If you’ve been following our coverage online of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Machine Summer Nationals in St Paul, MN, then you’ll know it was an epic collection of muscle cars, trucks, street rods, and just about anything you can think of. Over the next few days we’ll wrap up our coverage of the event, but first let’s cut to the quick. The crew at Family Events just announced the winners of the SEMA Young Guns Competition (a build off of sorts for those 27 and younger) as well as the racing events – Dyno Challenge, Stop Box, QA1 Autocross and Street Machine Challenge.
SEMA Young Guns Competition
The SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns competition takes place in the Fall, and one lucky participant of the St Paul show got a ride to Vegas for his efforts. It was an interesting crop of entries, including a Cummins powered rat rod with a goose neck trailer (with a patina C10 loaded up) and a Cummins swapped Tempest. However, it was the gleaming orange ’70 Chevy C10 truck of Austin Haynes that took top prize. If you like chrome and the sort of shine that reflects for days, this was your machine – right down to the chrome filled engine bay and bug catcher. The interior was a tasteful match to the orange paint, adorned with tweed and orange piping. Austin qualified from the Du Quoin show, and will be competing against other winners from around the country in Las Vegas.
The Dyno Challenge was ran by Power House Dyno, who backed countless muscle cars and even diesel trucks onto the mobile Dynojet in front of a crowd of people. A PA system blasted music and an announcer gave the play by play for onlookers, not capable of seeing the dyno screen. Meanwhile, an LED sign displayed the leaders throughout the day as a frame of reference. It was an appropriate display of gasoline dreams, but in the end it was Aaron Miller in his turbocharged 2005 Dodge Viper who won the competition on Saturday and had the highest number of the weekend. His Viper made a staggering 1,495 horsepower. Ted Shuler won Friday’s edition with his 987 horsepower 2016 Camaro, and Sunday was capped by Justin Nall’s 1966 Malibu which made 835hp. This year’s turnout was quite impressive considering the top three on Saturday all broke the four digit mark.
A unique feature of the event, the Stop Box combines acceleration and deceleration within just 150 feet. The “box” itself is 25 by 12 feet. Each contestant leaves from a standing start, and must stop within the box. The rear axle centerline must be inside the entry line of the box, and the front tires must be inside the exit line. If you hit the cones, there is a 10 second penalty unless the cones stay inside the cone box. If your tires go outside the cone box – you receive a “DNF.” A timer system is used, just like an autocross course. On Friday, Keith Letarski took top honors with a 3.117 seconds in his 1968 Dodge Charger. On Saturday it was Alex Houle’s RC car that won with a 2.83-second performance; and on Sunday Chris Larson launched his ’09 SRT Grand Cherokee into the top spot in 2.843 seconds.
In the spirit of maximum fun, there are no restrictive rules or classes for autocross. The fastest times on Friday and Saturday got the top honors. The autocross was run similar to any SCCA event, with a limit to 180 treadwear DOT tires only. The safety rules are exactly the same as the SCCA – no open toe shoes or sandals/flip flops, SN2005/M2005 or newer rated helmet required (with loaners available), etc – and a two-second penalty is given for knocking any cone outside the chalk outline. The Leisinger team dominated the autocross this year at the Street Machine Summer Nationals. Josh took top honors in the ’64 Corvette coupe, while his brother wheeled the roadster in the Street Machine Challenge (more on that below). Josh’s 34.47 on Friday and 32.21 on Saturday were tops, ahead of Jeremy Fohrenkamm’s Triumph both days. James Radtke and Allen Miller took Third place on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Street Machine Challenge
The Street Machine Challenge combines the Stop Box, QA1 Autocross, and Dyno Challenge to find out which is the best all-around car. Registration is limited to just 35 competitors, who are notified three weeks in advance of the event. 10-30 points are assigned for respective positions in each portion of the event and winners are divided among three classes – Corvette, Late Model and Muscle Car. No points are given for finishing outside the top three in each portion of the event, as with a “DNF” and “DNS.” To compete you must have a rear-wheel drive passenger car, gasoline engine (no diesels), and DOT 200 treadwear tires.
Jared Leisinger swept the Corvette class, capturing all 90 points with a First place finish in all three events with his 1963 Corvette roadster. The purpose-built midyear was an absolute beast on the autocross, running a blistering 31.765 seconds. His 2.895-second Stop Box performance was one of the best on the entire weekend (by anyone). Sipping on race fuel, the LS engine sang to 498 horsepower on the dyno. Derek Stanton took Second place in his 2003 Corvette, thanks to a 34.404-second autocross and 439 horsepower dyno run (2nd in each for 40 points).
G-body hero Dan Howe captured the Late Model class with 50 points in his 1984 Monte Carlo. The Schwartz chassis helped him maneuver into First place in the autocross, running 33.276 seconds. Dan took Second in the Stop Box with 3.09 seconds. Dan Forseman tied Chris King for Second place, both in Camaros. The 1994 Camaro of Forseman placed in all three events, 33.385 seconds in the autocross (2nd), 3.091 seconds in the Stop Box (3rd) and 480hp (3rd) on the dyno. Since horsepower serves as the tie-breaker, he edged out King’s 2015 Camaro, which made 425hp.
In the Muscle Car class Brandon Clemens placed in all three events for a total of 60 points and the overall win. His screaming 1964 Ford Falcon was an impressive sight on the autocross course in which he took First in 32.930 seconds. In the Stop Box he took Second by going 2.967 seconds. Justin Nall took Second thanks to his First place dyno run of 835hp. There was a four-way tie for Third between Ryan Buck’s ’68 Camaro, Mark Greutzman’s 1964 Ford Galaxie, Dan Rohrbach’s 1969 Caprice and Dale Schwartz’s 1965 Tempest.
Stay with us for more coverage of the Street Machine Summer Nationals as we wrap up the highlights throughout the week.