), but he embodied what these USCA events are all about. Bertelsen and his C10 always put on a great show, and it’s very unusual to see him not having a great time. Congrats Bob and we look forward to seeing what the C10 can do at Vegas Motor Speedway.


We also followed B&B Classic on Facebook and YouTube. Billy Utley and his father have been long time veterans of this sport and it shows. Billy and his ’72 Nova were quite impressive on the track.


Not only did Billy rank third overall in the GT3K class, but he placed first in the Wilwood Speed Stop and also received the fastest pre-1980 American Iron Award presented by DSE.


Here some in-car and out-of-car videos from Billy’s Nova on the big course Sunday:

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As for the next four people going to OUSCI, here are you official winners of the event:

Bryan Johnson ’13 Camaro in the GT3K Class:


Andy Smedegard S200 in the GT2K Class:


Ronnie Soliman ’06 Evo IX in the AWD Class:


Bob Bertelsen ’69 C10 for the K&N Spirit of the Event Award:


Here is the official breakdown of the scores:


Visit the USCA link below for a complete result breakdown in each event:

Optima did a great job covering the event throughout the weekend. Here’s a quick peak at one of their event galleries on Facebook. Make sure to click the link below and like their page for current updates and coverage of each USCA Event:

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Saroja was also kind enough to provide photos of the event as well:

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With only two events (the last being a double point event), we will see just who secures their place to attend the 2014 OUSCI. Here are a couple competitors in the Top 20 Standing. Let’s see if they can continue to hold on to their invitations, or will another competitor bump them out of their spots. Good Luck Drivers!

Visit driveUSCA.com (http://driveusca.com/) to find out how to participate in the last two USCA events.
Sebring in September and Pittsburgh in October.

08-29-2014, 03:43 PM
I had a blast running at MIS.