6th annual Ultimate Street Car Invitational this weekend

Local retailers can expect a boost in business this weekend as a national event comes into town.

The 6th annual Ultimate Street Car Invitational kicks off tomorrow at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch and Country Club.

Motorheads from across the country will compete for prizes and bragging rights for the title of the Ultimate Street Car in America.

Promoter and Race Director Jimi Day said the event began as a small group of muscle car enthusiasts to a nationally recognized competition.

“In our first event we had 11 cars finish and now we are up to over 60 cars that come out and run in the event. We have over a thousand spectators come out to see the event. This has grown pretty dramatically over the first six years that we have done it. We started out with 27 cars and that was the most we could get. I now get over 600 requests to get into our 50 car invitational,” he said.

The promoter also said the event is exclusively for street legal cars.

“Any car that is a street car and is registered, has a license plate and runs on DOT street tires is eligible to run in our event. It’s open to all makes and models. In the past, we had a large number of pro touring muscle cars but last year over 20 percent of our field was import cars. This year we have almost 35 percent that are import and European cars. We have Porsches, Ferraris, BMWs and a lot of Mercedes Benz this year. There’s a lot of everything,” he said.

Drivers will compete in five different challenges on Saturday.

Day said the event will begin with a special road rally around Las Vegas scheduled today.

“Four of the five challenges are competitive and everyone gets bonus points for completing the road rally. That’s what you have to do to prove that your car really is a street car. All of the competitive elements will take place at the Spring Mountain Resort. We have a performance design challenge which is basically a show and shine. It’s to determine how well the car is designed and it’s all about the form and well it’s engineered.” he said.

Day said that other challenges include road course laps, and an autocross where judging will be based on the fastest time.

“We score the top 20 in each category and the car with the most cumulative points across all of the events is crowned the ‘Ultimate Street Car.’ It’s a really huge trophy and of course you have the bragging rights,” he said.

A 1968 Camaro took top honors last year.

Day was quick to point out that the facility is one of the best he has seen throughout the entire country.

“There are a lot of country club tracks around the country. I’m lucky enough to do events all around the country and I have seen them all. I can tell you that Spring Mountain Motor Resort is second to none when it comes to facilities,” he said.

Day’s positive assessment extends well beyond the facility grounds.

He said local merchants and businesses can expect to see an increase in business in the next few days.

“The Town of Pahrump has been very welcoming to us. We use the Pahrump Nugget and Saddle West as well as all of the restaurants in town. We take every available hotel room that we can get,” he said.

Saturday’s event will be filmed for television and will appear on a major national cable network in March.

Tickets can be purchased at www.OPTIMAinvitational.com.