Mike Dusold Wins OUSCI 2018
Mike DuSold and his warbird inspired 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, known as “Maiden Texas,” takes the overall of the 2018 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI). Only nine points separated him and Austin Barnes to make this a very exciting edition of the OUSCI.
The OUSCI is the final event of the Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA) series. Only those who have won events in the 2018 season or get invited during the SEMA Show can participate in this event. However, the event goes very similar to how their normal events run. There is the Design and Engineering section, where judges look over your car for streetablility (including a light and horn check) and the engineering involved with your vehicle. The Autocross is self-explanatory, but the Road Rally is done on the open road to see if your vehicle could really drive like you say it can.
The Speed/Stop and the Hot Lap Challenge usually ends the final day. Speed/Stop requires you to run a very basic course that’s designed primarily for straight-line speed and working your brakes and tires to their limit. The Hot Lap Challenge is a time trial session run on a road course where the event takes place. For the OUSCI, this was Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Proving Grounds outside of the oval track it’s best known for.
To determine the winner of the event, each finishing position gets assigned points with a maximum of 100 points up for grabs in each. This means you don’t have to win every challenge and the winner is usually the one who performs the best across the board. You could win three events, fall very short in one, and lose as Austin Barnes did this year. Despite his 2010 Dodge Viper winning the Hot Lap Challenge, the Speed/Stop Challenge, finishing the Road Rally, and taking second in the Autocross, his 84-point score in Design and Engineering resulted in him being nine-points shy of taking the overall victory.
Consistency was the key to Mike DuSold’s victory with Maiden Texas. He and his 67 Camaro took top honors in the Design and Engineering section, but finished sixth in Hot Laps, third in Autocross, second in Speed/Stop, and was able to finish the Road Rally to Shelby America to get 492-points total for the event. Last year’s champion, Ken Thwaits and his 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution took home third overall. Danny Pop, the favorite to place high in any USCA event he drives at, placed fourth in his 2003 Corvette Z06.
When it comes to bookending SEMA Week, you can’t find a better way to do it than finding out how many of those SEMA Show cars can run and drive. That’s the idea behind the OUSCI, but it’s been USCA regulars that have taken the win every time. They are tried and tested throughout the year and they continue to prove that the ultimate street car should be everything, including driveable.