View Full Version : OUSCI 2014 Driver Highlight- Bob Bertelsen

10-30-2014, 08:32 PM

Real name: Bob Bertelsen
Member Name: Bob Bertelsen
Member Since: March 2012


Bob Bertelsen; a name that many of you will recognize in the pro-touring community. In addition to some of Bertelsen’s iconic vehicles, he is more recently known for coordinating an event called the Ohio Musclecar Challenge and the face behind Orange Cone Racing.


While running his business, A Plus Powder Coaters, in Columbia, Ohio, Bertelsen also makes time for his hobby; building and racing cars (and now trucks). Tired of just sitting around car shows, Bertelsen decided to join the pro-touring movement and start racing his 1972 Pontiac Firebird; Code Red. The pristine Firebird was very well received and even made its way to compete at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational back in 2010.

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OUSCI wasn’t the only event Bertelsen’s attended. He has raced at several Goodguys autocross events, Holley LS Fest, Motorstate Challenge, Heidt’s Challenge, Midwest Musclecar Challenge and “anywhere else he can race.”

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The mass amount of seat time definitely paid off. Bertelsen has won numerous awards including several first in autocross, Best of Show, Steel City Sweet 6, ISCA Award of Excellent's, ISCA Outstanding Paint, and the Good Guys Musclecar of the Year Finalist.


When we asked who Bertelsen would like to recognized for getting him started in our hobby, he had several people to thank. “My dad and I painted my mom's 1973 Firebird when I was 16 (1977). I was hooked. In 2002, I built a 1967 Camaro convertible that opened the doors for me. Several magazines ran it. That is when I met some of my builder friends that have given me advice and encouragement over the years,” quoted Bertelsen.

In addition to family, Bertelsen wanted to reflect on key people in the industry who helped him throughout the years. “A few that come to mind are, Kyle Tucker, from DSE, Mike Ring, from Ring Brother's, Mark Bowler, Bowler Transmissions, Kurt Ukasik, RPM Hot rods, Gordon McGilton, Jet Hot, Tom McKenzie, neighbor and friend. Plus thousands of other talented people.” (Bertelsen)

The great support and notable advisers Bertelsen mentioned have all contributed to his recent build, a 1969 C10 truck named Orange Rush. From Bertelsen’s first major appearance with his ’72 Firebird to his ’69 C10 build, his focus has changed from “show car” to a vehicle that looks amazing, but also performs well on track.



Bertelsen is a long time veteran of the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. After racing his ’72 Firebird at the 2010 event, Bertelsen returned in 2012 with his ’71 Camaro, Brute Force. This will be Bertelsen’s third year attending an Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.



He secured his spot at this year’s OUSCI event when he received the K&N Spirit of the Event Award at the USCA Michigan International Speedway event. The K&N Spirit of the Event Award is given to someone who demonstrates a positive attitude, help fellow drivers, represents the pro-touring community and is inspiring to others. Bertelsen and his ’69 C10 definitely fit this description.


We had several questions for Bertelsen on how he was preparing for this year’s Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. Since he was a returning OUSCI competitor, we wanted some advice for those first time OUSCI competitors. We asked Bertelsen how he was preparing both physically and mentally for the upcoming race. “Physically? Eating all the beef I can. (If you know me, you know I love 3lbs of Prime Rib) I am doing nothing physically. Mentally, just trying to keep focused and drive the best I can,” Bertelsen.


We also asked Bertelsen if there were any messages and/or thoughts he held close when racing. Bertelsen explained: “no matter where I finish, God is still number 1, my wife is number 2 racing is somewhere below that. I thank God after every race that I am safe and that I have the opportunity to race. There are a lot of people who would love to do what we do but either cannot afford it or don't have the time. I do not take it for granted.”

Curious to learn more about Bertelsen’s mindset going into race, we asked what he hoped to accomplish at this year’s OUSCI. “My goal, like everyone else is to win it. But to be practical, my hope is to be in the top 10. In 2010, I was 24th, in 2012 I was 14th. This year there will be more cars, 100, normally there are 50-60. The caliber of car & driver has gone up. I am going to have to run my best in all segments to accomplish a top 10 finish,” Bertelsen.


With Bertelsen’s past OUSCI experience, he shouldn’t have any problem adjusting to the new location and track. We can’t wait to watch Bertelsen and his beautiful ’69 C10 hit the course and go head-to-head with some of the toughest competition in the history of Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitationals.


Bob Bertelsen’s Vehicle Specifications:

Make: Chevy Named "ORANGE RUSH"

Model: C10

Year: 1969

Engine: Kurt Urban Performance LS7 427 cu. in.

Engine Details: Fuel injected, Ported heads, DSE Headers, 11/1 compression

Horsepower / Torque: 648HP @ crank, 529HP @ rear wheels, 600 ft#

Transmission Brand: Bowler Transmission Prepped Tremec T56 Magnum 6speed

Clutch: Center Force Twin Disc

Exhaust: Custom 3" using Flow Master Series 44 Mufflers

Differential: Ford 9" Moser fabbed housing, CR Racing center section, 370 gears

Brakes: Baer 6R 14" front & rear

Wheel Brand: Forgeline CF3C 18 x 12.5" 18" x 11"

Tires Brand: BFG Rivals 335/30/18 315/30/18

Body & Paint: Body modifications where made by me. Body work was done by Me, Shayne Smeltzer & Rick DeSalvo. Paint was done by me & Phil Palmer at Bonnel's Rod

Interior: RPM Hot Rods

Gauges: Autometer

Seats: Recaro, recovered by RPM Hot Rods

Harnesses / Roll Bar / Cage: Roll cage, Tom McKenzie and me. Harnesses are Schroth racing Harnesses




Would you like to credit any builder, family or friends that helped with the car: God for the ability, time and money to build: My wife for her support and patients. My friends, Shayne Smeltzer, Tom McKenzie, Willis Smith & Rick DeSalvo for their help.

Any other modifications/ things you would like us to know: The truck was built in my 28 x 30 garage at home. I designed and built the frame which utilizes DSE X595 cross member and Camaro Quadra Link suspension. All the body modifications I did in my garage. The door handles and hood louvers are 3D printed plastic. The truck is street legal and is driven on the streets.


Each year more and more spectators take to the driver’s seat and make the decision to join our pro-touring family on the race circuit. Those who are still on the fence about taking their car out on course will often turn to our forum for advice on getting into this sport. So we turned to Bertelsen, a veteran of the sport, and asked him for any advice for these newcomers. Bertelsen explained that “the sport is great. The racers are like extended family. If you want to get into racing, start talking to the drivers. We are all glad to share what we know or what we think we know. I particular like talking with teenagers, trying to get them interested in racing musclecars. If we don't, the sport will die off.”

We couldn’t have said it any better. We wish Bertelsen the best of luck at the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational and will be watching to see if he can break his previous records; trying to place in the Top 10 at this year’s event. Bertelsen will be showcasing his C10 in the JRI Booth at SEMA. If you plan to attend the event feel free to stop by and say hello to Bertelsen, check out his truck and wish him the best of luck before he makes his way to Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday morning.

10-31-2014, 10:17 AM
I like it!