Believe it or not, Pro Touring style racing has been going on for many years and popularity has always been high for this exciting, accessible form of competition. Some of the top builders and drivers compete, so this is your chance to prove you have the stuff to succeed. All you have to do is build a truck, register and race! Or you can simply be like us—watch the races and cheer on your favorite teams. Want to know more about the major racing series that are available around the country? Here are the top three autocross kings and the rules they put in place for safety and fairness.
The Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA)
USCA is a sanctioning body formed to create safe, fun and high-profile national automotive events for street-legal performance vehicles. The USCA’s event series is called the OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car (OSUSC).
The primary focus of the USCA is to showcase “real” street cars with aftermarket parts that allow them to perform better. In addition, the USCA provides an outlet for owners of high-performance street cars to congregate, socialize and participate in an event designed specifically for them to showcase the performance of their vehicles and create an infectious environment that promotes sponsored products. These rules are intended to encourage the spirit of a safe and fun event.
OSUSC events are held across the United States. Participants have the opportunity to be awarded an invitation to the annual SEMA industry tradeshow and OPTIMA Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas. Invitations go to event winners in each class, a special “Spirit of the Event” award winner from each event, and to several top overall points accumulators during the USCA regular season.
Visit www.driveUSCA.com for event-specific schedules and detailed series information.
OSUSC Specs for Design and Engineering
All vehicles are judged on their construction and modifications that enhance the performance, functionality and appearance of a vehicle while maintaining or enhancing the “Daily Driver” features and accessories. Vehicles are expected to have all functional street car components as typically found in most production vehicles—two windshield wipers, at least two seats, two headlights, two taillights, two exterior turn signals front and rear, and windows that go up and down and can be used to seal the interior from wind, rain and snow. This segment is for performance street cars and, as such, must strike a balance to reach the highest possible performance, maintain or highlight features that allow a vehicle to be regularly driven, and achieve quality fit and finish. The end result should be a consistent theme and pleasing overall package. Yes, form and function can and do go together!
The series requires all cars to run tires with treadwear that has a rating of 200 or higher. This is part of an effort to make sure these cars are still safe to be driven on public roads or in the rain and essentially remain street cars, while also keeping competitors from getting into a tire war that would require the most-competitive cars to bring new sets to every event.
This is a performance street car driving event. No support vehicles of any kind will be allowed to accompany any entered vehicle starting immediately at the conclusion of event registration. Adequate trailer parking will be provided at the event venue, but all necessary tools and equipment must be contained within the participating vehicle prior to the start of road rally segment.
OSUSC Road Course
The road course segment will be a time trial format with three run groups running multiple sessions on the designated road course. Run groups will be designated prior to segment start based on driving experience, comfort level and abilities as determined by both the participant and USCA officials.
In 2020, membership in the Ultimate Street Car Association sanctioning body costs $75 but is not required to compete in the events. However, that ends up being quite a deal, because members receive a $75 discount at USCA-sanctioned events, free transponder rental ($50 if you don’t bring your own), as well as some cool USCA swag. So USCA members basically get a two-day automotive event at a world-class racetrack for $500. Outside of the entry fees, the other expenses involved are pretty standard fare. Consumable items on the car, like brake pads, various fluids and other such items, are a good idea to bring along, just in case.
Other expenses include safety equipment and typical travel expenses: fuel, hotel and food for you and anyone else you bring along. There can be a difference between participating in these events and being competitive in them, and the USCA encourages both. However, as folks get more competitive, the costs associated with that competition do begin to escalate. More horsepower, bigger brakes, wider tires, better suspension, nicer stereo systems and custom paint are just a few of the endless modifications people can make to step up their game on and off the track.
The Ultimate Street Car Association (USCA)
What is Goodguys AutoCross? It’s the engine revin’, tire screechin’, race against the clock action going on within the Goodguys events. Professionals and Goodguys members alike compete for the fastest time on tight street courses trying to beat the clock and avoid the cones.
At each national event, qualifying is on Friday and Saturday until 3 p.m. Sessions include PRO-X, PRO, TR, SM and HR classes, so everyone has the same amount of runs each day. At around 3 p.m., class winners with the fastest overall qualifying times are announced to set the four four-car ladders. These 16 cars and drivers—four PRO-X, four PRO, four SM, two TR and two HR—set the shootouts. If a class doesn’t have enough entries, it will be filled with cars from another class.
AutoCrosser of the Year
To become the official Goodguys AutoCrosser of the Year, you must compete in a minimum of five event shootouts with the same car. Your truck must be 1987 or older at the national events, a minimum vehicle weight of 3,500 pounds and a maximum front tire size of 305 mm.
Any vehicle with a bed, panel trucks, deliveries, El Caminos and Rancheros will be in this class. Trucks from 1940 and older are not required to run fenders, roof or hood sides, although it must have a roll bar if no roof. Fuel tanks do not have to be in stock location but must be securely mounted.
Each event you compete in, you will earn points based on your time to complete one lap on the course. You earn 10 points for first place and one point for tenth place. To be class points winner, you will have the best combined total from the best five events during the season, along with the shootout points from that event. Two events can be a get-togethers, but three or more must be national events.
Cone Penalty Diagram
If you’re racing a two-lap track and hit a cone on your first lap, you must drive around the chalk box on the next lap to avoid another 2-second penalty. The chalk box becomes the cone on the second lap no matter where the cone is located as the cone is considered a “dead cone.”
Duel in the Desert Shootout
Goodguys 2020 AutoCross Duel in the Desert will take place at the 23rd Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Nov. 20-21, 2020. There will be 32 vehicles and 32 drivers. Friday entries into the shootout run with everyone trying to race their way into the finals.
Saturday at 11am, 32 cars will have qualifying runs before lunch and at 1pm. This will set the ladder for the shootout. At 2pm, eliminations start from the bottom of the 32-car ladder. There will be a run-off after the fourth round to decide third and fourth place. At the end of the day, they will have the winner of the Goodguys “Duel in the Desert” AutoCross and the AutoCrosser of the Year!
LS Fest Autocross
The LS Fest Autocross is a low-speed competition designed to highlight the handling, acceleration and braking of your ride. The wide sweepers, tight hairpins, chicanes and slalom sections of the course will keep your adrenaline pumping from start to finish.
The LS Fest Autocross West is held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The LS Fest Autocross East includes two races in Bowling Green, Kentucky: one set up inside of Beech Bend Raceway Park’s 3/8 mile oval track, and a second autocross at the NCM Motorsports Park skid pad. If you like to drive your truck fast, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a lot of track time over the course of these three-day events.
The autocross events count toward the Holley LS Fest Grand Champion award for competitors who compete in Drag Race, Autocross, 3S Challenge, Show-n-Shine and TrackX.
The registered owner must drive the vehicle for all events.
All drivers will be required to sign a liability waiver. Passengers must be at least 18 years of age and will be required to sign the same liability waiver as driver.
A mandatory driver/passenger meeting will be held prior to the first competition.
Only official wrist-banded drivers and waivered passengers may ride in the cars on the course.
All competitors must have current registration, proof of insurance and a current driver’s license.
Each entrant will be issued a number that must be clearly visible.
Participants must use DOT-approved street tires.
Competitors must use a single set of tires for the entire event; no tire changing between events will be allowed.
Helmet use is required (SA2010) for both drivers and passengers.
Participating cars must pass a basic safety inspection that will include but may not be limited to the following:
Proper brake pedal pressure and travel.
Sufficient throttle return spring and secured battery.
All lug nuts in place and tight.
Hubcaps/clip-on center caps are to be removed.
All loose items must be removed from the vehicle (floor mats, things hanging from rearview mirror, and glove box, console, trunk items).
Each segment of the event will be timed to 0.00.00. There is no maximum number of runs. Winners will be the vehicles with the lowest time.
A 2-second penalty per cone knocked down or moved out of its box will be assessed during the autocross.
A DNF penalty for exceeding the finish line stop box may be assessed during the autocross.
A runoff between the quickest five vehicles may be held, time permitting. The fastest combined time of three laps will determine the winner.
The autocross may be run rain or shine at the event organizer’s discretion.
LS Fest Autocross