Part Subaru 360, part Le Mans Prototype, 100 percent winner | $2000 Challenge Results

Colin
By Colin Wood
Oct 24, 2022 | $2000 Challenge, Autocross, drag racing, Low-Buck Tech, Tire Rack, Gainesville Raceway

Photography Credit: Dave Green

Where can you find an automotive festival that's dedicated to celebrating autocross, drag racing and–most importantly–low-buck ingenuity? That's right, the Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge presented by Tire Rack.

For 2022 we once again pitted the fastest machines built for less than $2000 against one another at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida–but we also added a twist this year: For the first time ever­, we allowed cars to enter the fray that cost more than $2000 to build to find out if more money really does equal more speed.

To better accommodate these new entries, we divided up the field into classes: 

  • Great Tire Narrow (GTN): For cars equipped with 200tw rated or higher tires with a labeled tire width less than or equal to 225mm.
  • Great Tire Wide (GTW): For cars equipped with 200tw rated or higher tires with a labeled tire width less than or equal to 285mm.
  • Great Tire Unlimited (GTU): For cars equipped with all other tires (including slicks, etc.)
    • Cars competing with budget limitations are denoted by the suffix "$"

So, who had the fastest low-buck machine? That honor goes to Daniel Cummings–better known in these parts as nocones–and his LMP360 in first overall, followed by Wreck Racing and their Acura V6-powered Chevrolet S10 in second and Steve Stafford and his 1985 Chevrolet Corvette in third.

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens


The full field of $2000 Challenge winners are as follows:

  • GTN$ Winner - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Daniel Cummings, 1968 Subaru LMP360
  • GTW$ Winner - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Katie Ortengren, 2013 Ford Taurus
  • GTU$ Winner - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Wreck Racing, 1999 Chevrolet S10
  • Autocross
    • GTN
      • 1st Place - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Jeremy Randolph, 2022 Subaru BRZ Limited
      • 2nd Place  - $200 RockAuto gift card from ACI Automotive: Ryan Dutra, 2001 Honda Insight
    • GTW
      • 1st Place - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Robert Palmblad, 2008 Mazda MX-5
      • 2nd Place - $200 CravenSpeed gift card: Michael Simmons, 2021 Tesla M3P
    • GTU
      • 1st Place - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Lou Hudyman, 2020 Porsche GT4
    • GTN$
      • 1st Place - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Daniel Cummings, 1968 Subaru LMP360
      • 2nd Place - Trakkrats Stringstick: Tucker Ryals, 2005 Volkswagen GTI
      • 3rd Place - $100 Lamin-X Gift Certificate: Zachary Gnabah, 1986 Pontiac Fiero
    • GTW$
      • 1st Place - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Robbie Cutcliffe, 2003 BMW 325xi
      • 2nd Place - CRC SmartWasher BenchtopPRO Kit from CRC Industries: Katie Ortengren, 2013 Ford Taurus
    • ​​​​GTU$
      • 1st Place - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Andrew Surprenant, 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder
  • Drag Racing
    • GTN winner: Mitchell Maulfair, 2002 Mazda Miata
    • GTW winner: Michael Simmons, 2021 Tesla M3P
    • GTU winner: Jonathan Whitaker, 2001 Ford Mustang GT
    • Fastest car not competing in a budget-limited class - Millermatic® 211 MIG Welder from Miller: Jonathan Whitaker, Problematic Racing
    • GTN$
      • 1st Place - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Zachary Gnabah, 1986 Pontiac Fiero
      • 2nd Place - $200 Summit Racing gift card: Daniel Cummings, 1968 Subaru LMP360
      • 3rd Place - $50 Summit Racing gift card: Tucker Ryals, 2005 Volkswagen GTI
    • GTW$
      • 1st Place - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Katie Ortengren, 2013 Ford Taurus
      • 2nd Place - $200 Summit Racing gift card: Robbie Cutcliffe, 2003 BMW 325xi
      • 3rd Place - $50 Summit Racing gift card: Anthony Vallancourt, 1993 Nissan 240SX
    • GTU$
      • 1st Place - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Steve Stafford, 1985 Chevrolet Corvette
      • 2nd Place - $200 Summit Racing gift card: Dale Wagner, 1996 BMW E36
      • 3rd Place - $50 Summit Racing gift card: Jonathan Breidenbach, 1970 Pontiac Firebird
  • Concours​​​​​​
    • GTN$
      • 1st Place - CRC SmartWasher BenchtopPRO Kit from CRC Industries: Daniel Cummings, 1968 Subaru LMP360
      • 2nd Place - $100 Gas Card from CRC Industries: Zachary Gnabah, 1986 Pontiac Fiero
      • 3rd Place - A case of assorted products from CRC Industries: Tucker Ryals, 2005 Volkswagen GTI
    • GTW$
      • 1st Place - CRC SmartWasher BenchtopPRO Kit from CRC Industries: Katie Ortengren, 2013 Ford Taurus
      • 2nd Place - $100 Gas Card from CRC Industries: Michael Stamps, 1965 Ford Mustang
      • 3rd Place - A case of assorted products from CRC Industries: Robbie Cutcliffe, 2003 BMW 325xi
    • GTU$
      • 1st Place - CRC SmartWasher BenchtopPRO Kit from CRC Industries: Cedarville University, 1957 Nash Metropolitan
      • 2nd Place - $100 Gas Card from CRC Industries: Wreck Racing, 1999 Chevrolet S10
      • 3rd Place - A case of assorted products from CRC Industries: Steve Stafford, 1985 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Special Prizes
    • Challenger’s Choice - $500 Tire Rack gift card: Daniel Cummings, 1968 Subaru LMP360
    • Fastest Dynamic Time - $250 Summit Racing gift card: Michael Simmons, 2021 Tesla M3P
    • Highest Scoring $1000 Budget Car - Trophy and $250 GRM Store Gift Card: Blair Warner, 2001 Acura Integra GS-R

Photography Credit: Dave Green

Photography Credit: Dave Green

Photography Credit: Dave Green

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Photography Credit: Dave Green

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Photography Credit: David S. Wallens

Catch up on all the action at the $2000 Challenge Live Thread and​​​​ Look for full coverage of the $2000 Challenge in an upcoming issue of Grassroots Motorsports. Visit 2000challenge.com for future updates.

The Grassroots Motorsports $2000 Challenge is presented by Tire Rack in association with CRC IndustriesSummit Racing and Miller Electric, with trophies from Lamin-XTrakkratsCravenSpeed and ACI Automotive.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more $2000 Challenge, Autocross, drag racing, Low-Buck Tech, Tire Rack and Gainesville Raceway news.
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Comments
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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
10/24/22 1:30 a.m.

I must have missed something because I don't understand the classes.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/24/22 8:35 a.m.

Is there a class list to decipher all the acronyms?  

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
10/24/22 8:39 a.m.

$ equals >$2000?

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/24/22 8:44 a.m.

N - Narrow tire.  Under 225 I believe?

W - 235-285 tire, I think

U - everything above 285 (or whatever the cutoff for W was)

$ - under $2000

 

Bit of a hairy moment at the beginning of Auto-x where nocones had a rod-end decide to be a rod-float, but he got it replaced and I don't think there were any other significant issues the rest of the weekend.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
10/24/22 9:07 a.m.

Results are now live:

https://2000challenge.com/results

And you can see a class breakdown at the top of the rules here:

https://2000challenge.com/rules

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
10/24/22 9:14 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Thank you!

DaleCarter
DaleCarter GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/24/22 9:47 a.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

the 3rd paragraph?

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/24/22 10:20 a.m.
DaleCarter said:

In reply to dean1484 :

the 3rd paragraph?

Was not there when Dean posted. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/24/22 10:37 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

That is correct. I updated the item earlier this morning that better explains the classes.

madmrak351
madmrak351 Reader
10/24/22 10:51 a.m.

Spectated the Autocross Saturday with my younger son, had a great time. Needed to be in Bradenton that evening, so I missed the drag racing. Hope to be there with a car or truck next year. Congratulations to the winners: with the level of enthusiasm I saw that may well be every one who was there!

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
10/24/22 11:30 a.m.

I know I'm still being dense...

How come all the classes are called "Great Tire..."?

mtn
mtn MegaDork
10/24/22 12:20 p.m.

One day your car is hanging from the ceiling, the next it is winning a prestigious motorsports event.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
10/24/22 12:23 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

Sorry, but there's no deeper meaning. Those are the class names. 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/24/22 1:11 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

Good tires, but certainly not great tires, Sv reX mused while lighting a cigarette. 

gzuckier
gzuckier New Reader
10/24/22 3:25 p.m.

Suggested new class:

E36 M3ty Tire Unlimited (STU): For cars equipped with those little emergency spare tires.

 

Or how about skinny tires, but more than 4, in some kind of dually configuration? Like the old Auto Union Type C hill climb cars?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
10/24/22 3:28 p.m.

In reply to gzuckier :

If STU exists next year I really, really want to compete in it.  That's brilliant.

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/24/22 9:09 p.m.

Nocones and the LMP360 were the dynamic duo!   WOW!

But, let's not forget a lot of folks had a great time in efforts that probably took less hours and accounting skills.

I'm using the Ryals in the '05 GTI Hogtown Special, or the Ortengrens in the Litty Kitties Taurus, and the Weavers in the Proteus Bois Audi TT as examples.   These are all folks that from all appearances had a blast, involved the family, and did it under $2k.  They are examples to many of us that you don't have to be a wiz designer/fabricator to attend this great event and create a lifetime of memories.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/24/22 10:58 p.m.
gzuckier said:

Suggested new class:

E36 M3ty Tire Unlimited (STU): For cars equipped with those little emergency spare tires.

 

Or how about skinny tires, but more than 4, in some kind of dually configuration? Like the old Auto Union Type C hill climb cars?

That sounds like STN

STU sounds more like >285's that are 700tw or higher, to me?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
10/25/22 1:19 a.m.

What happened to all the guys pulling zero concours points?  Some venerable Challenge competitors in there.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/25/22 7:15 a.m.

In reply to Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) :

That Taurus was dummy fast, and it ran great at the FIRM. Just proves the age old speed strategy of buying police interceptors at auction is more valid now than ever.

stafford1500
stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/25/22 7:55 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

It probably helped the drag time to have AWD. That track was not as grippy as normal. I know we struggled with traction with only ~300HP and really wide tires (315)

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/25/22 8:09 a.m.

Congrats, Dan!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/25/22 8:14 a.m.
Jerry From LA said:

What happened to all the guys pulling zero concours points?  Some venerable Challenge competitors in there.

You're likely seeing the over budget cars - they're not involved in the concours. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/25/22 9:18 a.m.

Just realized there was no award for Most Spectacular Failure"?

Also, no GRM magazine project cars?

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/25/22 9:49 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I saw the garage rescue Miata at the cars and coffee but was bummed that I didn't see the Z.

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/25/22 10:14 a.m.
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) said:

Nocones and the LMP360 were the dynamic duo!   WOW!

But, let's not forget a lot of folks had a great time in efforts that probably took less hours and accounting skills.

I'm using the Ryals in the '05 GTI Hogtown Special, or the Ortengrens in the Litty Kitties Taurus, and the Weavers in the Proteus Bois Audi TT as examples.   These are all folks that from all appearances had a blast, involved the family, and did it under $2k.  They are examples to many of us that you don't have to be a wiz designer/fabricator to attend this great event and create a lifetime of memories.

We had a great time and our GTI ran incredibly well. I was shocked at just how well it did in the autocross. 2nd in GTN$ and 7th out of all the budget competitors! It struggled in the drags though - too much HP with not enough traction. Still managed 3rd in GTN$ though.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
10/25/22 10:24 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Yeah, David brought out his Miata project car, but I had to leave the LFX Miata at home because I keep breaking parts. It would have been great to get the 350Z out there, but with so much going on and fewer staff than we'd originally planned on having, I wanted to focus on making the event run smoothly instead of on making my car fast. 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/25/22 11:08 a.m.

In reply to dyintorace :

What PSI we're you running in the front tires at the drags? Try airing down to 24psi or even 22 next time to help with wheel hop and lowering 60ft times. 

Glad to hear you killed it on the autocross, imo, that's the fun part. 

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/25/22 11:44 a.m.

In reply to Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

We started at 30 and worked our way down to ~24 over maybe a dozen passes. My best 60' was 2.4. There were a few things that made a good pass difficult:

  • Launch at higher RPMs and just spin the tires. Launch at lower RPMs and wait for boost to build. 
  • The tune the car came with seems to have a low fuel cut - like ~5500 RPMs low. I never could time it right to shift from 1-2 and then 2-3 without running into the cut
rich911s
rich911s New Reader
10/25/22 9:07 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I second the dummy fast part.  Went off course at The Firm doing trying to go from 100 to 30 in about 75' without ABS or traction control.  Got the only black flag of the day.  That was a great time.  BTW I looked online at Copart auctions and found a quite a few interceptors and challenger police cars with really low bid prices...   

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/26/22 10:36 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

Just realized there was no award for Most Spectacular Failure"?

Also, no GRM magazine project cars?

Also missing "longest drive" and "spirit of the event" awards I think, but the new award structure I did like overall. 

I was bummed not to see the grm projects run, but it sounds like 20 entrants or so joined in the last 2 weeks before the event so I think grm staff was already maxed out just working the event. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/26/22 10:38 a.m.
rich911s said:

In reply to maschinenbau :

  BTW I looked online at Copart auctions and found a quite a few interceptors and challenger police cars with really low bid prices...   

These are things I do not need to read...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
10/26/22 10:42 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
maschinenbau said:

Just realized there was no award for Most Spectacular Failure"?

Also, no GRM magazine project cars?

Also missing "longest drive" and "spirit of the event" awards I think, but the new award structure I did like overall. 

That's a real shame, those extra awards are probably my favorite part other than seeing the well-earned top trophies.

Bigben
Bigben Reader
10/27/22 12:06 a.m.

Sad I missed it, had to pull out the week before. I like being able to compare and contrast the tire classes and over/under budget performances. The posted results let me do some bench racing and the outcome was pretty good. My car would have been competitive for trophies in both the autocross and the drags, assuming I didn't break anything of course. . .

Congrats to everyone who competed.  I look forward to hearing the background stories on this year's cars. 

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