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AIRAID Driver Ken Thwaits Competes For His Fourth GT Class Win In The Optima Series

Ken Thwaits plans to attend every Optima Series Race for the 2016 Season

Ken Thwaits plans to attend every Optima Series Race for the 2016 Season

Advice, research, testing, and a good team are important tools that have helped Thwaits achieve his undefeated title

Advice, research, testing, and a good team are important tools that have helped Thwaits achieve his undefeated title

Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car Race Series inspires racers across the country for various reasons.  Some racers attend this series for the sake of saying they did it while others come out to defend a title.

We last checked-in with AIRAID driver Ken Thwaits after his first win at Optima’s Thunderhill Raceway Park event in February.  Thwaits had successfully taken the win with his 2014 Camaro Z28 in the GT Class, while also earning him a spot to compete at the season finale race, the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OUSCI) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  This invitation was one of a hundred that will be handed out through the 2016 race season.  The ten event series will lead into the final race in November, which will determine who has the ultimate street car.  Winning an event throughout the year is a huge accomplishment, however many racers use these ten events to prep for the final showdown immediately following SEMA.

The AIRAID sponsored 2014 Showtime Camaro took first at the last Optima race, making that Thwaits’ third win this season

The AIRAID sponsored 2014 Showtime Camaro took first at the last Optima race, making that Thwaits’ third win this season

Though Ken Thwaits’ initial goal was to secure his invite into the Optima Invitational, Thwaits had an additional vision in mind.  As the 2014 Optima Season Points Champion, Thwaits had to surrender his title in 2015 to driver Kyle Tucker of Detroit Speed and Engineering.  The overall points champion recognizes a driver that not only attends almost, if not all, of the Optima Series events across the country, they earn points throughout the year depending on where they rank at each event.  When the series comes to an end, points are accumulated for each driver and the overall winner is declared at the SEMA Show.

In order to claim the 2016 Points Champion title, AIRAID driver Ken Thwaits must accumulate enough points throughout the year to put him ahead of his fellow competitors

In order to claim the 2016 Points Champion title, AIRAID driver Ken Thwaits must accumulate enough points throughout the year to put him ahead of his fellow competitors

Thwaits is off to a great start in his mission to become the overall points champion.  With three Optima Series events in the books and a fourth on its way, Thwaits has placed first in the GT class at each event.  With the NCM Motorsports Park Race taking place in Bowling Green, Kentucky, this coming weekend, Thwaits has been shaking down both his 2014 Camaro and the 2006 Mitsubishi EVO before leaving the Showtime Motorsports stables in Nashville and heading to NCM Motorsports Park.

While Thwaits focuses on accumulating points, many other competitors are still racing for an invite into OUSCI.  With seven events left before November, there is still time for drivers to win their way into the final race, though competition will continue to get harder as time runs out.

Thwaits will continue to defend his title as GT Class Champion at NCM Motorsports Park

Thwaits will continue to defend his title as GT Class Champion at NCM Motorsports Park

Ken Thwaits will continue the season racing both the 2014 Camaro Z28 and his 2006 Mitsubishi Evo at the remaining Optima events

Ken Thwaits will continue the season racing both the 2014 Camaro Z28 and his 2006 Mitsubishi Evo at the remaining Optima events

As Thwaits preps for this weekend’s coming race, the AIRAID driver will have some tough competition ahead.  Rain during the last Optima race at New Jersey Motorsports Park event created some obstacles as many drivers struggled to get a couple clean and fast laps recorded before the rain hit.  Thwaits was one of those drivers who knew that the few laps he had before the rain needed to count in order to maintain his title and accumulate the most points possible at that event.  Thwaits accomplished just that, winning his third GT Class title.

We will continue to watch as Thwaits defends his title of GT Class Champion throughout the Optima Series.  If you would like to learn more about Thwaits or other AIRAID drivers, sign-up for the AIRAID newsletter.

When looking for AIRAID products, use AIRAID’s search by vehicle tool to find vehicle specific air intakes and performance air filter upgrades for popular cars and trucks.  AIRAID performance parts can be purchased on the AIRAID website or through an authorized AIRAID dealer.


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