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Real Street Eliminator VI

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

Mobil 1 Launch Box

Even though this is the third year of Launch Box, the short exercise in acceleration and braking has yet to earn as much attention as the other two events. Yet despite its humble reputation, the event is every bit as important and is weighted the same as the autocross and chassis dyno. The smart RSE players know this and practice several times over the course of the weekend. As with the autocross, RSE rules do not limit the number of attempts. That may change in the future, since the serious competitors will make upwards of a couple of dozen attempts over the course of the weekend. The surprise was how well both Scott Parkhurst and John Wegner performed, eventually tying for the lead at nearly two-tenths quicker than Dan Neinstadt's quickest Late-Model time. If you pay attention to such things, it's clear that the key to Launch Box, much like in a drag race, is in the launch.

Mobil 1 Launch Box
Competitor Time Points
Dan Neinstadt, '03 Mustang Cobra 4.42 30
Rod Strumbel, '04 Mustang Cobra 4.48 20
Jim Schmittinger, '87 Buick GN 4.50 10
Shannon Grewe, '10 Dodge Challenger 4.61 -
Dean Swearingen, '08 Mustang GT/CS 4.70 -
Rick Adams, '10 Camaro 4.74 -
Carson Turnquist, '02 F-150 Lightning 4.76 -
Gregg Hopper, '06 Pontiac GTO 4.80 -
Joel Route, '99 Mustang Cobra 4.80 -
Jason Taylor, '04 Mustang GT 5.10 -

Muscle Car
Scott Parkhurst, '67 Malibu wagon 4.26 30
John Wegner, '69 Camaro 4.26 20
Jeff Schwartz, '67 Nova 4.45 10
Roger Kunkel, '71 Nova 4.48 -
Nathan Shaw, '71 Nova 4.60
     
Corvette/Viper
Joe Swearingen, '02 ZO6 Corvette 4.61 30

The New Tire Rule

Several competitors showed up at RSE this year with soft-compound tires, only to discover that a rule change required a 200-treadwear-or-higher rating on DOT tires. We made this change after last year's event, when it became apparent that both the QA1 autocross and the Mobil 1 Launch Box could be easily dominated with a sticky tire. Virtually all major Pro Touring events now incorporate this rule, and by adopting it, we make it easier for RSE cars to compete in other events. Unfortunately, several competitors weren't aware of this rule change. We allowed them to compete with the understanding that their times would not be official. The soft-tire cars included Nicholas Polentas' '05 XLR Cadillac with a very quick 46.677 in the autocross using 140-treadwear tires. The tire rule also bit Jessie Kalvik with his red Lightning pickup and Richard Adams with his '09 Vette.

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