2013 was the sixth year for the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. I missed the first year, but have attended the last five events. The event is held on Saturday immediately following Sema at the beautiful Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump Nevada.
Optima holds event qualifiers across the United States during the year to qualify for the finals. The winners get an invite to the Sema show to display their cars all week in a special section just for the participants. Additionally, there are several cars picked out of the Sema show for the opportunity to compete in the finals that weekend.
There is no shortage of variety in the competitors and their cars. Men, women, muscle cars, street rods, late model cars, trucks … you name it and there’s a chance it’ll be there. The cars compete in four different events: autocross, speed-stop challenge, road course, and a judged styling category. This years event was won by Brian Hobaugh in his beautiful 65 Corvette. Second place went to two-time winner Mark Stielow in a 67 Camaro.
I’ve attended many different types of automotive events, and the Optima is one of my all-time favorites. You have access to the entire pit area, can watch all of the events being run up close and personal. I highly recommend attending if you ever have the chance.