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Real Street Eliminator VI

Tearing it up in Car Craft’s three-way shootout

Lucas Oil/E3 Spark Plug Dyno Challenge

The first big test many of the competitors took on was the chassis dyno. While the rules evenly split the three events with points, we use the horsepower numbers as a tiebreaker. So if two cars perform identically in one of the other events (which did happen this year), horsepower numbers determine the winner. That makes the horsepower event the most important test, with even a single horsepower making all the difference. Last year, Dan Neinstadt lost to Nick Abernathy by a mere 1 hp (559 to 558). Dan didn't forget that, and this year he arrived loaded with The Tune. Since RSE offers the opportunity to run early in the morning during all three days, Dan played the weather forecast perfectly, waiting until Sunday morning when it was cooler to make his run on Andy Wicks' Dyno Tune (") chassis dyno. Dan pulled out an outstanding 612-rwhp number. The only other car to come close was Jim Schmittinger's impressive Buick Grand National turbo V6 car that put down a solid 548-rwhp number.

On the muscle car side of the ledger, Scott Parkhurst laid down a number few were expecting from the carbureted, 383ci station wagon. When the rollers stopped, he chalked up a 579 peak rear-wheel- horsepower number that was good enough for the Muscle Car class top spot. Nathan Shaw's turbocharged LS '71 Nova came closest for Second Place with 542 hp, and John Wegner was probably wondering what he had to do win a round in RSE with an ever-so-close 541 hp for the Third Place spot. Wegner didn't know it at the time, but Parkhurst winning the horsepower race made all the difference.

This is what Dan Weinstadt's 612hp mod motor looks like. While appearing deceptively stock, the combination of lots of valves and a supercharger was more than enough to earn this car the King of the Hill RSE horsepower award, topping all three classes. We had to go all the way back to RSE '08 and John King's 896 rwhp and Mustang tuner Dan Schonack's 817-rwhp runs to find bigger numbers.

Competitor RWHP Points
Dan Neinstadt, '03 Mustang Cobra 612 30
Jim Schmittinger, '87 Buick GN 548 20
Rick Adams, '10 Camaro 523 10
Shannon Grewe, '10 Dodge Challenger 517 -
Rod Strumbel, '04 Mustang Cobra 493 -
Gregg Hopper, '06 Pontiac GTO 438 -
Carson Turnquist, '02 F-150 Lightning 371 -
Dean Swearingen, '08 Mustang GT/CS 334 -
Joel Route, '99 Mustang Cobra 296 -
Jason Taylor, '04 Mustang GT 236 -
Muscle Car
Scott Parkhurst, '67 Malibu wagon 579 30
Nathan Shaw, '71 Nova 542 20
John Wegner, '69 Camaro 541 10
Jeff Schwartz, '67 Nova 524 -
Roger Kunkel, '71 Nova 388 -
Joe Swearingen, '02 ZO6 Corvette 333 30

QA1 Autocross

There were plenty of surprises as well in the QA1 autocross. This year, our friends at the Land O' Lakes SCCA club laid out a longer but much tighter autocross course, which put greater emphasis on driver skill. Because we don't limit the number of runs an RSE competitor can make, Saturday and Sunday saw long lines of cars waiting their turn at the course. To emphasize the autocross as a driver's course (and de-emphasize horsepower), we put five laps on Bill Irwin's stone-stock, 200,000-mile '02 Camaro. With hard, 400-treadwear tires and dead shocks, we posted the second quickest overall time on Friday with a 47.382 and lowered that to a 47.194 on Saturday.

The quickest QA1 Autocross lap of the RSE weekend actually went to a muscle car—and a nose-heavy, big-block Camaro, at that. John Wegner showed that his driving skills and ability to modulate the throttle on his 502ci Rat-motored car was worthy of attention, with a quick 47.345-second run that was also slightly ahead of Late-Model class winner Rod Strumbel in his bright-orange Cobra Mustang. Rod is another repeat RSE competitor who is clearly learning how to negotiate those tight corners. Muscle Car class horsepower leader Scott Parkhurst struggled in his long-wheelbase wagon, finishing Fourth, which put even more pressure on him to do well in the Launch Box if he was going to pull out the overall win.

Competitor Time Points
Rod Strumbel, '04 Mustang Cobra 47.426 30
Dan Neinstadt, '03 Mustang Cobra 47.579 20
Joel Route, '99 Mustang Cobra 47.813 10
Gregg Hopper, '06 Pontiac GTO 48.199 -
Jim Schmittinger, '87 Buick GN 48.493 -
Shannon Grewe, '10 Dodge Challenger 49.328 -
Carson Turnquist, '02 F-150 Lightning 49.535 -
Jason Taylor, '04 Mustang GT 49.859 -
Dean Swearingen, '08 Mustang GT/CS 51.107 -
Rick Adams, '10 Camaro DNS -
Muscle Car
John Wegner, '69 Camaro 47.345 30
Nathan Shaw, '71 Nova 49.265 20
Roger Kunkel, '71 Nova 49.519 10
Scott Parkhurst, '67 Malibu wagon 50.780 -
Jeff Schwartz, '67 Nova 51.388 -
Joe Swearingen, '02 ZO6 Corvette 47.8 30

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