View Full Version : OUSCI 2014 Driver Highlight- Dan Howe

11-01-2014, 12:26 AM

Daniel Howe
Location: Iowa
Member name: Howehot
Member since: 9/11

There are not too many Monte Carlo’s on the pro-touring race circuit, but there’s definitely one that sticks out; especially this past year. Dan Howe’s ’84 Monte Carlo SS was a pretty big deal at this year’s Ultimate Street Car Association event in Daytona. The car debuted a new look with a Dale Earnhardt 1985 Wrangler inspired wrap that everyone was talking about.


Leading up to the USCA event in Daytona, several people started following Howe and preparing for the big debut. Howe even had an unexpected visitor, Kerry Earnhardt, stop by to check out the car.




This was not Howe’s first time out with his Monte Carlo though. We asked Howe to tell us the story behind his car and what motivated him to become part of the pro-touring race movement.

“I purchased my ‘84 Monte Carlo SS about 9 years ago. After attending the Car Craft Summer Nationals for a number of years and watching the RSE competition along with all the pro-touring style cars hitting the magazines, I decided this was the route I was going to build my car. I researched for a couple years suspension packages and on a whim approached Jeff Schwartz from Schwartz Performance about a chassis. From this conversation the die was set. In September 2011 the Monte was delivered and in Feb, 2012 my son Josh proceeded to paint the car as his final project in his paint and collision program at Hawkeye Community College. In May the car was back home for assembly and on July 1, 2012 it was driven for its first miles.” (Howe)


2012 was a huge year for Howe and the Monte Carlo. The car had not only exceeded his expectations on the track, the car was receiving a huge amount of attention. “With 500 miles on the build and one autocross under my belt, I was set to run RSE at Car Craft in 3 weeks. Just looking to have a good time, I finished 3rd in the late model class. I also had a photo shoot for an upcoming feature. I was shock by the reception the car receive and still does to this day,“ explained Howe.


In August 2012, Howe and the Monte Carlo were invited to the Sandhill’s Open Road Challenge. Howe did not go home empty handed, though he placed towards the bottom half of the competition. Howe was presented the Spirit of the Event award, which would also grant him an invite to compete at his first Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.


Though 2012 was a huge year for the ’84 Mote Carlo, it didn’t stop there. With 2013 came several more wins including the Saturday Chevy High Performance Nationals Autocross Shootout, Goodguys All American Sunday in Des Moines and the Car Craft RSE late model class.



As 2014 approached, Howe had plans to attend several Ultimate Street Car Association Events. These included Daytona, Road America and Gateway.


Daytona was the most successful of the three events for Howe, as he was recognized as the K&N Spirit of the Event Recipient and offered another spot to compete at this year’s Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


When we asked Howe if there was anyone he wanted to thank, he had a couple people in mind “Jeff and Dale Schwartz have been instrumental in my success as well as the Iowa SCCA for the instruction I have received from its members. West Bend Dyno and Jesse Riggle have tuned the engine to the ninth degree. Uncle Jesse was also instrumental in the T56 Install this past spring.” (Howe)

As OUSCI approaches, we wanted to know what Howe was doing to prepare for the event. There are several competitors making changes to their vehicles and we were curious if Howe was one of them. “Leading into OUSCI, very few changes are being made to the Monte. Working on a little aero and Schwartz Performance performed some updates and maintenance this past week.”


As we continue to interview drivers competing in this year’s OUSCI, the question always comes up of what they hope to accomplish. It can be intimidating going into an event of this caliber. There's a lot of money invested in some of these cars attending this year's Invitational. Then we take a look at those behind of the wheel of these vehicles; SCCA Champions, race instructors, or even iconic names including a particular person that started the whole pro-touring movement. So we asked Howe what goals he had going into the race. “I have zero chance of winning and doubt I'll make the top 25, but I will have as much fun as anyone out there. I never go to an event expecting to win.” Howe’s last comment was more than perfect stating: "I may not be the fastest, but I'll be spectacular." We can understand why Howe was chosen in Daytona for the K&N Spirit of the Event Award. If there was one message to share with those looking to break into the pro-touring race circuit, it would be those exact words from Howe. Many don’t have the money to compete with the big dogs nor do they have the seat time that several of these drivers bring to the table, but to maintain an awesome attitude, have a positive outlook and go out to have fun; well that’s the true meaning behind what we do.


Here’s a little more info about Dan Howe’s ’84 Monte Carlo SS:

My car is a 1984 Monte Carlo SS powered by a LS1 383 stroker backed by a T56 with an LS7 clutch.

The Schwartz Performance chassis features Ridetech coilovers, Wilwood Brakes, Moser Rearend, rack and pinion steering.

It rides on XXR wheels with BFG Rivals, 275/35/18 In the front and 335/30/18 rears.

It has a full interior complete with sound deadner, Procar Elite 1100 front seat, AC, pw, pl, and stereo.

We have put 15,000 miles on this car since the build was completed.

We asked Howe to close his interview with any last advice for people looking to get into autocross and track events. He stated, “I offer ride alongs, when allowed, to anyone who ask and encourage them to get their car on the track whether stock or modified. Seat time is very important and my regret is I waited so long to get involved. I try to promote upcoming events as much as I can as successor these events will lead to more. And I like more. My 13 year old daughter, Kaycee, loves to ride on the track when allowed. My son, Josh, has an ‘86 El Camino that will be out in the spring and Kaycee ride is next on the list. It will be very unique as to what she has decided on. Let's say no one has pro-toured one yet.”



If we want our sport to continue, there is an urgent call to inspire younger drivers to get involved in what we do. Many times this influence is through family. Howe is doing just this with his children; getting them behind the wheel, making them a part of our hobby, and encouraging them to have a passion for cars and racing. We applaud Howe and hope that others will be inspired to do the same. Though Howe may not come in first, or even rank in the top 10 at this year’s Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, just being a part of this special event is worth every moment spent. Not only does Howe inspire others to get involved in our sport, he also proves to be a great example to his children. We can only hope that they too can have the opportunities to become part of the pro-touring family, continue to grow the sport and more importantly have a good time while doing it.

Dan Howe- Good luck going into the 2014 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational and we can’t wait to see you back out in 2015.

11-01-2014, 04:16 AM
Go get 'em Dan!!!