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Car Craft’s Real Street Eliminator VII

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QA1 Autocross
Of the three events in RSE, the autocross seems to be the crucible. This year, our friends at Land O’ Lakes SCCA club worked with fairgrounds officials to expand the course. In fact, course designer Mark Utech showed how he could wheel the entire course using his crew cab, long-bed Ford truck, so there could be no questions about tight-radius turns. Jimi Day quickly proved that even lukewarm horsepower is no detriment to quick times, as he was soon showing the rest of the RSE cars how to assault the cones. While everybody else was struggling to run high-23-second laps, Jimi tweaked an asphalt-burnishing 22.064. But then, Josh Leisinger, driving the intense ’70 Camaro surpassed that with an even quicker 21.826. In the Late Model class, horsepower leader Schilling struggled while an innocuous blue Monte Carlo SS driven by autocross rookie Dan Howe laid down a very quick 23.811 that stood as the quick Late Model time on Friday. Saturday, times fell marginally with Jimi’s AMX taking the lead with a 21.563 to the Camaro’s 21.752. In Late Model, Dan Howe dropped his time to 23.116 only to see Joel Route blitz a 23.010. But both of them found themselves behind veteran competitor Brett Lindert in his Mustang GT, who dark-horsed the field with a 22.612 to take Saturday’s top spot.

Sunday, the autocross was open only until noon, so the pressure was on. The joust between the AMX and the Camaro continued, with Leisinger taking top time by barely 0.30 second over the D&Z customs–built AMX. In Late Model, nobody improved on Saturday’s times, giving Lindert Numero Uno. Joel Route was looking pretty good with a Second Place finish. In an odd twist, the muscle cars were much quicker on the autocross than the late models and even the two Corvettes! On the Corvette front, Eric Winsor used his autocross experience (he drove a stripped-down ’87 Vette in ’10’s RSE) to make it a win apiece between he and Mehta. The tiebreaker would be the Launch box.

“It should’ve rained.”Brandon Schilling on how rain on Saturday and Sunday might have helped him win the autocross.

QA1 Autocross Results

Late Model Class

Position/Owner Vehicle Time Points
1st: Brett Lindert ’97 Mustang 22.612 30
2nd: Joel Route ’07 Mustang 23.010 20
3rd: Dan Howe ‘84 Monte Carlo 23.116 10
4th: Brandon Schilling ’09 Mustang 23.461 -
5th: Jesse Riggle ’99 Firebird 23.485 -
6th: Carson Turnquist ’02 Ford Lightning 24.648 -
7th: Mike Callahan ’99 Crown Vic 25.056 -
8th: Peter Barton ’91 Mustang 25.671 -
9th: Brian Kunkel ’10 Camaro 25.701 -
DNS: Jesse Kalvik ’99 Ford Lightning* 22.919 -
*Illegal Tires—Drag Radials

Muscle Car Class

Position / Owner Vehicle Time Points
1st: Josh Leisinger ’70 Camaro 21.483 30
2nd: Jimi Day ’69 AMX 21.820 20
3rd: Nathan Shaw ’71 Nova 23.464 10
4th: Justin Nall ’66 Chevelle 24.074 -
5th: Eric McClelland ’68 Camaro 24.385 -
6th: Troy Borgen ’69 Camaro 25.549 -
7th: Robert Fox ’67 Camaro 28.074 -

Corvette/Viper Class

Position/Owner Vehicle Time Points
1st: Eric Winsor ’99 427 Corvette 22.058 30
2nd: AJ Mehta ’06 ZO6 Corvette 24.492 20

Car Craft Launch Box
Since both the QA1 autocross and the Launch Box events run concurrently, it’s generally a very fluid situation, as fresh times create position changes. Often, the Launch Box is overlooked until late Saturday or early Sunday, when the competitors discover they have a better chance at more points on Launch Box than on the autocross. In the Late Model class, Brandon Schilling’s Mustang looked good with 3.06-second times, and Joel Route was just behind him. But by Sunday, Dan Howe’s Schwartz Monte Carlo had bested both with a 2.99, and Route pushed Brandon to Third. In Muscle Car, it became a shootout between Josh’s silver Camaro and Jimi Day’s AMX, until Nathan Shaw tweaked everything with a Second Place finish, pushing Jimi to Third. In the Corvette class, AJ had Eric Winsor covered. As has been the case since the first year of Launch Box, regular Summer Nationals participants also took a shot at Launch Box, and our best e.t. of the weekend came from Keith Letarski’s big-block–powered ’68 Charger (that runs 10.50s at 126), due almost exclusively to a great launch and in spite of its skinny front tires. It’s also worth mentioning that Keith’s sticky tires would not have been RSE legal. But there’s still a major clue here if you interpret this information properly.

Car Craft Launch Box Results

Late Model Class

Position/Owner VehicleTimePoints
1st: Dan Howe’84 Monte Carlo2.9930
2nd: Joel Route’07 Mustang3.0520
3rd: Brandon Schilling’09 Mustang3.0610
4th: Brian Kunkel’10 Camaro3.13-
5th: Jesse Riggle’99 Firebird3.21-
6th: Carson Turnquist’02 Ford Lightning3.45-
7th: Mike Callahan’99 Crown Vic3.45-
8th: Brett Lindert’97 Mustang3.47-
9th: Peter Barton’91 Mustang3.58-
DNS: Jesse Kalvik’99 Ford Lightning 3.00*-
*Illegal Tires

Muscle Car

1st: Josh Leisinger’70 Camaro2.9630
2nd: Jimi Day’69 AMX2.9820
3rd: Nathan Shaw’71 Nova3.0410
4th: Eric McClelland’68 Camaro3.09-
5th: Troy Borgen ’69 Camaro3.31-
6th: Justin Nall’66 Chevelle3.33-
7th: Robert Fox’67 Camaro3.49-


1st: AJ Mehta’06 ZO6 Corvette3.1230
2nd: Eric Winsor’99 427 Corvette3.3320

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