optima search for the ultimate street car 2020 photo by matt marcu

Since 2016, PowerStop has been a proud partner/sponsor of Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Streetcar. The event brings together vehicles from all years, classifications, and capabilities together in hopes to find the ultimate street legal contender. Continuing to align ourselves with trusted brands like Optima Batteries, Falken Tire, QA1 Suspension, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, and Lucas Oil to support the passion of the competitors is a natural fit for us.

Search for the Ultimate Streetcar at COTA back in 2016

Around the time PowerStop began their partnership with Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car, our Track Day line of braking components was in its infancy. The series pushed us to continue development on Track Day to be the easiest brake upgrade for the new track enthusiast, what we ended up with was something much better than originally planned. It was a proving ground for PowerStop, and competitors were quick to adopt the new PowerStop offering. Soon we would be sponsoring cars in almost every class giving us feedback from a variety of driving styles as well as vehicles.

What is the Search For The Ultimate Street Car?

For the 2020 season, competitors will meet at seven different racetracks across the United States to be comprehensibly tested in five different automotive disciplines. There are no cash prizes, just bragging rights, a plaque suitable for framing, and a coveted spot in the SEMA show and to compete at OUSCI in Las Vegas. Vehicles of all types and backgrounds battle to be considered the fastest and best street legal car in the United States.

Dedicated race cars masquerading as streetcars don’t always prove to be the best tool for the job, defying “traditional” rules of building a car to race. “Streetcar” specific rules across all classes ensure a level playing field. Each event pits vehicles and drivers against each other in traditional fromats like Autocross and Road Course, but also as part of a road rally and a Design & Engineering competition where the cars are judged for innovation, visual aesthetics, and story. Also among these segments is the PowerStop Speed Stop Challenge.

OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Street Car Trophy Las Vegas photo by matt marcu
OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Streetcar Las Vegas 2019 SEMA Show

Coming off a straight at a high speed and experiencing brake fade is not a good feeling.  I experienced that with other brake pads and gave the Powerstop Track Day pads and rotors a try.  When competing in the Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car events, your brakes are one of the most important components during the event.

In Autocross, your brakes have to be able to slow your car down and modulate without locking the brakes.

In the Speed Stop, your brakes have to stop as extreme and hard as possible with locking up.

Nick Relampagos – PowerStop Sponsored Driver – @bowtie_garage on Instagram

What is the PowerStop Speed Stop Challenge?

The Speed Stop Challenge can best be described as a short (& violent) autocross. It’s a side-by-side course with a standing 1/8 mile drag race into a sweeping U-turn (left or right) with a short burst of speed into a chicane, and finishing in a stop-box where the speed and precision of the “stop” portion are measured. Considering our recently released Track Day lineup, The Speed Stop Challenge was a natural fit for us. It remains one of the more nuanced and unique portions of the events.

PowerStop Speed Stop Challenge OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Streetcar Las Vegas
PowerStop Speed Stop Challenge OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Streetcar

DIY Competitors

Very few vying to become the Ultimate Streetcar Champion bring a crew along with them. Most vehicles are garage built and take their owners many long, late night hours to complete. When something breaks at an event, competitors rely on the friendly camaraderie in the paddock to get back up and running. There is even a “spirit of the event” award given out at each event to celebrate these moments and efforts. At PowerStop, this type of spirit is in our blood and each of the competitors on the PowerStop team. Check out each driver and their vehicle by clicking on their name or picture below:

Nick Relampagos

Nick Relampagos PowerStop team driver OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Streetcar Chevy Camaro

Karen Thomas

Dr Karen thomas PowerStop team driver OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Streetcar

Mills Robinson

Mills Robinson Search For The Ultimate Streetcar OPTIMA PowerStop team driver

2020 Search for the Ultimate Streetcar Schedule

·  March 14-15 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway

·  April 18-19 – Atlanta Motor Parts Park

·  May 29-30 – Willow Springs Raceway (Friday/Saturday)

·  July 11-12 – Pikes Peak International Raceway

·  August 14-15 – Road America (Friday/Saturday)

·  September 19-20 – NOLA Motorsports Park

·  October 10-11 – NCM Motorsports Park


Supra and Mustang at OPTIMA Search For The Ultimate Streetcar Las Vegas Matt Marcu Photo

Stay tuned for a recap and media gallery of Search For The Ultimate Streetcar in Las Vegas 3/14-3/15 and make sure to follow along on PowerStop Social Media for live content

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