View Full Version : USCA Sebring International Speedway Brings Wet Weather and Heavy Competition

09-25-2014, 05:44 PM
There are exactly 45 day until the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, 1 USCA event remaining and only a handful of spots left. Drivers are traveling across the country to attend the remaining USCA events with the hopes of claiming an invitation to this year’s OUSCI. As fall season has settled in, weather conditions have made for game changing track conditions while drivers battle it out to prove they are the ultimate street car.


USCA Sebring International Speedway was one of two remaining events where drivers had a chance to lock in their spot for OUSCI. Besides the USCA event at Pittsburg in two weeks, this event may have been the most challenging USCA event of the year. With poor weather conditions at Sebring, the chance to claim a spot only got harder as the weekend continued.


It’s difficult enough knowing there are only two chances to win an invite before OUSCI, but add a little rain to the mix (or a lot) and things get pretty complicated. There were only thirty competitors at this past weekend’s USCA Sebring event. Though the numbers were low, most likely due to the weather forecast, the competition was still heavy.

The GT3K Class totaled thirteen drivers over the two day event. Drivers like Danny Popp and Ken Thwaits have already secured a spot to compete at this year’s OUSCI.



Other drivers such as Brandon Sturgis, Cliff Elliott and John Parson were not only racing to win their class, but also win an invitation.




Ryan Matthews and Chris Smith were also racing in the GT3K Class. Both drivers have attended enough USCA events throughout the season to place them on the Top 20 Non-Qualifying list. Those who place in the Top 20 will automatically be granted a spot into OUSCI. Though both of these drivers have racked up quite a few points throughout the year, this does not guarantee that they will remain on the Top 20 List. There is still one USCA event to go which is also a double point event.

If both Matthews and Smith choose to attend Pittsburgh, their chance of remaining on the Top 20 Non-Qualifying List is good. As we all know, anything can happen though and nothing will be official until the completion of the Pittsburgh event in two weeks.


Note: Chris Smith was driving the RideTech 48 hr Camaro this weekend instead of his C10 Truck

The GT2K Class only had four cars competing. Karl Dunn and Herman Porter had already secured their spot at OUSCI by winning past USCA events.



Though Dunn already has a spot at OUSCI, he was competing this past weekend in a different vehicle, allowing him another chance at a spot at OUSCI. Unfortunately Dunn fell short of the win by five points. There is still hope though as Dunn also ranks in the Top 20 Non-Qualifying. If he attends Pittsburgh in two weeks there is a good chance that he will secure a second spot to attend OUSCI in his XXX Corvette as well as his XXX Corvette.

Sebring was the event for AWD vehicles; if any had shown up. If one driver had competed in the AWD Class, it would have been an automatic win. We had yet to see a USCA event with no AWD participants; Sebring being the first. It would have been an easy win and a chance to compete at OUSCI, but unfortunately the class was empty.

The Exhibition Class had the most competitors with fourteen drivers in attendance. Though the Exhibition Class is not eligible to qualify for OUSCI or win the event, the cars and drivers are still awesome to watch. Many vehicles are put in this class because they do not comply with USCA rules. Some vehicles may not have the proper tires while others might be considered “kit cars,” even if they are street legal.


These conditions do not apply to all of the vehicles in this class. Drivers like Stacy and Kyle Tucker run in the Exhibition Class because they are sponsors of the USCA Events. They are removed from the competition to allow other competitors a chance to win. This allows the Tuckers to promote their company and support USCA, while also having the ability to take their cars out and run in these events.



Here is a quick glimpse of the results from the weekend's race:
Final Standings

GT3K Class Overall:
1 - Danny Popp
2 - Todd Rumpke - (OUSCI Invite)
3 - Ken Thwaits - DSE "Equipped" 2014 Camaro

GT2K Class Overall:
1 - Doug Wind - (OUSCI Invite)
2 - Karl Dunn
3 - Herman Porter

BFGoodrich Hot Lap Challenge - GT3K:
1 - Danny Popp
2 - Todd Rumpke
3 - Ken Thwaits - DSE "Equipped" 2014 Camaro

BFGoodrich Hot Lap Challenge - GT2K Class:
1 - Doug Wind
2 - Karl Dunn
3 - Mark McKay

Autocross - GT3K Class:
1 - Danny Popp
2 - Todd Rumpke
3 - Ryan Mathews - DSE 2012 "White Monster" Camaro Test Car

Autocross - GT2K Class:
1 - Doug Wind
2 - Karl Dunn
3 - Mark McKay

Speed-Stop Challenge - GT3K Class:
1 - Todd Rumpke
2 - Danny Popp
3 - Ken Thwaits - DSE "Equipped" 2014 Camaro

Speed-Stop Challenge - GT2K Class:
1 - Karl Dunn
2 - Herman Porter
3 - Doug Wind

Design & Engineering - GT3K Class:
1 - Ken Thwaits - DSE "Equipped" 2014 Camaro
2 - Danny Popp
3 - Jeff Montgomery

Design & Engineering - GT2K Class:
1 - Doug Wind
2 - Herman Porter
3 - Mark McKay

K&N Spirit of the Event Award
Matt Alcala - (OUSCI Invite)

DSE Fastest 5th Gen Award
Danny Popp

DSE Fastest Pre-1980 American Iron Award
Chris "Smitty" Smith

Though many drivers went home defeated, three ended the weekend in victory:

Todd Rumpke- Well known for his racing in SCCA and NASA, Rumpke and Danny Popp battled it out for the number one spot in the GT3K Class.


Popp and Rumpke have been longtime friends and have raced beside each other for many years. Popp also built Rumpke’s 2006 Z06 Corvette, which both have raced. Though Popp went home with the win, he already had an invite to OUSCI. This resulted in Rumpke, who came in second, automatically receiving the OUSCI Invite.


Doug Wind- Besides Doug Wind’s white and blue Dodge, it’s not too often we see an SRT-4 at these USCA Events. Wind also has a history in racing, running several Global Time Attacks with his SRT-4.

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Wind has participated in many USCA events throughout this summer including Gateway, Michigan and Sebring. This past weekend he defeated Karl Dunn by five points overall and secured his spot to attend the 2014 OUSCI.


Matt Alcala- Recipient of the K&N Spirit of the Event Award. When a driver travels over 2500 miles to get to a USCA event, there’s no questioning who the Spirit of the Event should go to. After having last minute problems with the vehicle Alcala and his father originally had planned to bring, Alcala loaded his ’12 Mustang and headed east for Florida.


The drive from San Diego to Sebring had to win an award for the competitor who traveled the furthest distance. The only other competitor who might challenge this record is Ken Thwaits and his crew.


Alcala came out to Sebring under the K&N name, and to his surprise left Sebring with the K&N Spirit of the Event Award along with a secured spot to attend OUSCI. Congrats Matt Alcala!


Though these three driver’s won a spot to compete in six weeks, there is no time to rest. The work now begins to prep their vehicles for one of the biggest competition of the year in our pro-touring community.



As the weeks pass quickly we will be following up with some of these drivers to see just how they are prepping for this year’s OUSCI. With Sebring down and Pittsburgh to go, it will be tough to guess who will lock-in the last remaining spots and who will go home empty handed.
Congrats to all the Sebring participants for a safe and fun weekend and we will check back with everyone come Pittsburgh in a couple weeks.

We want to thank Optima Batteries for helping us capture the USCA Sebring Event. Without them we wouldn’t be able to share each event with you. To check out more USCA photos, visit Optima Batteries Facebook Page or browse through their collection of photos below:

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We also wanted to leave you with one last video from Karl Dunn and his C5 Corvette on the Autocross:

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For complete results of the USCA Sebring Event visit: http://driveusca.com/events/
Don't forget to check out Optima Batteries Facebook Page for full coverage of each event: https://www.facebook.com/optimabatteries