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Duramax Diesel Performance Guide: Chevrolet Silverado HD & GMC Sierra HD

AIRAID can turn up the LML Duramax 6.6L power in your 2017-2018 Chevy Silverado HD / GMC Sierra HD

AIRAID can turn up the LML Duramax 6.6L power in your 2017-2018 Chevy Silverado HD / GMC Sierra HD

To some people, a pickup truck is just a vehicle that allows them to haul the family, their toys, some random stuff from the hardware store, and help people move. But people who buy the 2017-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD & 2017-2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500HD, usually need a bit more than that. They’re looking for a rig that can haul and tow massive amounts of stuff, day-in and day-out. That’s why GM completely re-engineered their venerable L5P Duramax 6.6L Diesel V8, to create an all new version called the LML Duramax 6.6L. Although it has the same displacement as the old engine, it has lots of cool new tricks to help your truck work even harder. So let’s look at some of those changes, and see how a Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake from AIRAID can help you turn up the power even more.

The LML Duramax 6.6L Diesel

In order to crank up the power without sacrificing reliability, General Motors went back to the drawing board to create their all new heavy duty diesel. To make it able to handle more power, they gave it:

    Boost the Torque with a Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake from AIRAID

    Boost the Torque with a Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake from AIRAID

  • A completely new engine block design
  • Hardened cylinder walls
  • 4-bolt crossbolted mains
  • A bigger crankshaft
  • Stronger connecting rods
  • A higher capacity oiling system

With a stronger platform that can handle 910 lb-ft of torque, they started adding power enhancements like:

Add horsepower & torque to a 2017-2018 Chevy Silverado HD / GMC Sierra HD with an AIRAID Intake

Add horsepower & torque to a 2017-2018 Chevy Silverado HD / GMC Sierra HD with an AIRAID Intake

  • New cylinder heads that are optimized for better airflow (an AIRAID Cold Air Intake can help you take full advantage of this)
  • The variable vane turbocharger is now controlled electronically for better boost control
  • The glow plug system can fire the engine in less than 3-seconds at -20 F
  • The air intake system is now enhanced with a fully functional ram air hood scoop (AIRAID can really maximize the advantage of this feature)

How a Chevrolet Silverado HD Cold Air Intake / GMC Sierra HD Cold Air Intake can improve performance

The new ram air intake on the 2017-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD and 2017-2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500HD works by pulling in large amounts of air through that giant vent on the hood. This cold air should provide the engine with more oxygen, due to the lower air temperature. However, once the air hits the OE Duramax 6.6L air filter, it will slow down and heat up, because it has to fight it’s way through all of the dirt that has collected on the surface of the filter. As the layer of dirt increases, the volume of air that gets through will decrease, and reduce the amount of power that your engine can make.

Closeup of an AIRAID 201-335 MXP Cold Air Intake installed on a LML Duramax 6.6L

Closeup of an AIRAID 201-335 MXP Cold Air Intake installed on a LML Duramax 6.6L

The air that does make it through the stock Chevy Silverado air filter/GMC Sierra air filter, then has to contend with a narrow intake tube that has all sorts of uneven interior surfaces. This causes the air to swirl around and become turbulent, slowing it down even more. As a result, the air will heat up more, thus reducing the number of oxygen molecules, and consequently, the amount of power that your Silverado HD 6.6L/Sierra HD 6.6L can produce.

To overcome these horsepower and torque inhibitors, the AIRAID 201-335 MXP Cold Air Intake and AIRAID 200-335 MXP Cold Air Intake replaces all of these restrictive components with low restriction alternatives that are designed to enhance the effectiveness of those high-flow heads and ram air intake ducts. A special high-flow air box is mounted in place of the stock air box and filter, and it’s been engineered to flow considerably more air from that ram air inlet.

Inside the AIRAID MXP air box sits one of two low restriction AIRAID performance air filters:

  • AIRAID 200-335 MXP Cold Air Intake gets an oiled SynthaFlow Performance Air Filter, which is made from multiple layers of cotton gauze, bonded to a layer of proprietary synthetic filter media.
  • AIRAID 201-335 MXP Cold Air Intake gets a non-oiled SynthaMax Performance Air Filter, which is made from a dual-layer synthetic filter media.

Both oversized AIRAID air filters can pull in a lot more air than a standard paper filter. And because the dirt is stored inside of the filter material rather than collecting on top, the airflow won’t be reduced nearly as much over time.

You also won’t have to buy another expensive Duramax 6.6L air filter, because you can just clean the AIRAID filter every 30,000-50,000 miles (depending on road conditions).

All of that clean air is then directed to the engine through a low restriction AIRAID intake tube, which is made from roto-molded polyethylene. Because of our manufacturing process, all of the interior surfaces are completely smooth, resulting in little air turbulence as the air flows through the tube. This material also helps to absorb heat, so the air will be much cooler when it reaches the engine. Each intake tube has integrated fittings for all of the factory sensors, which makes for a hassle-free installation.

Now for the good part

Thanks to its durable, high-flow design, both the AIRAID 201-335 MXP Cold Air Intake and AIRAID 200-335 MXP Cold Air Intake will give you excellent engine protection, faster throttle response, and a throatier engine intake sound. It will also give you the following estimated performance increase:

  • 11.92 horsepower
  • 2017-2018 Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake - AIRAID 200-335 MXP

    2017-2018 Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake - AIRAID 200-335 MXP

  • 34.17 lb-ft of torque

That’s a serious power gain, and it will help to reduce engine strain when you’re towing or hauling a heavy load. But of course, your individual results will vary depending on the mileage, modifications, and condition of your specific 2017-2018 Chevrolet Silverado HD Duramax 6.6L / 2017-2018 GMC Sierra HD Duramax 6.6L. You also need to make sure that this AIRAID cold air intake is street-legal in your state, which you can do by clicking here.

With more power, faster throttle response, and the exceptional AIRAID No-Hassle Lifetime Warranty, an AIRAID Duramax 6.6L cold air intake system is definitely a worthwhile investment for your truck!

2018 GMC SIERRA 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2018 GMC SIERRA 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2018 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2018 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 GMC SIERRA 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 GMC SIERRA 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models

2018 GMC SIERRA 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2018 GMC SIERRA 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2018 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2018 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 GMC SIERRA 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 GMC SIERRA 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 3500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models
2017 CHEVROLET SILVERADO 2500 HD 6.6L V8 Diesel Engine - All Models

2017-2018 Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake - AIRAID 201-335 MXP

2017-2018 Duramax 6.6L Cold Air Intake - AIRAID 201-335 MXP

Can-Am Maverick Turbo UTVs Get Added Airflow From the AIRAID 800-508 Filter

Can-Am Maverick UTVs in the desert

The Can-Am Maverick UTVs become even more impressive with an AIRAID filter (photo Can-Am)

ATV Illustrated didn’t hold back in its praise of the Can-Am Maverick X3. The publication’s review of the Maverick does a great job of highlighting what makes the UTV so impressive.

“The new Can-Am Maverick X3 easily runs down everything in its path like nothing we’ve ever driven," wrote ATV Illustrated. "It’s fast, precise, and it’s got more power and suspension than anything on dirt short of a half million dollar Baja racer. It positively seethes attitude, performance, and style.”

So the Can-Am Maverick is a winner. Its Rotax ACE (Advanced Combustion Efficiency), turbocharged three-cylinder, liquid cooled engine with an integrated intercooler is a potent and reliable performer. The addition of an AIRAID 800-508 direct-fit replacement filter takes that power-plant to the next level of performance and protection.

AIRAID 800-508 direct-replacement air filter for the Can-Am Maverick product view

The molded body and oiled, pleated filter media make for a high-performance upgrade

The AIRAID 800-508 is specifically designed to improve horsepower and acceleration in the various Can-Am Maverick X3 models. The free-flowing filter is constructed of multiple layers of filter media and provides significant improvements in air intake. The added airflow helps the Maverick’s turbo deliver its full potential.

That added punch of air does not mean the AIRAID 800-508 compromises engine protection. The layers of oiled cotton / synthetic blend filter media are up to the task of guarding the engine’s internals from the ravages of the track or trail. That filter media is fully washable and reusable using a cleaning and recharge kit like the 790-550.

 AIRAID logo

The 800-508 comes with the industry-leading AIRAID lifetime warranty

All AIRAID direct replacement filters are constructed with a body that is made from hand-poured urethane that won't crack or shrink. We are so sure of our filters’ quality that we offer a lifetime guarantee. It is the last filter you will have to buy for your Can-Am Maverick.

Applications:

2017 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO X RS 976 - All Models
2017 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO X DS 976 - All Models
2017 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO 976 - All Models
2017 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO X RS 976 - All Models
2017 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO X DS 976 - All Models
2017 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO 976 - All Models
2016 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO X RS 976 - All Models
2016 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO X DS 976 - All Models
2016 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO 976 - All Models
2016 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO X RS 976 - All Models
2016 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO X DS 976 - All Models
2016 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO 976 - All Models
2015 CAN-AM MAVERICK MAX 1000R TURBO X DS 976 - All Models
2015 CAN-AM MAVERICK 1000R TURBO X DS 976 - All Models

Meet Scott Birdsall and His Monster: a 1949 Ford F1, Dubbed Old Smokey F1

Scott Birdsall of Chuckles Garage and his 1949 Ford F1

Scott Birdsall of Chuckles Garage and his 1949 Ford F1, affectionately dubber Old Smokey F1

What is a monster? Is it a scary being that lives in our imagination? Or, are monsters things that actually exist to challenge our perception of control? This story isn’t going to give you a definitive answer to that question. But it will tell you about a 1,200 horsepower diesel-powered monster that wouldn’t exist in our world, if it weren’t for the vivid imagination of a man named Scott Birdsall.

About 30 years ago, an auto repair shop opened up on the site of an old ranch in Santa Rosa, California. When they needed to expand several years ago, workers started to clear off the overgrown lot behind one of their buildings. As the front loader was plowing through decades of bushes, small trees and briars, it struck what turned out to be a 1949 Ford F1 pickup. The owner of the shop didn’t even know the truck was there, and decided to just sell it online. And that’s where Scott Birdsall of Chuckles Garage comes in: “When I get bored sometimes, I’ll look on Craigslist for stuff that I can buy real cheap and flip. So that truck came up and I bought it for $225—you know, to flip it. But it started to grow on me, so I kept it.” He continued; “I wanted to make a reliable shop truck out of it. But one modification led to another, and eventually it turned into a full-on race truck.”

Old Smokey F1, a 1949 Ford F1 with twin turbo Cummins motor

Old Smokey F1 is a wolf in sheep's clothing. A true sleeper.

When Scott pulled the lost F1 from the overgrowth, the cab was full of animal nests, the bed was full of nails, and it had been painted three times with a brush. It was clear that this truck had lived a hard life. “The right headlight was the last thing that I was going to fix, but it had been missing that headlight for so long, and I kind of liked the forlorn look of it. So I left it. But there is a projection headlight in there.” He then treated the body with silicone spray and installed a 12-valve Cummins diesel from an old Dodge pickup. “The diesel part of it started because I wanted a reliable shop truck that I could drive anywhere, tow stuff with, haul stuff with. I put a diesel in the truck to be able to use it. But I’m a hot rodder, so you know; a diesel with a turbo is cool, but a bigger turbo is even cooler!”

There’s actually an LED headlight hiding on the passenger side

There’s actually an LED projector headlight hiding on the passenger side

Eventually, a newer 5.9L Cummins from a 2005 Freightliner medium duty semi truck found it’s way under the hood. This allowed Scott to tune the motor with a laptop, giving him a much broader range of performance options. He explained: “To build this truck, I worked with companies like Industrial Injection, Garrett Turbochargers, and Bell Intercoolers, which taught me a lot about the fluid dynamics and other technical stuff.” In it’s current form, the truck now known as “Old Smokey”, boasts a compound turbo setup that uses an exhaust-driven 80mm Garrett GTX5008 turbocharger to feed a second [massive] 94mm GarrettGTX 5533 turbo, which then compounds the boost and sends the 106 psi air charge through a giant Bell intercooler before it reaches the heavily modified Cummins diesel engine. The result of all this boosted wizardry is 1,463 horsepower at the crankshaft and 1,233 horsepower/2,000 lb-ft at the rear wheels. That’s right, this rusty old 1949 Ford F1 pickup has more power than any production Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Pagani. And it’s only a few ponies shy of the venerable Bugatti Veyron. But all Scott has to do is flip a switch to activate the 375-hp nitrous shot, and that fancy French car is toast.

The interior is all business on Old Smokey F1, the 1949 Ford F1

The interior is all business as this truck was built to handle just about anything thrown at it

To handle all that power, a custom race car tube chassis hides beneath the truck’s patina'd bodywork. According to Scott, “There’s not much left from the original truck, except maybe the body and the dashboard.” But that’s okay, because this hot rod was purpose-built for land speed racing, road racing, and drifting. All Mr. Birdsall has to do is change the tires and adjust the suspension to suit the surface he’ll be on. “The current speed record for a diesel truck is like 172 miles an hour, and we’re going to try an blow that out of the water.” To keep the Old Smokey Ford F1 on the ground at triple digit speeds, AIRAID helped Scott create a carbon fiber splitter, diffuser, and underbody panels. And a high-flow AIRAID performance air filter is used to feed a constant rush of clean air to those ginormous turbos.

We at AIRAID are proud to sponsor Scott Birdsall and his Old Smokey Ford F1. And we wish him the best of luck as attempts to break the diesel pickup land speed record with his rusty monster.

You are looking at a 375-hp shot of nitrous and a 5-inch exhaust pipe

You are looking at a 375-hp shot of nitrous and a 5-inch exhaust pipe amongst a sea of bed cage

The compound turbo set up on Old Smokey F1

The compound turbo set up on Old Smokey F1 pumps out over 1,200 horsepower!

An AIRAID Performance Air Filter keeps air flowing to this 1,200-hp 1949 Ford F1

An AIRAID performance air filter keeps air flowing to this 1,200-hp 1949 Ford F1

Burnout - Scott Birdsall   |   Photos - Eric Armstrong

Burnouts are on tap with that much power and torque available with the tap of the go pedal


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JM2 Motorsports Take the Top Awards at Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Season Closer

Brock Heger taking his final turn in his AIRAID-sponsored UTV before winning the championship

Brock Heger taking his final turn in his AIRAID-sponsored UTV before winning the championship

What an exceptional year it was for the JM2 Team in 2017 finishing with the AIRAID-sponsored team at the top. Jeremy McGrath and Brock Heger were on fire this year by being fast, consistent, and sometimes lucky. Throughout the 2017 season of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, the two were consistently on the podium in all three classes.

AIRAID-sponsored Brock Heger celebrating his championship with his entire team

AIRAID-sponsored Brock Heger celebrating his championship with his entire team

Brock had an amazing year racing his Yamaha YXZ in the Production UTV class and in his Prolite. Between the two classes, he finished with the same number of podium finishes in each with six wins, two second places, and two third place finishes. The difference between the two was in his Yamaha, Brock only had three races that he was not on the podium and he had a fourth, fifth, and a sixth place finish in those races. With this consistency, Brock was able to win the championship in his Yamaha.

Brock Heger driving his Pro Lite to a second place finish in the championship points

Brock Heger driving his Pro Lite to a second place finish in the championship points

In Brock’s Prolite, it was a complete opposite to his Yamaha in his non-podium finishes. Two of the three races Brock would end up breaking the truck and was not able to finish those races. But even with the two low finishes, Brock would still be battling for the championship in his truck all the way to the end. In the end, he would finish in second place in points and only fourteen points behind the leader, enough to finish the season being the driver with the most wins.

Jeremy McGrath battled all year to be able to put the Number 1 plate on his truck

Jeremy McGrath battled all year to be able to put the Number 1 plate on his truck

Jeremy would battle just as hard in his Pro2, competing against some of the best drivers in the premiere short course class. Jeremy was fast and consistent all season long, with all top five finishes and finishing every lap all season long. Jeremy had a stretch of three consecutive weekends where he finished with a win and a third, giving him six straight podiums. He also was on the podium two other times with a win and a third, giving him a total of four wins and four thirds. With this consistency, Jeremy would win his first off-road championship with the 2017 Pro2 Championship. Jeremy said, "I have been working for almost ten years in short course to get here. This Lucas Oil Series and its competitors are like family and it means a great deal to me. I couldn’t do it without the support of my family, my dedicated hard-working crew, and sponsors that believe in me."

AIRAID-sponsored Jeremy McGrath celebrating his championship with his family and friends

AIRAID-sponsored Jeremy McGrath celebrating his championship with his family and friends

The awards seemed to be endless at the awards banquet for the JM2 Team. With Brock and Jeremy both taking home their championship trophies and Brock’s second-place trophy, the team would be surprised with several other awards that would be announced at the banquet. The first one that was given to the team went to Jeremy which was the Rick Huseman Award for most innovative driver. With one of the top awards going to Jeremy, Brock was just as surprised when he was announced as the Driver of the Year, which is voted on by fellow racers. Brock said, “I am completely blown away to receive this award and owe everything to my mom and dad for getting me here. I have been racing my whole life and love every second of it. Thank you to the JM2 crew and my sponsors for the continued support.” You would think after those two awards there wasn’t much more left, but the team was surprised once again. The JM2 Team would be announced as the Lucas Oil Off Road Team of the Year. Team owner Jeremy McGrath said, “It’s really an unbelievable feeling right now! Off-road racing is a ton of work and long hours, but every member of the team does their job and truly loves racing and being at the track. Thank you very much for an awesome season Lucas Oil.”

One of many awards that Jeremy McGrath received from the 2017 Lucas Oil Off Road season

One of many awards that Jeremy McGrath received from the 2017 Lucas Oil Off Road season

The 2017 season became an epic year for Jeremy McGrath, Brock Heger, and the JM2 Team with championships and almost all the top awards from the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing banquet. The 2017 season is going to be almost impossible to replicate, and there are not many more awards that can be received by a driver. Brock also was a nominee for the Impact Award in desert racing for the Off-Road Motorsports Hall Of Fame. So watch out for this team to be on top in 2018 and try to continue the amazing run they are on.


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AIRAID Team Drivers: The Road to the OUSCI Championship

Ken Thwaits AIRAID Equipped 2006 Mitsubishi EVO

Ken Thwaits' 2006 AIRAID-equipped Mitsubishi EVO front and center in Optima Alley at SEMA

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the OPTIMA Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational and the 2017 OUSCI is in the books. OUSCI was created by Optima’s Product Development and Marketing Director, Cam Douglass, and veteran racer and CEO and President of FM3 Performance Marketing Jimi Day. The event has drawn the most incredible talent from around the globe and this year was no different.

Shot of Jordan Priestley's 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Bernice in Optima Alley

The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport "Bernice" of Jordan Priestley's in Optima Alley at SEMA

AIRAID team drivers Jordan Priestley and Ken Thwaits have plotted, planned, built, and rebuilt all in an effort to be the “best”, to be the winner when it came to OUSCI. From attention to every detail that would wow and impress the judges for the Lingenfelter Design & Engineering portion of the event, to their decision to maintain the street worthiness of their rides making the Lucas Oil Road Rally comfortable and reliable, Jordan and Ken definitely brought their “A” Game to SEMA and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

But the Road to Optima’s 2017 OUSCI hasn’t been simple for either competitor. They’ve faced challenges, experienced up and downs, but at the heart, they are every bit competitors. In fact, both of these gentlemen credit improved diets and exercise, along with a can-do attitude to their continued success. Explaining that even though they compete in street cars, these guys, these incredible brand ambassadors are determined to showcase their sponsors' equipment, the equipment that makes their street cars so darn competitive, in the best way they know how. For them, that means a podium finish whenever and wherever they can.

Photo of Jordan Priestley on grid for the Falken Tire Hot Lap Challenge

Jordan Priestley on grid for the Falken Tire Hot Lap Challenge at OUSCI

Throughout 2017, Jordan was actively competing, he and JDP Motorsports (the family-owned business) were busy with R&D on his JDP Motorsports AIRAID-equipped C7 Corvette, “Bernice”. Improvements included an LG Motorsports carbon fiber side skirts and front splitter along with an Anderson Composites dry carbon hood. To accommodate the new hood JDP Motorsports custom fabricated a brand new duct system sure to please the OPTIMA D&E judges. Thunderstruck Hot Rod & Custom Cycles handled the fit and finish details that perfectly compliment the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette’s already amazing body lines. All the while making changes and racing Bernice in events around the country. All the while, our AIRAID team driver was running a successful business and managed to relocate the family home! To say his plate was full would be an understatement!

Headshot of Ken Thwaits

AIRAID team driver, Ken Thwaits; the man, the myth, the legend!

Over 1,600 miles away in Nashville, Tennessee, AIRAID team driver, Ken Thwaits story wasn’t all that different from Priestley’s. Ken started his year with the USCA season opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway coming away with a 1st place finish in the Powerstop Brakes Speed Stop Challenge and an overall 2nd place finish for the event. He seemed to be off to a great start in his AIRAID-equipped 2006 EVO. Thwaits would go on to the next USCA event at New Orleans Motorsports Park, Louisiana, where he would finish second behind Mike DuSold in GTL Class. At the National Corvette Museum, even with gremlins challenging he and his Showtime Motorsports Team, he came away with another second-place finish. Once again the brass ring eluded him. But all was not lost. It was at NCM that he received the OUSCI Invite.

Picture of Jordan driving out of the Optima Alley heading to SEMA Ignited

Jordan Priestley heading out to SEMA Ignited

It’s important to note that Ken Thwaits is first and foremost a businessman, second a “racer”! Owner of Showtime Motorsports and Apparel, Ken has stepped further into apparel with the recent opening of Franklin Road Apparel Company, a unique upscale men’s clothing store in Franklin, Tennessee. Turns out Thwaits happens to be more than just a great driver, he’s great dresser too. He saw a need for men and took action. He’s created the ideal men’s store with great brands, incredible customer service, flat screen tv’s and access to his private 25 car collection of vintage Camaros! We wouldn’t expect anything less from him.

However, starting a new business isn’t all Ken had on his mind this past year. You may recall that at the 2016 OUSCI he suffered damage to the EVO’s top end that required a down and dirty, last minute, under the wire swap that afforded him just one run on the Falken Tires Hot Lap Challenge. That valiant effort unfortunately didn’t prove to be enough for him to steal the win from the three time consecutive winner, Danny Popp. Perhaps that alone was reason enough for him to work tirelessly on creating what he called a bulletproof package that would ultimately crown him victor at the 10th Anniversary running of OUSCI at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But before that could happen, he had more qualifying to do!

Glamour shot of the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, "Bernice" at Road America

"Bernice" enjoying some quiet time at famed track, Road America

He suffered some mechanical setbacks, specifically a suspension break at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Turned out the lower control arm snapped on the autocross that required he and his team of Tyler Powell, Bob McCann, plus Graham Behan to get back to the drawing board if they were going to be able to make a serious run at OUSCI come November. Working with JJ Furillo from Ultimate Performance allowed them to design a suspension system that could take the punishment of Thwaits behind the wheel. The team suffered multiple blown motors throughout the year. During Speed Stop and Autocross the EVO ran flawlessly. However, on the road course, the motor ran too lean ultimately causing failure. Behan discovered that they would need to replace the fuel system to correct the problem and the team was back in business! Before OUSCI the Showtime Team elected to tear the car down to the bucket and rebuild it piece by piece stronger, better and even added a few aesthetic fit and finish touches handled by his friends at Triworks in Nashville in an effort to score higher in D&E. Ken was leaving nothing to chance this year. He was hungry for a win. You know what they say, number two always tries harder and he was going for broke!

Photo of Jordan on the autocross course at LS Fest West in Las Vegas

Jordan on the autocross track during LS Fest West in Las Vegas Motor Speedway

OUSCI is to say the very least one of the toughest events partly because it immediately follows the SEMA Show, which is really an event all in itself! So much to see and do, from the new products unveilings, educational seminars, sponsor meetings, and so much more. It can leave the SEMA newcomer feeling wiped out! But for our team drivers, Jordan and Ken, this simply adds to the excitement.

Jordan and Bernice on course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the autocross segment 2017 OUSCI

Bernice tearing up the autocross track at the 10th Anniversary of OUSCI at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

This year OUSCI featured a new format that had the one hundred competitors racing head to head autocross in rotating run groups for the better part of Saturday, finishing the day’s activities with the Lucas Oil Road Rally with the final destination a tailgate-style dinner at the acclaimed Shelby Museum in South Las Vegas. Sunday the drivers would once again run head to head this time in the Powerstop Brakes Speed Stop Challenge and have multiple run sessions in the Falken Tire Hot Lap Challenge on the road course. This updated format really levels the playing field by giving each driver similar if not the same track conditions. And let’s face it, these drivers are competitive so this format really works!

The weather was the best our drivers have seen in years out at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Track conditions were ideal, making competition closer than ever. Best of all our AIRAID team drivers left everything out on the track. As predicted there were plenty of Corvettes that were top finishers, that dominated the field. Priestley finished 4th in the GTS Class with his 2017 Chevrolet Grand Sport C7, Bernice, earning him an 11th place finish overall.

Group photo for OUSCI 2017

The 10th Anniversary for OUSCI 2017 group photo

But this year it wasn’t a Corvette that took the Championship. No, it was none other than AIRAID team driver Ken Thwaits in his 2006 Mitsubishi EVO that was crowned the OUSCI Champion this year. To make things even sweeter, he also walked away with the GTL Class Title. Thwaits and the Showtime Motorsports Team worked hard and their dedication and determination yielded a very sweet victory, one they can be very proud of. You might even call this a “Cinderfella” story!

AIRAID would like to congratulate all the 2017 OUSCI Class Winners:

GTV Class: Larry Woo 1968 Chevrolet Camaro

GTL Class: Ken Thwaits 2006 Mitsubishi EVO

Photo of Thwaits and his 2006 EVO on the Detroit & Engineering Autocross

Thwaits in his 2006 Mitsubishi EVO shredding the Detroit & Engineering Autocross at OUSCI

GTS Class: Austin Barnes 2010 Dodge Viper

GTC Class: Scott Budisalich 2006 Honda S200

GTE Class: Matthew Scott 2017 Hyundai Ioniq

GT Class: Bryan Johnson 2013 Chevrolet Camaro


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