Fords of the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational Shootout
The SEMA Show is officially closed, but that doesn’t mean an end to the hot car action in Las Vegas. This weekend, the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational is taking place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway north of town, where the nation’s top pro touring machines will duke it out for top honors in three competitions: a mirror-image autocross (where two cars run at once on identical but mirror-image courses); the Speed Stop Challenge (where a car has to accelerate to a certain speed than brake to a stop in the shortest distance); and a full road course lap.
Now in its seventh year, the Optima shootout has turned into a big deal populated with 100 amazing, high-tech cars and trucks, a few of which are Fords. Most of the cars entered have earned their place at the Shootout by placing well in points at several of the Optima Ultimate Street Car Series. Those cars were parked outside the Convention Center in their own special area, while several other cars were invited to participate right off the SEMA Show floor, with Optima’s Cam Douglas and Jimi Day personally delivering the invite. We compiled a gallery here of the Fords set to compete, but there will be a few more that were invited, and we’ll have to wait until Saturday morning at the track to find out which ones made the cut.
As has become a tradition of late, at the close of the SEMA Show, the display cars pull out of the building and parade in front of a huge crowd outside the convention center’s main entrance. The lead cars in this year’s parade were the competitors in the Optima Shootout, and they rumbled out onto Paradise Road to the enormous applause from the grandstands. That signaled an end to the show, and the start of this weekend’s maniacal festivities.