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Car Craft’s Real Street Eliminator VII

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Like a favorite pair of jeans or that 9⁄16-inch wrench that feels perfect in your hand, Real Street Eliminator just keeps getting better. The headline says RSE VII, but that number reflects only the latest version. Ask a veteran CC reader, and he will tell you that RSE can trace its roots all the way back to the mid ’80s (May 1986), when we put four victims through their paces during a complex, two-day event. There have been dozens of events in the interim, and, since we’re supposed to be wiser, in the new millennium we’ve condensed RSE down to a three-part event held in conjunction with Car Craft’s Summer Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

We’ve split up the competitors into three classes just to make it more interesting, and also so our precious muscle cars don’t have to slug it out with Corvettes and Vipers! We’ve also changed the format a little, narrowing the competition down to a maximum- horsepower Lucas Oil/E3 Spark Plugs chassis dyno test, the always-fun QA1 autocross, and Car Craft’s innovative Launch Box. Just as in past years, the points chase through three days came down to a battle for hundredths of a second on the Launch Box for the Muscle Car class, and even more surprises were in store for the Late Models, as a classic dark (or more accurately orange) horse stole the show from a couple of early leaders. Hint: We designed this event to reward power and consistent performance.

As is usually the case, the fight came down to Sunday morning runs on the autocross and the Launch Box, as the top two cars in the Muscle Car and Late Models classes battled it out for the title. There was even some interesting potential blocking efforts going on with late arrivals. The Corvette/Viper class wasn’t as populated this year (with only two competitors), but it was still a fight right down to Sunday. To bring you up to speed on the points system: We assign 30 points to win each category, with 20 points for Second place, and 10 points for Third. Obviously, if a competitor can win two categories, it locks in a win—but that was only the case in the Muscle Car class this year.

Lucas Oil/E3 Spark Plug Dyno Challenge
All three categories carry the same weight in terms of points, but the chassis dyno test is the key. If at any time within the contest we have a tie, either in lap time or with points for position, we use horsepower as the tiebreaker. That brought some big guns to the party this year, including Justin Nall’s E85-fueled, turbocharged, LS-powered ’66 Chevelle that swept the horsepower king of the hill honors, with a seemingly effortless 765 rwhp number. Next closest was Brandon Schilling’s ’09 Shelby clone Mustang pushing out 673 rwhp, while AJ Mehta’s normally aspirated 427 Corvette took the sports-car class win with 548 hp. Of 19 total competitors, eight cars cranked more than 500 rwhp. Horsepower junkies that we are, power-adders of any kind are encouraged. Frankly, we’re surprised when somebody shows up without at least a 150hp shot of squeeze. We also applaud Justin Nall’s effort for taking advantage of the easily accessible E85 pump fuel. We asked him if he used anything special, and he said, “Nope, I just filled it up at the local gas station right before I drove here.” Where we come from, that’s impressive. If there was a guy who should have showed up with a little more muscle, it was Jimi Day’s ’69 AMX. While it promised to be strong on the autocross, Jimi’s last-place showing on the dyno put him behind early.

Lucas Oil / E3 Spark Plug Dyno Challenge Results
Late Model Class

Position/Owner Vehicle RWHP Points
1st: Brandon Schilling ’09 Mustang 673 30
2nd: Jesse Riggle ’99 Firebird 668 20
3rd Joel Route ’07 Mustang 460 10
4th: Brian Kunkel ’10 Camaro 401 -
5th: Jesse Kalvik ’99 Ford Lightning 397 -
6th: Carson Turnquist ’02 Ford Lightning 384 -
7th: Peter Barton ’91 Mustang 358 -
8th: Dan Howe ‘84 Monte Carlo 290 -
9th: Brett Lindert ’97 Mustang 274 -
10th: Mike Callahan ’99 Crown Vic 268 -

Muscle Car Class

Muscle Car Class

Position/Owner VehicleHPPoints
1st: Justin Nall'66 Chevelle76530
2nd: Nathan Shaw'71 Nova65520
3rd: Josh Leisinger'70 Camaro56210
4th: Troy Borgen'69 Camaro552-
5th: Robert Fox'67 Camaro417-
6th: Eric McClelland'68 Camaro412-
7th: Jimi Day'69 AMX397-

Corvette/Viper Class

Position / OwnerVehicleHPPoints
1st: AJ Mehta’06 ZO6 Corvette54830
2nd: Eric Winsor ’99 427 Corvette52820

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