View Full Version : OUSCI 2014 Driver Highlight- Dan Ballard

10-29-2014, 02:21 PM

Dan Ballard
Pro-Touring.com Member: Bad94
Pro-Touring.com Member Since: 2006

Behind the wheel of a 1972 Chevy Nova is owner Dan Ballard. A bodyman, painter and owner of Above Average Motorsports, Ballard passion for cars started long before the pro-touring movement. Ballard, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio got involved in the pro-touring race circuit after attending a Goodguys event in Nashville back in 2009.


Since then he has participated in several events including Goodguys, the Midwest Muscle Car Challenge, Day at the Strip, Motorstate Challenge, Heidts Challenge, USCA Events, Run to the Hills, and Run to Music City.




Without the help of Brian Finch, Ballard might not have gotten into the sport. Finch introduced Ballard to autocross back at the Goodguys Nashville event in 2009. A few weeks later Ballard had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Finch’s 1971 Camaro at Run through the Hills.


In addition to Brian Finch, Ballard also wanted to thank Tom, Deb and Sam Farrington for help along the way. “They go out of their way to help with anything I may need,” quoted Ballard.


RideTech has also been a huge supporter of Ballard and his Nova, offering support to both driver and car when attending pro-touring race events.



Ballard was an active participant in this year’s Ultimate Street Car Association race series. As the USCA race season came to an end, participants watched to see who’s names would rank on the Top 20 Non-Qualifying Points List. For those that did not win at an event, this was one of the only other ways to qualifying for the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. Many participants attend more than one race event in order to accumulate points for a chance at an invite at the end of the year. Dan Ballard and his ’72 Nova made the list and it was official; he would move on to compete at this year’s OUSCI event in Las Vegas.


As OUSCI approaches, several competitors are getting ready both physically and mentally for the big event. We asked Ballard what he was doing to his Nova in order to prepare for OUSCI:

“The car was just about ready to go as soon as we got home from USCA Pittsburgh. Just a nut and bolt check. And oil change. We are working on a few items that may or may not show up at the big show. With only 2 weekends before we leave we are testing both weekends. We have also been helping Danny Popp get his car ready,” Ballard.


As Ballard makes his way to Vegas in a couple days, we were curious his mindset as he competes in one of the biggest races in our pro-touring community. Many competitors have made dramatic changes to their vehicles, attended several race events to get more seat time and even tried to rent the outside course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to get some behind-the-wheel practice on the actual course. Though Ballard has done a couple track events since the Top 20 Non-Qualifying Points Leaders were announced, he has not made huge changes to his car in preparation for the event. With this in mind, we wanted to know what Ballard’s goal was going into the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. Ballard commented: “I would like to finish in the top half, but there is some very good cars/drivers at this year’s event. Main goal is to just finish each event.”

Ballard and his Nova are the perfect story on how one guy got started at a Goodguys autocross and became hooked ever since. It’s not only about taking your vehicle out and going around a Goodguys autocross one weekend; it’s about meeting new people, making friends and become part of the pro-touring family. This is exactly what happened with Dan Ballard. As we asked for any last advice for those looking to get into the sport Ballard short and simple comment said it all: “Go out and have fun.”

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Dan Ballard’s Vehicle Specifications:

Make: Chevy

Model: Nova

Year: 1972

Engine: Small Block Chevy

Engine Details: Dart Block, Lightweight rotating assy, AFR Heads CNC ported, Single plane intake, Holley HP EFI with 1000 CFM TB, 1 ¾ -1 7/8 stepped headers, Holley DIS ignition.

Transmission Brand: T56 Built by Above Average Motrosports/Bowler Transmission

Clutch: Spec Stage 2 with alum flywheel and lightweight pressure plate.

Exhaust: Custom 3” up and over the axle with Borla XR1 mufflers

Differential: GM 10 bolt housing, 3:73, Moser custom axles for floater.

Brakes: Wilwood 14.25” front rotor with W6A and 12.88” Billet superlight calipers

Wheel: 18x9.5 and 18x12 Forgelines

Tires: Falken 615K 275/35/18 and 315/30/18

Body & Paint: Original GM paint.

Interior: Anvil dash cluster, Vintage Air

Gauges: Racepak

Seats: Corbeau GTS II and custom rear to match fronts

Harnesses / Roll Bar / Cage: Ride Tech Tiger Cage

Would you like to credit any builder, family or friends that helped with the car:
My brother has put countless hours into the car. The car wouldnt be where it is without him. Danny Popp always finds time to scale and align the car even when he has his own car to get ready for a event. Danny is also always willing to get in the passenger seat and help me with my driving.

Any other modifications/ things you would like us to know:
The car is still GM paint, sheet metal. Building a car and not messing the paint up isn't the easiest thing to do. Only 62000 miles on the body.


We wish Dan the best of luck and hope he accomplishes his goal of placing in the top half of his competition. With seat time, mental focus and determination, you’ll be surprised what drivers can accomplish at events such as these. Some will break, while others will prevail. We believe Ballard won’t have any problems accomplishing his goals at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.

Don’t forget to check back for complete coverage as we go LIVE at SEMA 2014 and the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. We will be following up with Dan Ballard as he arrives at SEMA to showcase his Nova then heads out to Las Vegas Motor Speedway to compete is the most anticipated event of the year. Good Luck Dan!

Permission was given to use photos and videos from Ballard's Facebook. We want to thank him for allowing us access and supplying content to complete our story.

10-29-2014, 02:28 PM
I started driver profiles also! here is the linky (https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/110993-Ridetech-drivers-and-Ridetech-sponsored-drivers-going-to-OUSCI) it has Dan Ballard, James Shipka, Jane Thurman, Greg Schneider